Bakersfield College Symposium Panel Led by Assemblymember Salas
BAKERSFIELD – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) moderated the keynote panel at the highly anticipated Bakersfield College Intersegmental Pathways Symposium. Assemblymember Salas was joined by some of the state’s leaders on education and policy including Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lupita Cortez Alcala, Chancellor of California Community Colleges, Eloy Oakley, and Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom.
“It was a great opportunity to sit down with some of my colleagues and our state’s experts on education to have a robust discussion on improving pathways to college,” said Assemblymember Rudy Salas. “At the end of the day, we need to come together to create educational opportunities for people in California that will help them achieve better lives. I look forward to continuing to work with great local leaders like Dr. Christian from Bakersfield College to increase funding for education, create better policy, and address the needs of our future workforce.”
Over the course of the symposium, education leaders from the Central Valley and across the state discussed numerous topics relating to the improvement of baccalaureate completion and the transition between high school, community college, university, and the workforce. According to data reported by the California Department of Education, Kern County’s baccalaureate attainment rates are roughly half the statewide rate. In rural service areas, fewer than three in every 100 residents holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. Local institutions like Bakersfield College have been working hard to address these issues by launching an Early College Program for Rural Youth, partnering with local school districts to offer adult education classes, and hosting a wide array of career technical education courses.
“The symposium is happening at such an exciting time in California history and it’s fitting that leaders and educators across the state will gather in Bakersfield to strategize this important work,” said Dr. Sonya Christian, President of Bakersfield College. “Our event on Friday brought dynamic leaders including Governor Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor, Dr. Lande Ajose, CA Community College’s State Chancellor, Eloy Oakley, and Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Education, Lupita Alcala to Kern County for discussion aimed at reducing educational barriers and increasing baccalaureate attainment. Assemblymember Rudy Salas is no stranger to the tried and true strategies in place at Bakersfield College. He has been a constant friend of BC, a strong advocate for education and a champion for the people in our community including both Renegades and friends in Delano, McFarland, Shafter, Arvin and more.”
Earlier this year, Assemblymember Salas secured $1 million in the 2019-2020 budget to expand workforce development at Bakersfield College. This funding was in addition to another $1 million that Assemblymember Salas was able to secure in the 2018-2019 state budget for career technical education programs at Bakersfield College, which resulted in nearly 1,400 enrollments in the North Kern rural communities.
Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.