Program with Kern K-16 Collaborative Will Help Provide Teachers for Dual Enrollment Courses
Thomas J. Burke, chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District, will lead the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Kern Master’s Teacher Upskilling Pathway for English and Mathematics, announced Dr. Benjamín Durán, CVHEC executive director.
The Kern Master’s Upskill Program hopes to provide 100 South Valley high school teachers the opportunity to earn a master’s degree that achieves state qualifications for teaching community college dual enrollment English and math courses on local high schools.
It was launched this summer as part of an $18 million statewide competitive grant awarded to the Kern Regional K-16 Education Collaborative to improve student progress from high school to postsecondary education and ultimately into the workforce. The consortium first implemented the program in Fresno County last year with similar state funding through the Fresno/Madera K-16 Collaborative.
A recruitment campaign with information sessions is now underway for courses that will be taught by Fresno Pacific University and National University, both CVHEC member institutions. Cohorts are set to begin in January.
The application deadline for the math component taught by FPU is Dec. 9 with the final virtual information session set for Nov. 29 at 4:30 p.m. (Register for the Math Education Information Meeting Zoom link at: https://bit.ly/3PSPesc).
The application deadline for the English component taught by NU is Dec. 12, 2022. The final information session is set for Dec. 1. (Register for the English info sessions at www.tinyurl.com/MAENGLISHNU).
With Burke’s appointment, CVHEC is moving full-steam ahead in collaboration with Dr. Krista Herrera, director of the Kern K-16 Collaborative, said Durán. Burke has also been serving as CVHEC Transfer Project coordinator following his retirement from KCCD in 2021.
“We are pleased that Chancellor-Emeritus Burke will lead this very significant initiative that will ultimately benefit south valley high school students by providing more teachers qualified to teach dual enrollment,” Durán said. “Tom is a natural fit for this project, he is dedicated to serving the communities of Kern County. He and Dr. Herrera will provide a powerhouse team for this project’s goals.”
Burke will serve as the CVHEC liaison for the Kern K-16 Education Collaborative and lead for the MA upskilling project. He will lead the team overseeing recruitment of the high school MA upskilling teachers and well as the community college faculty who will serve as mentors to them.
Burke served the California Community College system for 24 years including as KCCD chief financial officer for 15 years before being named the district’s chancellor in 2016. He retired in July, 2021 and in December, Burke was conferred chancellor emeritus by the KCCD Board of Trustees.
He is an alumnus of CSUB where he earned his Master’s in Business Administration in 1986 after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in 1981. Burke has served as an adjunct faculty member for CSUB’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.
Prior to KCCD, he worked as a manager of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs and in Financial Planning for Contel and as a Financial Analyst for the Getty Oil Company.
During his five years as chancellor of KCCD — which includes Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College and serves nearly 40,000 students in five counties — Burke was a member of the Community College League of California State Student Centered Funding Formula Taskforce and the Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce.
Career highlights include involvement with the California Community College Business Officers (ACBO) and development of the California Community College System’s previous statewide funding resource allocation model adopted in 2006 (Senate Bill 361). In 2014 he was recognized by the Association of California Community College Administrators with their Excellence in Leadership Award.
Most recently, ACBO awarded Burke its Achievement of Excellence Award in October 2022 for his contributions to ACBO and the California Community College System. As the district CFO, Burke was a region representative, vice president and president of NACBO. He was also a member of the State Chancellors Fiscal Advisory Group.
When Burke was appointed KCCD chancellor in 2016, Bakersfield College’s student government lauded the appointment, calling him a “champion for student voice and concerns.”
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For media inquiries, contact:
CVHEC – Tom Uribes at 559.348.3278 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FPU – Wayne Steffen at 559.453.3677 (email@example.com)
NU – David Hicks at 619.481.7802 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, incorporated as a 503c non-profit educational organization in 2002, is made up of 30 institutions of higher education in the valley’s nine-county region from San Joaquin to Kern counties. The presidents, chancellors and/or directors of member campuses sit on the CVHEC Board of Directors.
In addition to CVHEC, the Kern Regional K-16 Education Collaborative, administered through the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS), includes strategic partners California State University, Bakersfield; UC Merced and UCLA; as well as 46 Kern County school districts; KCCD; the West Kern Community College District; the Kern Economic Development Corporation; the County of Kern; and numerous economic development/industry partners. [link to Kern K16, here is the correct link] https://kerneducationpledge.com/