Bakersfield College is located in Bakersfield, California, a city of approximately 55,000 population 107 miles north of Los Angeles in the San Joaquin Valley. It is a public junior-community college operated by the Kern County Junior College District and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Established in 1913, it is the second oldest junior college in continuous operation in California, which now has more than 80 junior colleges functioning throughout the State.
Bakersfield College offers some 20 distinct curriculums to students enrolled Ln preprofessional, preservice, or technical-vocational courses. It inaugurated the Associate Degree Program in Nursing in 1957. The nursing program is accredited by the California Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration.
Within the overall organization pattern, the Department of Nursing at Bakersfield College is one of several administrative units. Faculty members are appointed in accordance with established policies of the school district and the College. The academic major of a faculty member is a factor in the assignment of the individual as a member of a specific educational unit.
Throughout the college, orientation and in-service education in each currieular area is planned and implemented to meet the individual needs of the faculty as members of the faculty and as members of a particular currieular area. Achievement of both orientation and in-service activities can be credited to the cooperative planning and interorganizational functioning of the district office and the Bakersfield College Administrative Council and Committee of Division and Department Chairmen.
Two approaches to the orientation of newly appointed faculty are used at Bakersfield. One relates to the College as a whole, the community in which it functions, and the faculty member's identity with each. The other requires an introduction to the particular area in which the applicant may function as a member of the faculty. In this presentation emphasis is on the procedures used in the orientation and in-service éducation of nurse faculty appointed to teach in the Associate Degree Nursing Program.
Groundwork for orientation is established at the time of initial contact by the person who interviews the applicant. This person may be the District Assistant Superintendent or the president of the College, who has made the contact in the course of his visit to various parts of the country for recruiting faculty for the coming school year, or the department chairman, who may have been authorized by Administration to seek and interview prospective applicants following initial contact by mail or telephone and a review of their professional biography.
During this first interview an applicant's educational and professional qualifications, probable salary schedule based on the annual contract, and a description of the job are discussed. A brochure describing in some detail the nursing program and its philosophy is presented for further study. As the interview progresses, information about Bakersfield, its community facilities, and its location in relation to other centers of the State are discussed. Brochures from the local Chamber of Commerce and the School District may be reviewed.
Should an applicant indicate interest in the position, plans are made for the College to follow up with additional information after theapplicant'scredentials and other essential information have been submitted to Administration for official review. Also, when the assistant superintendent or the college president interviews an applicant, he advises the applicant to communicate directly with the department chairman for answers to specific questions relating to the assignment.
Following the official review and evaluation along with information obtained at the time of the interview, the president may recommend that the district superintendent offer the applicant a one-year contract. Notice of the action of the Trustees and copies of the contract for signature are then sent to the applicant by the District Superintendent. The appointment is considered official when the applicant returns the signed contract.
Orientation proceeds with a series of letters from the dean of instruction, the director of information, the president, and the department chairman welcoming the appointee to the staff. Each letter contains specific information. For orientation purposes the appointee is also sent copies of the current college catalogue, the faculty handbook, issues of the community newspaper and, if requested, information about and/ or assistance in locating suitable living accommodations.
Orientation on campus begins when the new faculty member reports for employment the first of August. The College currently employs nurse-faculty members on an 1 1-month school contract to meet the program's pattern of implementation. Vacation periods for returning faculty are scheduled in a staggered pattern in 7-week periods from June until the middle of August. Thus, new members have an opportunity from the beginning to work with both returning faculty and the department chairman.
Formal orientation sessions are first scheduled with the department chairman. These sessions include a review of the brochures and the catalogue describing the philosphy and purpose of the program, its organization and development as a curriculum within the college structure, and its relation to the educational philosophy of the College. Information about the various agencies and clinical facilities used for instructional purposes and the written agreements in effect between the appointees and the college are discussed.
A departmental orientation folder, developed cooperatively by its faculty, is available for individual study and later discussion. This folder serves as a guide and includes a list of booklets describing the participating hospitals and the local health department and copies of the stated aim, purpose, policy, and plan of the total educational program. Records used by the College, diagrams of structural organization and faculty committees, clinical assignment sheets, samples of clinical record forme used by the hospitals, and information about operational policies and regulations are also included. The review of educational and instructional material is useful as a frame of reference when a faculty member is becoming acquainted on campus. It is also useful as a point of departure when visits to different agencies are scheduled and the new member of the faculty meets various hospital personnel.
Following a few days on campus, during which the new appointee is shown the physical plant, is introduced to college personnel present prior to registration week, and has complied with details required by Administration of all new appointees, arrangements are made for the appointee to visit the cooperating agencies where she will function. These visits are scheduled by the department chairman through the director of nursing services of each agency. Hans are made for the new appointee to meet members of the agency and to make a tour of the facilities, especially those areas where she will give students clinical instruction and supervision. Through mutual agreement arrangements are made for her to spend time in these divisions observing, becoming acquainted, and generally finding her way prior to planning her activities as an instructor in nursing.
Interspersed are sessions in the campus office for becoming acquainted with activities related to lesson planning and curriculum development. The department chairman is responsible for this assignment, but she is assisted in many ways by the faculty members whose experience in the nursing program ranges from 2 to 6 years. Overall aims and objectives, individual course outlines with their particular objectives, and organization of both instructional units and individual lesson plans are considered concurrently with the development of a moster rotation schedule for each class group within the official school year. Each instructor's class schedule and tentative plans for clinical assignments are studied; a working schedule for the new appointee's assignment is begun.
Each faculty member is responsible for identifying and stating in writing the objective of each course taught. She is also responsible for developing the lesson plans to achieve the objective. Cooperative functioning of faculty working in a curriculum is obligatory when course assignments may vary from year to year. Consequently, as "old" and new personnel proceed with the task of course development and content coordination, each is checked and assisted by the chairman and by fellow faculty members.
Up to this point orientation focuses on the nursing curriculum, but the final week in August provides a change. Orientation of all newly appointed college faculty begins the week before school opens. This phase consists of a series of group meetings and activities extending over a 3-day period. The first day includes a general session known as "getting off the ground." During this session the president, the vice-president, the dean of instruction, and the dean of students present various facets of the Collège organization to the new staff. A no-host luncheon for Administrative faculty and division and department chairmen and the new faculty provides an opportunity for both groups to meet and become acquainted. The afternoon of the first day is reserved for a meeting with the Dean of Records. He reviews the types of records to be used, and grade schedule periods, attendance reporting, and class scheduling for the school year.
The second day is devoted to a detailed tour of the campus and individual conferences with the chairman of the respective departments. The day ends with attendance, together with returning faculty of the district, at a meeting which establishes the official opening of the school year.
Basic orientation for the new faculty ends at the general meeting of the entire college faculty. At this meeting administrative officers speak to the group from the point of view of meeting new students, anticipating new challenges, and planning new experiences related to beginning a new school year. Newly appointed faculty are introduced by the president. Participation cards for the scheduled activities for the school year are presented to the faculty by the president of the student body. Following a brief intermission, all personnel report for their first departmental faculty meeting of the new term.
In-service education for new faculty follows two patterns: ( 1 ) for the newly arrived group and (2) for appointees in a continuing program of instruction wiJbin one's particular department. All appointees are scheduled to attend a series of seven planned meetings during the first weeks of the Fall term. Attendance is mandatory. Time for these meetings has been cleared to preclude other commitments. A series of topics is presented by a number of speakers. Group discussion following presentation is encouraged The following subjects were presented in the 1963-1964 school year:
Bakersfield College Faculty Association and Other Professional Organizations
Effective Instruction at the College Level
The Junior College District and Its Services
Student Personnel Services and the Faculty's Relationship to Counseling
Characteristics of Students Attending Junior College
Overview of Curriculum Offerings at Bakersfield College
Within the department coordination of activities is maintained and in-service education is planned through regularly scheduled departmental faculty meetings throughout the year. At least one of these meetings each semester includes all persons teaching in the nursing curriculum and the counselors assigned to students who elect nursing as a major. Annual meetings are scheduled with nursing service staffs in hospitals used for clinical experiences. Conferences with specific personnel are requested whenever they are warranted.
Attendance of college faculty members at interschool district meetings is encouraged. Participation on faculty committees and active involvement in one's professional nursing associations are also recommended.
The cooperative functioning of individual faculty in the department with faculty in other departments of the college and with the staffs of the participating agencies contributes not only to the growth of each person, but also to the achievement of the purposes for which this nursing program was established in this community, ie., to provide a resource of nurse practitioners prepared to administer quality care to sick persons.