BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield College’s Education Department is offering new online courses to prepare both teachers and students for online instruction and learning. The courses developed for teachers are EDUC B30: Introduction to Learning Environments and EDUC B31: Cultivating an Online Learning Community. The course designed for students is EDUC B55: Bridge to Online Learning.

BC says they currently have over 100 seats available in the EDUC B30 and 31 courses. They will add more availability if needed to meet the community’s needs for this fall and next spring.

“We know that there could be a high demand for these courses, and we are prepared,” said Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Chair of the Bakersfield College Education Department.

EDUC B30 is an introductory course to online learning environments designed for current and future teachers according to Dr. Erica Menchaca, a professor of Education at Bakersfield College. People have to complete EDUC B30 with a passing grade before they can take EDUC B31.

“We focus on aligning expectations, essential components of online learning, and creation tools. EDUC B31 will be about the next step, which is developing an online community and keeping students engaged in learning,” said Dr. Menchaca.

Dr. Menchaca says current and future teachers should enroll in both EDUC B30 and EDUC B31.

EDUC B55: Bridge to Online Learning is a course designed for students who are new to distance learning. Class topics include tips for achieving success in an online learning environment, technology self-assessment, netiquette, digital citizenship, and navigating an online course.

“The Pre K-16 system was suddenly thrown into remote learning due to the pandemic and students and teachers had little time to prepare,” said Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Chair of the Bakersfield College Education Department. “Since we know that this is something we are still going to face in the fall and beyond, BC wanted to create a pathway for students and teachers to equip themselves with the tools and strategies they need to be successful.”

Dr. Menchaca said that although K-12 are the main audience, there are many different groups of people who are also considered teachers. Tutoring, youth groups, home-schooling, and pre-schools can also benefit from the new online resource courses.

“These classes help current and future teachers prepare both mentally and practically for their classes,” said Dr. Menchaca.