Require Bakersfield College Counseling/Financial aid staff to receive thorough training.
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At Bakersfield College, many students are first time students that are attending a junior college. Many students reach out to faculty like the Financial Aid and Counselor's offices. In doing so, they're placing their trust in people who are paid to help them. These students often admit to being confused as first time students and really just want to make sure they're headed in the right direction. These students have goals and all they want is for someone to give them the correct information. At Bakersfield College there is an epidemic of faculty brought on to provide guidance and not being educated with the proper information to help students. We have a Financial Aid department that is there to provide help in the area of Financial Aid. There are many students who depend on their financial aid to get by in school and look to staff to properly guide them through the process. The Financial Aid staff including student workers and advisers are not giving out proper information. Many times they are guessing and giving answers to students. There are more than enough instances where the Financial Aide staff have misdirected students causing financial burdens. The Counseling office at Bakersfield College is a mess. Sometimes, you wait months for an appointment unless you want to do a walk-in and that isn't even guaranteed. The counseling staff is also there to guide students in their education and yet they're giving out different answers, guessing about rules and regulations and winging their advice. Students are reporting meeting with the counseling staff and being told to take certain classes they don't need, or even not to take classes they do need. They are being told to sign up for classes that effect their units and have no overall use for their degree, for the sake of financial aid status. This results to the blind leading the blind, and is harming the future of Bakersfield College students. We need our college to properly train staff in positions of power such as guidance. We need staff to understand the advice they are giving and the directions they are pointing people is a process not to be taken lightly. We need these two offices to know the rules and regulations so they can work with students and give them real advice that will guide them towards their goals in an honest fashion. We need this section of faculty to be well-versed in their fields because they are guiding a generation of students who have real lives and goals they want to accomplish.
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