BCC 50th Anniversary Block Party & Groundbreaking

Join us as we honor our past and look to our future! Berkeley City College is celebrating 50 years of transforming lives – from our humble beginnings as the Peralta College for Non-Traditional Study, to Vista College, to Berkeley City College – we have been committed to providing quality, affordable higher education for our community. It’s time to celebrate! We are hosting a block party in front of our campus at 2050 Center Street. Connect with Berkeley City College faculty, staff, and administrators to learn about resources, programs, and services we provide for our students. DJ Pulpo will be providing entertainment, as well as food from Tacos Sinaloa!

Where: Center Street (between Milvia St. and Shattuck Ave)
When: Tuesday, April 23 11:00am – 2:00pm

After the party, stick around! You are invited to join the groundbreaking ceremony for the Berkeley City College 2118 Milvia Street Project Groundbreaking Ceremony. This new project is part of Peralta Community College District’s Bond Program, funded by voter approved Measure G bond dollars. Hear from Berkeley Mayor Arreguín, Berkeley City College President Denise Richardson, and other members of the Peralta Community College District administration. We look forward to celebrating with you!

When: Tuesday, April 23 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Happy Holidays from President Richardson

As the Fall 2023 semester comes to a close, I wanted to celebrate our accomplishments and wish you a restful, joyful, and warm holiday break. The past year has been eventful at Berkeley City College and the Peralta Community College District. I wanted to share my appreciation for your unwavering service to students and each other as we look to build on our successes and tackle our challenges.

Fall 2023 was the strongest semester for enrollment since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with BCC leading in meeting its goals for Full Time Enrolled Students and productivity among the four PCCD colleges. The collective work of BCC’s esteemed faculty, classified professionals, administrators, and student workers was crucial to achieving this goal. I admire all of your continued energy and contributions in outreach, retention, and service to students. Those qualities are reflected in the awards and recognitions BCC received over the year – being named an Equity Champion for the sixth year in a row by the Campaign for College Opportunity, being awarded our second HSI Title V grant “Adelante,” and becoming a CVC Teaching College with the most quality badged courses of any Peralta College, to name a few.

I’m looking forward to continuing to build on these accomplishments as we begin achieving the goals of Equitable Student Completion laid out in BCC’s 2023-2028 Educational Master Plan. I would like to recognize the work of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee as we draft actionable ways that Berkeley City College can close equity gaps, build strong community partnerships, and closely examine data to prepare for continued growth and changes in our environment. I’m also looking forward to celebrating the history of Berkeley City College as our 50th Anniversary is on the very near horizon. It was so wonderful kicking off the cheer at our Holiday Party last week. It was amazing to see you all show your spirit for BCC and each other.

With that, I would like to share my appreciation for the support and kindness you have shown me during my first 6 months at BCC. I am honored to work with you, to hear your stories of helping students and each other, and to see and feel the commitment to Berkeley City College’s diversity and excellence in transforming the lives of our students. I wish you all a holiday filled with happiness, warmth, and sparkling moments with loved ones and friends, and I look forward to being in community with you in the new year.


Denise Richardson, Ed.D.

President, Berkeley City College

Dr. Denise Richardson Selected to Serve as Next Berkeley City College President

OAKLAND, Calif., October 10, 2023 – During the regular Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees meeting this evening, Dr. Ronald McKinley, Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Employee Relations for the district, announced the appointment of Dr. Denise Richardson to serve as the permanent President of Berkeley City College (BCC). She has been working as Interim President at BCC since July 1, 2023. Previously, Dr. Richardson was the Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College, a role she began in March 2020. She has been an employee of the district for over 20 years, starting as a faculty member at Laney College in 2001.

Dr. Richardson follows Dr. Angélica Garcia, the previous Berkeley City College President, who stepped down at the end of June to become the President / Superintendent of Santa Rosa Junior College on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Richardson is an educational leader committed to respectful communication, facilitating equitable outcomes, and data-informed decision-making. She is a forward-thinking strategist focused on providing students with high-quality instruction, and faculty and classified professionals with current technology and relevant professional development. Following her tenure in the classroom, she has been an effective administrator with a ten-year record of demonstrating responsible budget management, supporting innovative curriculum and program development, and making hiring decisions that consider the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals of the college.

The appointment follows a national search that drew applicants from all over California and as far away as Florida. A screening committee made up of faculty, classified professionals, and administrators at BCC and across the district reviewed the applications, conducted the first round of interviews, and recommended three finalists with public community forums taking place at Berkeley City College on September 21st.

Dr. Jannett N. Jackson, Interim Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District was the hiring manager and noted, “Each of the finalists were excellent, experienced, and proven community college leaders; so, I want to thank the screening committee and the Human Resources department for their great work. Ultimately, Dr. Richardson is the best choice for Berkeley City College now, and into the future. She lives right here in Berkeley, and her unwavering support for this community and its students is evidenced by her over twenty years of employment within the Peralta district. It was difficult, but it was the right choice.”

“I’m so grateful to Chancellor Jackson and to the Board of Trustees for choosing me to continue to lead the incredible team of faculty, classified professionals, and administrators at Berkeley City College,” said Dr. Richardson. “We are already making great progress on my top three priorities, which are cultivating a collaborative campus community, closing the student achievement gap for Black and Brown students in alignment with BCC’s Educational Master Plan, and strengthening the identity of Berkeley City College as a hub for academic excellence and social justice.”

President Richardson continued, “There’s always more to do and I look forward to working with student leaders and employees alike to achieve our goals, like standardizing our tri-chair model of participatory governance, closing the Black and Brown student achievement gap 75% by 2025, and hosting a student speaker series on social justice issues. Berkeley City College is more than just the best school for students looking to transfer to UC Berkeley – we’ve got programs literally for everyone! From high school students looking for dual enrollment opportunities to earn college credit to life long learners looking for art programs. And it is not too late to take advantage of our Fall is Free fee waiver with Late Start classes beginning in October.”

Dr. Richardson’s contract for the presidency will be formally ratified by the Board of Trustees at their October 24, 2023, meeting.

About Berkeley City College
Berkeley City College’s mission is to promote student success, to provide our diverse community with educational opportunities, and to transform lives. Just two blocks from the University of California, Berkeley, the energetic campus of Berkeley City College stands on the cutting edge of community college education. University preparation and occupational training classes form the core of Berkeley City’s curriculum, which also features model programs in fields as diverse as American sign language, biotechnology, and multimedia. To learn more about Berkeley City College, visit www.berkeleycitycollege.edu

About Peralta Community College District
Founded in 1964, the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is a collaborative community of colleges comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. The Peralta Colleges provide a dynamic multicultural learning environment offering accessible, high-quality educational programs and services, including two-year degrees, certificates, and university transfer programs, to more than 30,000 students. PCCD is home to award-winning Peralta TV (Comcast channel 27/28, AT&T channel 99) and public radio KGPC-LP 96.9 FM. To learn more about the Peralta Colleges, visit www.peralta.edu.

Berkeley City College Granted Four Awards for Equitable Course Placement by the Campaign for College Opportunity

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – The Campaign for College Opportunity announced Berkeley
City College is a 2023 Champion for Excelling in Equitable Course Placement, receiving awards
for Campuswide English Enrollment, Latinx & Black English Enrollment and Black Math Success.

The awards recognize Berkeley City College has successfully supported 100% of students
to enroll directly into transfer-level English coursework, 100% of Latinx and 100% of Black
students to enroll directly into transfer-level English coursework. Of the 56 California
Community Colleges recognized, Berkeley City College is the only college recognized for
supporting at least 60% of Black students who enrolled in a transfer-level Math course to
successfully complete it within 1 year of their initial enrollment.

Additionally, BCC was able to support their Black students to succeed at rates equivalent
to or even exceeding those of the student body as a whole.

“Berkeley City College’s mission is to enable equitable student completion, providing
pathways for students to transfer to a four-year institution, gain skills in career education, and
earning college credit for dual enrolled high school students,” said Berkeley City College
President Angélica Garcia. “We are honored to be recognized by The Campaign for College
Opportunity. These awards are a testament to the equity work of our esteemed faculty,
classified professionals, and administrators who are dedicated to successful outcomes for all in
our community.”

Since the passage of AB 705 (Irwin) in 2017, the California Community Colleges has
drastically increased access to credit-bearing courses across all racial and ethnic groups,
doubling the number of students who complete transfer-level Math and English courses. Prior
to AB 705, the vast majority of incoming community college students were being placed into
remedial math and English courses that ultimately discouraged and derailed students on their
college journeys. Over a decade of research has shown that students’ likelihood of earning a
degree decreases when they start college in remedial courses.

“We applaud the record number of community colleges being recognized for their
achievement in supporting students to access and succeed in transfer-level coursework – many
of which are being recognized in several categories. These colleges are improving the college
experience of thousands of students across California,” said Michele Siqueiros, President of the
Campaign for College Opportunity. “We urge our state and college leaders to continue
removing barriers for students and further close racial/ethnic equity gaps for students by
ensuring strong equitable placement practices on their campus.”
Read the full list of rankings here.

BCC President Dr. Angélica Garcia Selected for Aspen Institute’s New Presidents Fellowship

BCC President Dr. Angélica Garcia Selected for Aspen Institute’s New Presidents Fellowship to Advance Student Success

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Dr. Angélica Garcia, President of Berkeley City College, is one of 25 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. This program supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they aim to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. The Fellowship’s philanthropic partner is JPMorgan Chase.

“I’m honored to receive such a prestigious fellowship,” said President Garcia. “I believe pursuing higher education is an act of liberation, especially for historically minoritized communities. Berkeley City College students are part of a thriving community which mirrors the Bay Area’s ethnic, cultural and socio-economic diversity. I am energized by the prospect that this fellowship will support the advancement of student success, completion, and building an equitable and racially just community at Berkeley City College.”

The 25 Aspen Fellows, who lead colleges that collectively serve more than 280,000 students, were selected through a highly competitive process. Starting later this year, the Fellows will engage over nine months in residential sessions and virtual learning to develop strategies to meet their goals for student success and equity with data to assess challenges and progress.

“We continue to learn how the best community colleges improve outcomes for students and close persistent race- and income-based equity gaps,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “This year’s fellows have demonstrated their commitment to achieving excellent and equitable student outcomes, and we are eager to work with them as they join Aspen’s network of more than 100 fellows who serve as community college presidents.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Garcia for her selection to this prestigious Fellowship. Her leadership at Berkeley City College here in the Bay Area’s diverse Peralta Community College District as well as her unique lived experiences that are representative of many of the students we serve will undoubtedly contribute a great deal to the Aspen New Presidents program. We are proud of her. Her peers in the program are lucky to have her,” said interim Chancellor Dr. Jannett N. Jackson.

As community colleges grapple with the impact of COVID and enrollment declines, turnover among presidents remains high. Aspen is committed to helping prepare the next generation of exceptionally capable and highly diverse leaders through its fellowship programs for new and rising presidents. This new class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is 52 percent female, and 64 percent are people of color. Located in 17 states, their institutions too are diverse, from a tribal college with fewer than 500 students to an urban college that educates more than 35,000 each year.

“Community colleges play a critical role in helping to prepare young adults and incumbent workers for in-demand jobs of the future,” said Monique Baptiste, Vice President and Head of Jobs & Skills for Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “Ensuring that the leaders of these institutions are equipped with the support and training they need to develop equitable student success is an integral part of building capacity over the long-run. JPMorgan Chase is proud to partner with the Aspen Institute to build the next generation of exceptional college leaders as they work to advance the prosperity of the diverse communities and students they serve.”

JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic support for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship is part of the firm’s New Skills at Work initiative to prepare young people for the future of work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers, and the $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and drive an inclusive economy. 

Link to full article …



Image by Leticia Luna, Managing Editor

September 4, 2021

by Ivan Chairez

Berkeley City College recently got awarded a little over 2.8 million dollars for Stem Cell Biology from CIRM. CIRM or California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is a company which was founded in 2004 after proposition 71 passed in California. Proposition 71 granted three billion dollars in stem cell research in California. CIRM mission is to fund institutions and companies that involve themselves in stem cell research in hopes to further and improve medicine for diagnosing and treating diseases more accurately.

The CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research Award for Berkeley City College will help minority students who are underrepresented in health sciences, enrolled in biotechnology by funding hands-on research, hands-on training in laboratories and internships programs at BCC. In an interview with Berkeley City College President Dr. Angélica Garcia said “From now on moving forward the deans, the instructional leadership team, and the faculty know that my focus is that the students who are getting access to these high quality programs are representative of the students that are in the community.” This grant award also includes training at the UCSF shared laboratory, as well as a nine month research internship in stem cell laboratories around the Bay Area. CIRM hopes that this grant will encourage students to pursue their occupation in stem cell research. Some students will have the opportunity to work with scientists and bio technicians in the field. Students will also have the opportunity to involve themselves in industry seminars and workshops. 

Dr. Angélica Garcia explained that Berkeley City’s College’s new building will focus on expanding their science lab floor, with plans to make space for a STEM center. Garcia says  “We’re looking at expanding the possibility of taking almost an entire floor and getting a significant chunk of it to extend to biotechnology and broader sciences, such as programs like computer science, computer Information Systems, and also mathematics”

Companies such as CIRM are teaming up with Colleges such as BCC to help diversify and attract more students into STEM programs in hopes of improving medicine. Dr. Angélica Garcia goes on to say “Our communities have been our best teachers, often diverse communities have higher rates of medical conditions because the system doesn’t give us access to the preventative health care, and the preventative medicine, and the preventative medical studies to become informed to be better about it I would tell students who are interested in something like biotechnology to look at yourself, observe yourself, study yourself and then ask yourself what are the stories that need to be told what is the research that needs to be done, what are the social problems that need to be solved here.

Berkeley City College continues to pave the way for its students to pursue their dream careers.

Read the complete article here.