A Guide to Student Life at SBBCollege Bakersfield

Set at the Southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, half way between Fresno and Los Angeles, Bakersfield is one of the liveliest and fastest growing areas of California. This thriving community means there is always lots to do both on and off campus and is a perfect base for student life.

Our college in Bakersfield was opened in 1982 and has become one of our most popular campus locations. Here at SBBC Bakersfield we offer an intimate campus community in a big city environment, meaning the best of both worlds for students of all ages.  

On Campus

Our Bakersfield campus offers a wide range of practical facilities including computer labs, medical labs and a learning resource center. There are extensive student support services offered, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure students have all of the facilities needed to thrive. We offer assistance with job placement, resume writing and will even help you improve your job interview skills.

In addition to these useful services, there are often a range of fun activities taking place across the campus, including our regular fundraising events for local and national charities.

Nearby Facilities

Shopping: Bakersfield has an excellent selection of shopping facilities. The Valley Plaza Mall, situated just a short drive from campus, has a range of big brand stores and independent retailers. There are also a number of supermarkets, delis and convenience stores just a few minutes’ walk from campus.

US Post Office: The local post office is situated on Stockdale Highway, just 10 minutes’ walk from campus.

Public Library: A short bus ride off campus is the Beale Memorial Library; the County’s central research library which stocks a huge range of materials for many areas of research.  Also within walking distance of the campus is the Walter W.Stiern Library.

McMurtrey Aquatic Center: A quick bus journey away from campus is McMurtrey Aquatic Center, a state-of-the-art swimming facility with an Olympic sized competition pool, water slides and child play features.

Movie Theaters: Film fans will find lots to do in Bakersfield, with 5 multi-screen movie theaters showing everything from the latest blockbusters and independent gems to re-issued classics.

City Parks: Bakersfield has a huge number of parks to visit. Within a 2 mile radius of the campus alone you will find Beach Park, Saunders Park and Jastro Park. These three areas offer a variety of facilities including picnic areas, softball and soccer fields, volleyball courts and a skate park. 

Bakersfield Museum of Art

Photo Credit: Bakersfield Museum of Art.


Bakersfield has a strong sense of history and there many museums and exhibits in the area showcasing both local and national history.

Kern Country Museum: Take an interactive step into the history of Bakersfield by visiting these 56 expertly preserved historic buildings of the town, including jail houses, log cabins, a courthouse and an award winning oil exhibition.

Bakersfield Museum of Art: The Bakersfield Museum of Art houses a wide variety of paintings, sculptures and other artwork across beautiful indoor galleries and idyllic garden settings in downtown Bakersfield.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History: This sprawling 16,000 ft museum is a treat for history buffs, showcasing a range of unique fossils you won’t find anywhere else. Displays include Miocene fossils, animal mounts from across the globe, Native American artifacts, a significant display of petrified woods and much more.

Bakersfield Zoo

The Bakersfield Zoo (or California Living Museum as it is also known) is the state’s premier native zoo and botanic garden. The beautiful 13 acre site set in the foothills of Bakersfield is home to an incredible collection of animals including reptiles, black bears and birds of prey to name just a few.

Metro Art Galleries

For those seeking some local culture, the nearby Metro Art Galleries showcases an excellent mixture of painting, pottery and contemporary mixed media pieces. The Gallery exclusively represents the work of 25 established and emerging local artists. 

Stars Theatre

A downtown favorite of locals, The Stars Theatre regularly puts on runs of off-Broadway musicals and comedy performances. They also offer a classy pre-theatre menu which makes for an ideal night out.

Lake Ming

Both in and around Bakersfield, there are some incredible landscapes to be seen. The beautiful Lake Ming is just 25 minutes’ drive away; this man-made recreational lake is commonly used for water skiing and fishing.

Rabobank Arena

Just a short drive off campus is the 10,000 capacity multi-purpose Rabobank Arena, which brings the very best in touring theater and music acts to the city. The Arena also plays host to regular performances by the local Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra.

Rabobank Arena Bakersfield

Photo Credit: Michael Duffy - Duffy Photography. The Rabobank Arena.

Kern Canyon

Just a 20 minute drive away from campus you can reach Kern Canyon– often described as one of California’s best kept secrets –with its stunning views and great hiking routes. Following Kern Canyon Road also leads you to the equally impressive Lake Isabella, about one hour drive off campus and a day trip favorite for many Bakersfield locals.


The Bakersfield area has a number of excellent public golf courses set in picturesque locations. A short drive away from campus, situated next to Lake Ming, is the Kern River Golf Course. The public course runs along the Kern River and has hirable picnic areas. Also nearby is the Valley Rose Golf Course and Sycamore Canyon Golf Course – the latter is well known for the eight lakes which come into play across eight holes. 

Local News

Bakersfield has a very active media landscape and there are a number of television, radio and newspapers to keep you up to date with local, including:

Find out more about the great range of programs available at SBBCollege Bakersfield.

Find out more about life at our other campuses: 


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