The University of La Verne Bakersfield campus relocated to a new space further west this fall, allowing for expansion in size and programs to be offered to students over 25.
The location, 10800 Stockdale Highway, was chosen for its proximity to where students live and to the freeway, as well as fir increased space for classrooms and offices and better parking.
The campus is also larger, which means it can accommodate its growing population.
There are 485 students enrolled in the Bakersfield campus, including those in statewide education and teacher education programs.
“It has greater visibility, it has more access, more traffic, so it’s more visible,” Devorah Lieberman, University president, said.
The old location, 1201 24th Street, was in a smaller, rented space in downtown Bakersfield.
“That facility was a little strange,” David Smith, dean of regional and online campuses, said. “It was sort of a strip mall, but it was in downtown that had been redeveloped. There were mixed offices and other kinds of businesses in there.”
The Bakersfield campus, like other ULV regional campuses, primarily caters to nontraditional students. Its programs run on accelerated calendars, with students enrolled for 10-week terms, as compared to traditional 15-week terms. Most students are working adults, Smith said.
“Students transfer a lot of community college credits and then they finish their bachelor’s degrees, and in some cases, master’s degrees,” Smith said.
The campus is adding three new degree programs: educational psychology, criminology and criminal justice and informational technology. The Bakersfield location also started offering general education courses in spring 2017. Previously, students would take general education courses elsewhere and pursue degree related courses on the ULV Bakersfield campus.
“Cal State University of Bakersfield is heavily impacted by enrollment, so our students were unable to get general education to move forward,” Nora Navarrete-Dominguez, regional campus director, said. “When it comes to general education courses, there’s not enough offerings. We have thousands of students in Kern County that are scrambling to find general education wherever they can, so that’s where the University of La Verne stepped up.”
The University developed a relationship with the Kern High School District, and it evaluates the needs of graduating high school students. By offering general education courses, the University is giving high schoolers the choice to stay in Kern County and take their classes. The University also has professors conducting classes at community colleges across Kern County.
Students can also use Cisco Telepresence to watch courses taking place on other campuses.
The new location offers more space to host events for students and events and meetings for outside entities. The University will put on an event called the Weekend Startup from Nov. 17-19, which allows people from all over California to work on technological, entrepreneurial projects, and in return, they may get reward money or mentorship from technological experts.
“Now that we have that facility, we’re able to host something like that,” Dominguez said.
Aryn Plax can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.