COLLEGE NAMED ONE OF NATION’S
COLLEGE ONE OF STATE’S
BEST FOR ADULT LEARNERS Page 3
BEST FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
NEW SOCCER FIELD Page 8
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS • MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE SINCE 1969
PLAN NOW FOR WINTER, SPRING CLASSES I t is never too late to take classes at College of the Canyons. Students can get a jump-start on their academic goals by taking classes during the winter session, which is scheduled to start Tuesday, Jan. 3 and run through Saturday, Feb. 4. Registration for winter intersession is scheduled to begin Monday, Nov. 7. The number of classes offered during both upcoming sessions represents an in-
crease over the previous year. Approximately 312 class sections will be offered during the winter session, up from the 280 class sections offered during the previous winter session. The winter session will be followed immediately by the spring semester, whose registration will begin Tuesday, Jan. 3. Approximately 1,805 class sections will be offered, up from 1,770 class sections of-
fered the previous spring. The spring semester will run from Monday, Feb. 6 to Thursday, June 1. Winter and spring courses will be heavy on general-education “core” classes that students need to graduate, transfer to four-year universities, or meet course prerequisites. For more information, call (661) 3623280 or visit www.canyons.edu.
UPCOMING SESSIONS WINTER INTERSESSION
• Jan. 3 to Feb. 4, 2017 • Registration begins Nov. 7 SPRING SEMESTER
• Feb. 6 to June 1, 2017 • Registration begins Jan. 3
SCIENCE EXPERIMENT SOARS
Student Project Chosen to Fly Aboard NASA High-Altitude Platform
embers of the College of the Canyons Astronomy & Physics Club spent countless hours over the summer preparing, testing and fine-tuning an experimental prototype designed to collect cosmic dust particles in the upper stratosphere. Those efforts paid off the morning of Thursday, Sept. 1, when their prototype was carried aloft aboard NASA’s High Altitude Student Platform (HASP), a scientific research balloon that achieved an altitude of approximately 122,000 feet, or 23 miles above the earth. College of the Canyons was the only community college chosen to participate in this year’s HASP program, and it is one of only four community colleges ever to participate in the program’s 10-year history. The program is operated by Louisiana State University’s Space Sciences Group. Through funding provided by the college’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), a six-person team traveled to Palestine, Texas in July for testing and device integration at NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility. The payload ascended from the facility’s launch base in New Mexico. SEE SCIENCE ON PAGE 7
DEGREE PATHWAY SHEDS HIGH TEXTBOOK COSTS A
college degree that uses free learning materials instead of costly commercial textbooks? What sounds like a student’s impossible dream is expected to become reality at College of the Canyons by the fall of 2017. In an effort to make a college education more affordable for all students, College of the Canyons is on track to begin offering an associate degree in sociology in which all the classes use Open Educational Resources (OER). OERs are teaching and learning materials that have been released in the public domain or under an intellectual property license as a no-cost alternative to traditional textbooks. By incorporating more OER materials into course curriculum, COC students will soon be able to earn an associate degree by taking only OER-based courses that do not require students to purSEE TEXTBOOKS ON PAGE 4
College of the Canyons 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91355
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COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
STATEWIDE HONOR FOR CLASSIFIED SENATE
he Santa Clarita Community College District Classified Senate was awarded the California Community College Classified Senate (4CS) Model Senate award, an honor that was bestowed upon only three of California’s 113 community colleges, during the statewide Classified Leadership Institute Conference. The award, which was accepted by Justin Hunt and Andrea Varney, Classified Senate president and secretary/ treasurer, respectively, is entrusted to California community college senates that demonstrate drive, leadership, and innovation on behalf of the classified constituency they serve and their counterparts at other institutions. “I am overwhelmed with pride as our Classified Senate is only recently resurrected, and already acknowledged to be a beacon of innovative excellence,” said Hunt. “Clearly this reflects the absolutely amazing staff we are fortunate enough to serve, the supportive leadership and district which encourages our growth, the very talented faculty we work alongside, and of course, the success we get to celebrate in our students.” Reinstated in 2013 after an 11-year hiatus, the Clas-
sified Senate promotes the interests of all classified staff members. It assists classified staff members with achieving the college’s mission and goals while creating a successful learning environment for students. “The classified staff at COC exemplify the college’s reputation for innovation and excellence,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “Every day, they are working to move our college forward and enhance what we do for the benefit of students and the community. Our Classified Senate plays an integral role in advocating on behalf of the college’s classified staff members, and I am delighted that its exemplary efforts to go above and beyond have been recognized.” Beyond ensuring classified representation in committees and decision-making on campus, the Classified Senate has many other roles, including disseminating information to classified staff, promoting professional and personal development, and facilitating committee potency. “It’s extremely important for senates to exist in California community colleges and be engaged in collegial consultation,” added Hunt.
News Briefs COLLEGE RECOGNIZED FOR GRAD PLACEMENTS
College of Canyons has received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the South Bay Workforce Investment Board for attaining a 100 percent placement rate for graduates of its Fast Track CNC Operator Program. “Our CNC manufacturing programs were created to provide students with real-world and hands-on experience in order to make them more competitive when entering the workforce,” said Michael Bastine, director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at the college. The program is designed for students seeking entry-level jobs in the CNC manufacturing industry. Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as SpaceX, Aerotek, Aerospace Dynamics International, Paragon Precision and RAH Industries. For information about the program, visit www.canyonsecondev.org.
CHANCELLOR NAMED PACESETTER OF YEAR
College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook has been named Pacesetter of the Year for Region 6 by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). The award recognizes a president or CEO at a two-year community or technical college who has demonstrated leadership and support in the area of college communications and marketing. “The quality of marketing, advertising and communications directly impacts access for our students, the opportunities created for our students and the development of partnerships,” Dr. Van Hook said. “Through the efforts and leadership of this essential component of the college, our college district becomes the bridge to opportunity for our community and together we build the foundation for the future.”
KUDOS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION STUDENTS AND SCVIP REPRESENTATIVES WERE HONORED BY THE SANTA CLARITA CITY COUNCIL FOR THEIR AID EFFORTS IN NICARAGUA.
CITY RECOGNIZES STUDENTS FOR AID TRIP
or the school-age children living on Lake Nicaragua’s hundreds of picturesque islands, going to school in the port city of Granada is no easy feat. Born into impoverished families who watch over island summer homes, children must board canoes riddled with holes, scooping out water with buckets as they paddle along. The struggles of Nicaraguan children and the challenges faced by schools in that country made a profound impact on the six College of the Canyons students and Santa Clarita Valley International Program (SCVIP) representatives who spent eight days in Nicaragua for its 2016 Global Collaboration Project. The team donated hundreds of books, school supplies, and instructional aides such as maps and white boards, to four elementary schools in Granada, Nicaragua, including a school for at-risk girls. The students – Angela De Santiago, Fernanda Jaramillo, Gabriela Linares, Gerardo Reyes, Andrew Rodriguez, and Kelly Sierra – braved extreme summer temperatures to gather and deliver donations. Originally intending to donate supplies to Miravalle – a SCVIP sister school – the students collected enough donations to support three additional school sites. “I’m very proud of the amazing students and how they came together to make this trip successful,” said Claudia Acosta, chair of the Modern Languages Department and SCVIP board member. “They all touched
the hearts of other people.” The students learned about global connections, real problems of the 21st century, poverty, education challenges in third-world countries, ecology and conservation efforts, added Acosta. “This trip helped them understand their role as global citizens and local ambassadors representing COC and Santa Clarita.” The Santa Clarita City Council honored the group during a recent meeting. “While developing international goodwill, our representatives also provided books and school supplies to a local school and led reading lessons to children. It’s great to see students and residents represent Santa Clarita in such a meaningful way,” said Ken Striplin, Santa Clarita city manager. The students also were accompanied by SCVIP board members Elena Galvez, Art Moore and Dr. João Junqueira. As a non-profit, SCVIP focuses on developing and promoting strategic alliances and goodwill between Santa Clarita and international cities. The Global Collaborative Project is a joint effort by COC and SCVIP to implement student projects abroad. The students who participated in the Global Collaboration Project belong to various college organizations and clubs, such as ASG, Knowledge Enlightenment & Endurance Club, Association of Students United for the Language, Sigma Delta Mu, Military Club, and Association of Latin American Students.
COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH USC SOCIAL WORK
ollege of the Canyons has partnered with University of Southern California’s (USC) Suzanne DworakPeck School of Social Work, the largest social school in the world, to provide personal counseling services to COC students in need. Every semester, at least two second-year USC graduate students working toward master’s degrees in social work will be assigned to provide counseling and support services through the Veterans Resource Center and Student Health & Wellness Center. The partnership will provide USC students with internship opportunities needed to develop skills in a clinical setting, along with important practical experience. USC interns will also have the opportunity to learn from Veterans Resource Center therapists and specialists involved with other programs, such as the Domestic Violence Center and the Child and Family Center. “We hope this mutually beneficial partnership will help provide COC students with additional high-quality counseling services,” said Dr. Jerry Buckley, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction. In addition, USC interns will engage in case man-
agement, provide outreach training and wellness activities, conduct training sessions, and participate in a variety of community meetings. The partnership is made possible by the support of Elliott and Judy Wolfe, members of the COC Foundation’s Chancellor’s Circle. After learning about the college’s large veteran population, they began working to build a bridge between COC and USC, the Wolfes’ alma mater. Mrs. Wolfe currently serves as a pro bono fieldwork supervisor to the two USC interns providing services to veterans at College of the Canyons. The college’s Student Health & Wellness Center is an integrated health and mental health program that works closely with Veterans Services. The Wolfes also organized the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative, a consortium of more than 50 businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations that help veterans access therapy, counseling, housing, medical care and employment services. “We are looking for more businesses and organizations who are interested in helping veterans in our community,” said Mr. Wolfe.
The Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium (SCEEC) received the North American Association for Environmental Education Award for Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Oct. 22 at the association’s annual conference in Madison, Wis. SCEEC is a public-private initiative sponsored by College of the Canyons, Lockheed Martin, Sempra Energy, SCV Family of Water Suppliers, and other community stakeholders that promotes environmental literacy in the Santa Clarita Valley. Through multiple environmental education projects, SCEEC has encouraged hundreds of K-14 students to practice and pursue sustainability. SCEEC also holds an annual Green STEM Summit to introduce students and educators to the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This year’s event will be held Nov. 19 at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center. For more information, call (661) 362-3188.
NEW HEAD OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
College of the Canyons has named financial analyst and educational administrator Jeffrey Forrest its vice president of economic and workforce development. Forrest assumes the position previously held by Joe Klocko, who retired earlier this year. “I hope to provide leadership and support to the business units of the college’s Economic Development Division in its efforts to foster job training, business services, and employment opportunities for students, residents, and Santa Clarita businesses,” Forrest said. “I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to champion the message of College of the Canyons as an innovative, entrepreneurial college that is committed to the growth and prosperity of the community.” Forrest also will be responsible for developing partnerships with business leaders and economic development organizations across the state and region.
Breaking News is published by the College of the Canyons Public Information Office to inform the community about programs, events, issues and accomplishments of the Santa Clarita Valley’s community college. It is distributed to residences, P.O. boxes and businesses within the Santa Clarita Community College District. Advertising is not accepted. MAIL: College of the Canyons Public Information Office 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
COLLEGE NAMED ONE OF BEST IN U.S. FOR ADULT LEARNERS
ollege of the Canyons has been ranked among the top-25 U.S. colleges for adult learners in Washington Monthly magazine’s first-ever ranking of “Best Two-Year Colleges for Adult Learners.” Citing a lack of college rankings for adult students – defined as students who are older than 25 – Washington Monthly analyzed data from 1,178 two-year colleges to create its list of the top-100 two-year colleges in the nation. “True to its mission, College of the Canyons is committed to providing a high-quality education to all, including adult students,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said.
“Our flexible programs and numerous resources have helped many adult learners reach their educational goals while juggling full-time jobs and family responsibilities. It is an honor to be included among the top-25 two-year colleges that provide a wide array of services for adult students.” Last fall, students 25 and older made up 37 percent of COC’s student population. Washington Monthly analyzed data from the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey, as well as the department’s College Scorecard
database to rank colleges using the following seven metrics: • Ease of transfer/enrollment • Flexibility of programs • Services available for adult students • Percentage of adult students • Mean earnings of adult students 10 years after entering college • Loan repayment rates of adult students five years after entering repayment • Tuition and fees for in-district students On a scale of 19 possible points, COC scored 17 points – 4 out of 4 for ease of transSEE BEST ON PAGE 7
STUDENT GOES 45 YEARS BACK TO THE FUTURE
n the first day of his humanities class in 2015, College of the Canyons student Robert Lebo gazed out the classroom window before the lecture began. Concerned, his professor asked him if he was OK. “I told him I could hardly believe that 45 years had passed since I last stood on this campus,” said Lebo. Lebo, 64, was a member of the college’s graduating class of 1971, the first class to complete classes entirely on campus and not at Hart High School, his alma mater. In 1969, young men had two options after graduating high school: Go to college or get drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. “As a 17-year-old high school graduate, I knew what my option was going to be,” he said. Lebo took evening classes at COC with the goal of transferring to a four-year college to study English. To support himself financially, he worked the “Log Jammer” ride at Magic Mountain. “As I look back, I value the fact that I was able to get an affordable two-year jump on education,” said Lebo, who urges college-bound students to first attend a community college to avoid being burdened by debt. When he earned his associate degree, the first in his family to do so, Lebo did not walk the graduation stage, primarily because his friends and family were indifferent to his accomplishment. “COC was a ‘junior college.’ To some it wasn’t considered a real college,” Lebo said. SEE FUTURE ON PAGE 6
ROBERT LEBO IS ONCE AGAIN A STUDENT AT COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS – 45 YEARS AFTER GRADUATING.
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COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
MEASURE E POSITIONS COLLEGE TO MEET COMMUNITY’S NEEDS
ith Santa Clarita Valley voters approving Measure E by a 57.59 percent majority, College of the Canyons will have the resources needed to not only meet the demands of growing student enrollment, but also address the community’s future needs for education and training. The college, which was originally designed in 1967 for a capacity of 5,000 students at build-out, now serves more than 20,000 students at the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses. Projections estimate that student enrollment will surpass 30,000 in little more than a decade. Measure E will enable the college to expand its facilities and help students enroll in courses they need to graduate and reach their educational goals. “With the $230 million resources local voters made available through Measure E, College of the Canyons will expand access to high-quality education and create more
opportunities for the students, businesses, and community partners we serve,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “Measure E also positions the college to be responsive to emerging workforce training demands as the Santa Clarita Valley’s dynamic economy continues to thrive.” Recent estimates show that by 2020 nearly two-thirds of job openings in the U.S. will require some postsecondary education or training, though not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. With 1 million jobs in California expected to require at least some college education by 2020, College of the Canyons will play an integral role in ensuring the local workforce is trained and qualified for the increasingly skilled positions found in the area’s companies. “With new facilities, College of the Canyons can continue to deliver relevant education and training programs that are responsive to emerging and ever-evolving local industry needs, thus equipping students to be successful in
cutting-edge fields,” Van Hook said. Measure E adhered to the guidelines of Proposition 39, which requires approval by 55 percent of the voters within the college district. It also includes accountability measures such as a citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits. College of the Canyons operates two campuses, a 154-acre site in Valencia and a 72-acre facility in Canyon Country. On the day it opened in 2007, the Canyon Country Campus exceeded its five-year enrollment target, welcoming more than 3,500 students. Due to its continued enrollment growth, the campus is eligible to receive 85 percent of the construction costs of three permanent buildings from the state, only if the college has local funding to match state resources, and assuming state resources are available. Measure E will assist the college in leveraging available state resources for construction projects at both campuses.
FITCH, S&P ISSUE HIGH MEASURE M BOND RATINGS
T AN UPCOMING CAPITAL PROJECT TO BE FUNDED BY COLLEGE BOND FUNDS IS A PLANNED SCIENCE AND CLASSROOM CENTER AT THE CANYON COUNTRY CAMPUS.
JOINT CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CREATED
he College of the Canyons Board of Trustees approved the formation of a joint bond oversight committee to oversee the expenditure of the college’s Measure M and Measure E bonds. A Measure M oversight committee was formed in 2006, but with the recent passing of Measure E, an additional oversight committee was required under the terms of approval. Rather than forming two separate committees, a single committee will oversee both bonds. Representing different required categories, members of the citizens bond oversight committee are listed at right. Both measures are subject to strict accountability rules mandated by Proposition 39. The law requires the college to appoint a committee to provide oversight to ensure bond revenues are expended only on those projects specified in the bond measures and that they are not spent on instructor or administrator salaries or operating expenses of the District. On June 7, Santa Clarita Valley voters approved Measure E, which will allocate
CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEMBERS Katherine Martinez
Senior Citizens Organization
Bona-fide Taxpayers Organization
$230 million to the Santa Clarita Community College District for construction projects. Measure E will fund the construction of new buildings at both campuses, 1,000 parking spots, and create more labs for students. Bond funds will also be used to update existing buildings and address urgent facility needs, which includes aged roof-
ing, electrical system upgrades, as well as earthquake and fire safety issues. Upgrades will also be made to stairs, walkways, ramps and parking lots to comply with current requirements for providing access to disabled students. By law, bond revenues may not be spent on faculty or administrative salaries and expenses.
he Santa Clarita Community College District has received high bond ratings from FitchRatings and Standard & Poor (S&P) Ratings, marking the final Measure M issuance. Fitch issued an AAA rating, the highest rating possible, for the district’s $20 million 2016 general obligation bonds, citing a stable outlook. “College of the Canyons is proud to have earned a ‘AAA’ rating from Fitch which is largely attributable to the strength of the local economy and the sound fiscal health and management of the college,” said Sharlene Coleal, assistant superintendent and vice president of business services at the college. S&P issued an AA (stable) long-term rating to the district’s general bonds from the election of 2006, series 2016, also citing a stable outlook. “The high ratings garnered by our final issuance of Measure M will allow the college to move forward with our goals for expansion to continue meeting the needs of our growing student population,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “It is an exciting time for College of the Canyons and for the Santa Clarita Valley community.” Measure M will begin the funding of the construction of a science building at the Canyon Country campus and a 1,000-space parking structure at the Valencia campus. Measure M was approved by Santa Clarita Valley voters on Nov. 7, 2006. The $160 million bond measure helped the college build more classrooms, labs, and improve disabled access. The bond also helped secure millions of dollars in state matching funds that otherwise would have been lost. Fitch and S&P use factual information from the district, underwriters, and other credible sources when issuing ratings. Fitch and S&P obtain verification of the factual information gathered from independent sources.
TEXTBOOKS FROM PAGE 1
chase expensive college textbooks. “We are very excited to begin offering our students an OER degree pathway to help them reach their educational goals without being deterred by the price tag on college textbooks,” said James Glapa-Grossklag, dean of educational technology, learning resources and distance learning at the college. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the cost of textbooks grew at three times the rate of inflation between 2002 and 2016. According to research by the non-profit organization College Board, the average college student is expected to spend more than $1,200 a year on textbooks and school supplies. Already, the biology, chemistry, counseling, geology, history, mathematics, sociology and water technology departments use OER materials.
College of the Canyons students save an estimated $1 million or more per year by using OER materials instead of commercial textbooks. The college’s Associated Student Government (ASG) recently passed a resolution in favor of OER use. It encourages “faculty to consider open education resources when academically appropriate.” The ASG also urges the California Legislature and other state officials and representatives to support adoption of OER education as a solution to rising textbook costs. “We hope that this first OER-only degree program will pave the way for other OER courses at the college,” said Glapa-Grossklag, who was recently re-elected as the president of the Open Education Consortium, a worldwide association of higher education institutions committed to advancing open education.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are making education more accessible by lowering costs. With the cost of textbooks at an all-time high, many students’ success depends more on affordability. In fact, 42 percent of College of the Canyons students reported in 2016 that the cost of books influenced their decisions to enroll in courses. By adopting and promoting OER, the college is removing barriers for students to succeed.
OER PROGRESS AT COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS • More than 40 different OER classes in Sociology, Math, Biology, History, Water, Business, Chemistry, Psychology and Counseling. • Search for OER courses coming June 2017. • Sociology OER pathway ready in fall 2017. • More than $750,000 in savings for students in fall 2016. • It is estimated that COC’s investment in OER will save students more than $1 million in 2016-17. OER WEBSITES • www.canyons.edu/OpenEd-Faculty • www.canyons.edu/OER-Students
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
STUDENT SUCCESS RATE ONE OF BEST IN STATE T
he California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has unveiled its most recent Student Success Scorecard, with College of the Canyons ranking near the top in several key categories. This year’s report, based on data collected during the 2014-15 academic year, includs several encouraging statistics related to the levels of success that students experience at College of the Canyons. Statistics show that first-time COC students who graduated high school as “college prepared” and were eligible to enroll in degree-applicable math and English courses posted a combined completion rate (defined as earning an associate degree, certificate or achieving “transfer-prepared” status) of 80 percent – 10 percent higher than the statewide average of approximately 70 percent. Overall, that mark ranked second among the state’s 113 community colleges. Similarly, the college posted the highest completion rates for all three categories (prepared, unprepared and overall) among all community colleges in L.A. County. The 51.5 percent completion rate for COC’s “unprepared” student groups was the fifth highest in the state – again outpacing the statewide average by 10 percent. The college’s overall completion rate for all students (prepared and unprepared) ranked 10th in the state at 57 percent, and was again 10 percentage points ahead of the statewide average. “These results speak to the quality of education at College of the Canyons, and the commitment made by our faculty, classified staff and administration to invest in the success of our students,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. First introduced in 2013, the Student Success Scorecard is an online performance
measurement system and accountability tool that tracks student success and performance at all California community colleges. It provides a longitudinal look at how students are progressing past momentum points on their way to transferring or receiv-
ing degrees and certificates. Designed to help students achieve their educational goals more quickly, the Student Success Scorecard is part of a larger initiative by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to increase the number
of students who earn certificates and degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions. Results for all California community colleges can be found at: http://scorecard. cccco.edu/scorecard.aspx.
GRADUATES IN U.S. TOP-15 FOR SALARY POTENTIAL
HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS DISCOVERED POTENTIAL MAJORS AND LUCRATIVE CAREER PATHS DURING MAJORQUEST, WHICH WAS HELD AT THE VALENCIA CAMPUS ON MONDAY, OCT. 17. COUNSELORS AND FACULTY MEMBERS SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCES AND EXPERTISE WITH STUDENTS.
COLLEGE AWARDED STUDENT SUCCESS GRANT
three-year, approximately $1.5 million grant will enable College of the Canyons to expand existing programs and implement new initiatives that improve student success. The Basic Skills and Student Outcome Transformation Program grant, a competitive award given by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, will fund efforts that help students successfully transition from high school to college, and move more quickly from remedial classes to college-level coursework and ultimately achieve their higher education goals. “College of the Canyons is recognized as a statewide leader for creating innovative programs and services that boost student success and completion,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “This grant
enables us to expand on our initial efforts and make these services widely available to more students. The end result will be a more streamlined path to graduation and transfer, or earning a certificate and launching a career in a fast-growing, well-paying industry.” In all, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved $60 million in grant funding for the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program. A total of 43 California community colleges will receive a portion of the funds. The grant is a response to the ongoing need to improve student completion for students who enter college under-prepared for the academic rigor and increased coursework demands. According to the Student Success Scorecard for 2016, 80 percent of
students who entered COC prepared for college met their goals for earning a degree and transferring, while 51.5 percent of underprepared students met their goals within the same time period. One of the most effective strategies for closing that gap is the implementation of accelerated math and English programs that combine two classes into one, allowing students to move more quickly in college-level course work. Math 75 prepares students who are not majoring in fields related to science, technology, engineering or math to take college-level statistics. And, English 96 replaces a two-course sequence that prepares students for the transfer-level curriculum in just one course. SEE GRANT ON PAGE 7
ollege of the Canyons has been ranked among the top 15 best community and career colleges by alumni salary potential in PayScale’s 2016-17 College Salary Report. The list ranks 381 two-year colleges across the nation by post-graduation earnings to help associate degree-seeking students make informed choices when selecting a college to attend. The list also allows students to compare the salaries of workers who graduated from other schools and graduated with an associate or bachelor’s degree. “College of the Canyons is committed to preparing our students to enter the workforce with the education and skills they will need, and providing additional educational opportunities to remain competitive,” said Dr. Jerry Buckley, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction at the college. “It is an honor to be included among the top 15 two-year colleges who produce graduates that enter high-earning jobs.” According to the report, COC graduates were shown to earn $38,100 in early career pay and $64,600 in mid-career pay. The rankings were created from data submitted by employees who completed PayScale’s employee survey online for compensation. PayScale provides survey participants with a detailed compensation report regarding their value in the labor market. The accompanying article mentioned that “public community colleges produce the highest earners” and “are usually the most affordable way to get a college education whether you want an AA or want to transfer to a four-year school.” PayScale is an online company that gathers salary information by allowing employees to submit salary and job data. COC provides current and former students with numerous employment-related resources, such as internships through the Cooperative Work Experience Education program and access to on-campus job fairs.
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
NURSING PROGRAM SEEKS NEW ACCREDITATION
he College of the Canyons Nursing Program has reached a significant milestone by receiving Pre-Accreditation Candidacy Status from the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN-CNEA), which is effective for three years. The program, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) since 1996, is seeking NLNCNEA accreditation for the curriculum freedom it provides. “The change in accreditation affords the nursing program the freedom to alter the curriculum, when necessary, to keep up with contemporary nursing practice standards,” said Dr. Diane Baker, director of the college’s nursing program. “We believe
that the mission of the NLN-CNEA more closely aligns with College of the Canyons nursing program mission and philosophical approach to nursing education.” The decision to seek NLN-CNEA accreditation initiated with the nursing program’s faculty who gained the support of the college’s administration through their demonstrated commitment and effort to obtaining recognition of accreditation by NLN-CNEA. When the nursing program first gained national accreditation in 1996, ACEN was the only national accreditation agency for nursing programs. Unlike ACEN, NLNCNEA is not a Title IV gatekeeper, which limits the total number of units that a nursing program can offer.
The imposed limitation on the total number of units nursing programs can offer often limits faculty from altering the curriculum in a manner that best prepares nursing students for ever-increasing responsibilities. The accreditation change will not change the nursing program’s curriculum and is not expected to impact students currently completing the Associate Degree Nursing Program during the transition from ACEN to NLN-CNEA. COC nursing graduates will still have access to baccalaureate nursing transfer programs. “The College of the Canyons Nursing Program has a strong history of producing competent and well-prepared entry-level registered nurses who are trusted and highly regarded by local employers,” said Mi-
cah Young, associate dean of the School of Mathematics, Sciences and Health Professions. “That tradition will continue as we seek recognition by the National League for Nursing-Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation.” The program will remain accredited with ACEN through Dec. 31. The earliest the program would receive full NLN-CEA accreditation is the spring 2018 semester. “College of the Canyons nursing program faculty, under the leadership of Dr. Diane Baker, has completed significant work toward being recognized by NLN-CNEA, while including informing our various stakeholders including students, hospital affiliates and baccalaureate educational partners in the process,” said Young.
JACK AND DOREEN SHINE TO RECEIVE SILVER SPUR AWARD
hen Jack and Doreen Shine first crossed paths in the real estate world in 1993, little did they know their union would lead to a continuous commitment to serve community members of the Santa Clarita Valley. Today, whether they are building homes, contributing to local charities, or advocating on behalf of education and the arts, the Shines continue to work tirelessly to provide their support into making the Santa Clarita Valley a better place. That dedication to the community led the College of the Canyons Foundation to name Jack and Doreen Shine the recipients of the college’s Silver Spur Community Service Award for 2017. “Because of their ongoing efforts to give back to others and the significant contributions they have made to this community, we are honored to recognize Jack and Doreen with this award,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “From the arts to affordable housing to family wellness, they have set a standard of personal involvement and generosity that serves as an example to us all. Jack and Doreen have shown us that care and commitment can make a lasting difference in shaping the community’s growth.” As founder and president of American Beauty Homes, Jack has played a significant role in redefining the Santa Clarita Valley’s landscape, particularly Canyon Country, by building trendy, affordable homes for many first-time homebuyers. Passionate about the arts, Jack has also served as president of the Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission and as a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Arts Council. In 1970, Doreen left Ireland and a career in the Department of Social Welfare for a new start in the U.S. The Irish expat was a stay-at-home mom, fitness expert
FUTURE FROM PAGE 3
“But to me it was a big deal, being a part of the first graduating class, after studying harder than I ever had before for that associate degree.” Lebo remembers taking classes at the Valencia campus in 1970 and ‘71 in windowless, trailer-like buildings. He vividly recalls the mud on campus during rainy periods. “There was just enough blacktop to provide access to and from each trailer, parking lot and the street,” said Lebo. “When I walk through the campus now, 45 years later, I can’t figure out or remember where anything was.” After graduating from COC with an associate degree, Lebo earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, San Francisco in 1974. He then took to the skies as a flight attendant based at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, logging more than 1,350 round-trip flights to Europe and the Middle East over the next 25 years. On his days off, he attended Fordham University and earned a master of social work degree. As a graduate student, he interned at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Senior Action in Gay Environment (SAGE) and Covenant House New York, where he was later hired as a research associate. Lebo then earned a second master’s degree in applied social research from Hunter College at City University of New
JACK AND DOREEN SHINE
and personal trainer before venturing into real estate. Raising her son in the Santa Clarita Valley allowed her the opportunity to become actively involved with local schools, political campaigns, and other worthy causes. A member of the Child & Family Center board, Doreen devotes her time and energy to family issues and the arts. She currently serves as chair of the Patrons of the Arts support group at COC. Since that fateful meeting at a charity fundraiser back in 1993, Jack and Doreen have worked shoulder-to-shoulder on York. His graduate work, which included summarizing the findings of a study on the college’s diversity, helped connect language minorities to New York City social services. While working toward his undergraduate and graduate degrees, he often thought of his COC professors – Elfi Hummel, Don Heidt, Anne Heidt, James Boykin, Gary Valentine, Betty Lid and Jan Keller – and the impact they had on his development as a college student. “They all taught me how to ‘learn,’” said Lebo. “The COC faculty was unique in that they had the rare opportunity to be the first at a new college, with the responsibilities and risks that that held. For me, they were 100 percent successful. They gave me the tools, and I was rewarded for using them. And for that I am truly grateful.” Upon retiring after 25 years as a flight attendant, he found himself back in the Santa Clarita Valley when his spouse suffered a medical emergency. Following his spouse’s successful heart transplant, Lebo’s relocation to his hometown became permanent. Returning to COC was pure happenstance. Lebo was surfing the Internet and landed on the college’s website, where a class caught his eye: Literature of the World Wars. Lebo, a fan of 19th and 20th century European literature, as well as European history and World War II literature from the same eras, could hardly believe it. “A perfect class for me and my interests,” he said. So, he decided to re-enroll. Since then, Lebo has taken many other courses, including several math courses with Anupama Chandran, an adjunct math
causes and projects about which they are passionate. As members of the COC Foundation Board of Directors, they have also provided invaluable support to various college programs and initiatives, including the institutional scholarship program, the Fine & Performing Arts Division, the Athletics Department, veterans affairs, and other student success programs. The Shines are also members of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center’s K-12 Educational Outreach Advisory Board. The 2017 Silver Spur Celebration instructor at the college. “Robert was one of the excellent students in my class, and he passed his winter semester course with an A-plus,” Chandran said of his performance in her pre-algebra class. She described Lebo as an enthusiastic, curious student who wanted to understand concepts being taught in detail. “Usually, most students just keep the questions in their mind and maybe ask later on or go to the TLC, but if he doesn’t understand something, he clears it right away by asking me questions in class, which even helped other students,” she said. Chandran recalled a time when she was explaining how to solve a particular problem and Lebo, a little lost, asked how she figured out the final answer. “I explained it again, but it seemed like he was still stuck and I understood it from his confused look,” she said. “So I asked him, ‘Is it clear now?’ And his reply was, ‘I am still lost, but I do trust you and I know it is the right answer, because you know better than me!’ The whole class broke out in laughter.” Chandran said she is proud that a topgrade student such as Lebo was her student. “I would love to have him as my student in the future, too.” What Lebo enjoys most about College of the Canyons is its availability. “The college is for everyone,” said Lebo, who said he appreciates the opportunity to continue learning “without having to jump through the hoops required to be in the traditional academic setting.” Lebo found the college’s application
will take place Saturday, March 18 at The Sheraton Universal Starview Room in Universal City. The evening will include dinner and a live auction featuring a selection of unique items. This year’s event will be co-chaired by Brian and Lindsay Koegle and Nick and Elise Lentini, members of the COC Foundation Board of Directors. For more information, to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, call the College of the Canyons Foundation at (661) 362-3737. and registration processes simple and considers the TLC a huge asset for students. “Age is never a barrier,” he added. “Of course, older students stand out and are noticed, but so what.” He said many of his classmates treat him with suspicion on the first day of class when they realize he is not the instructor – or the instructor’s father. As the semester progresses and he makes his way to the top of the class with the highest grade or test score, some curious students approach to ask his secret, which he willingly shares: • Turn off the television and phone. • Make a study area at home. • Start your assignments immediately. • Figure four to five hours of school work a night. • Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. • Make school your full-time job, if possible. • Consider professors, librarians, and tutors your allies and resources. • Keep in mind that this college experience will follow you around for life. “It is truly a fun and rewarding experiences, especially at my age when I have the time to devote to studies, without the distractions of life,” said Lebo, who returned to the college in the fall to take Math 060, a pre-algebra course, for the mere challenge. “Too often, classes for returning or adult students have been limited to basket weaving and wine tasting,” Lebo added. “COC offers a real college experience, with the benefits and challenges to anyone, any age, any background, and any skill level.”
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
CULINARY ARTS PAIR IN WISCONSIN ‘CHEESE IMMERSION’
ollege of the Canyons adjunct faculty member Herve Guillard and COC culinary arts student Andrew Courtenay had the chance to live a turophile’s dream come true when the pair spent three days learning about all things cheese during the 2016 Wisconsin Cheese Immersion Externship. Guillard and Courtenay were among six instructors and culinary students selected nationwide to participate in the comprehensive cheese immersion program. “It was an amazing experience to talk with the master cheesemakers and not only get information about their craft, but to also hear their passion for their art and the family culture behind it since most of them are third-generation cheesemakers,” said Guillard. “We were able to see production from small farmsteads and artisan cheesemakers with two to three employees to large manufacturers with over 100 employees.” To be considered for the externship, culinary instructors and students had to collaborate and submit an original recipe that uses Roth Natural Melt cheese. Guillard tapped Courtenay, one of his top students, to work together on a recipe. Three weeks of recipe trials and tweaks led to a winning combination in the form of a cheese and Nutella-filled donut served with chipotle applesauce. “It was a great surprise,” said Guillard of their selection to participate. “My main objective was to show Andrew how to develop and write a recipe because recipe design and development is a bit of a different exercise, but what a reward to actually win!” Courtenay was surprised when Guillard asked him to participate in the contest, but was excited by the prospect to go to learn about cheese in Wisconsin with his mentor. “He makes things fun and makes you think and be creative with the ingredients,” said Courtenay of his mentor. Hosted in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the externship involved a creamery tour, a cheese making session, as well as a hands-on cheese class led by Emmi Roth USA corporate chefs and award-winning cheese makers.
CULINARY ARTS STUDENT ANDREW COURTENAY (LEFT) AND INSTRUCTOR HERVE GUILLARD PARTICIPATED IN THE 2016 WISCONSIN CHEESE IMMERSION EXTERNSHIP.
“My sincere congratulations to both Chef Herve and one of our star students, Andrew Courtenay,” said Cindy Schwanke, chair of the college’s culinary arts and wine studies program. “Chef Herve is a talented chef instructor and mentor to our students. He is a true example of doing what matters for our students.”
In addition, the August externship included local cheese tastings, a visit to the famous Dane County Farmers’ Market and a dairy farm tour. “I’ve never been around so much cheese,” said Courtenay. “We easily tried over a 100 different kinds of cheese – and Wisconsin is beautiful.”
SCIENCE FROM PAGE 1
A LIVE VIDEO FEED FROM A CAMERA MOUNTED ON THE HASP PLATFORM CAPTURED THE SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH AND ASCENT ON SEPT. 1.
BEST FROM PAGE 3
fer, 7 out of 9 for flexibility of programs, and 6 out of 6 for adult student services – to place at No. 21 on the list. The article accompanying the rankings stated that although “more than 40 percent of the 20.2 million students attending American colleges and universities are adults,” many of the nation’s elite colleges,
GRANT FROM PAGE 5
College of the Canyons was recently recognized by both the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, as well as the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, for its “Accelerate Your Dreams to Reality” project, which is credited with helping improve math course completion rates and enhancing student success. The college’s acceleration efforts currently benefit more than 5,000 students per year and have resulted in one of the most robust offerings of accelerated math and
“We are very thankful to all who have been involved in the process, and to have this opportunity,” said Teresa Ciardi, a physical science professor at the college. Ciardi and Greg Poteat, an adjunct manufacturing instructor, served as co-advisors, providing the team with guidance and support. “To say that the students were super excited would be an understatement,” Ciardi said. “It was rewarding to see all of the work our team has done culminate in having our project integrated onto the flight platform.” A video camera mounted to the balloon platform allowed the team to view the launch and ascent in real time. The project began with a December 2015 proposal by COC student Daniel Tikhomirov to collect interstellar dust particles (IDPs) in the upper stratosphere. NASA accepted the proposal in January. Following the science balloon’s landing, a NASA recovery team followed a specific checklist to retrieve, detach, pack and ship the device back to the College of the Canyons team. “If we are fortunate enough to capture IDPs, I have a contact at Johnson Space Flight Center, Dr. Susan Lederer, who is going to work with us to analyze the particles, which may result in a published astrophysics paper,” Ciardi added.
which top U.S. News’s rankings, “aren’t in the business of educating adults.” However, many four-year schools and two-year colleges such as COC provide affordable and flexible educational options to working adult students, such as short-term classes for students who wish to enroll in accelerated courses. At COC, adult students benefit from the Weekend College program, which allows students to earn college credits in an accelerated learning community. It’s an ide-
al program for working adults and returning students who need to complete general education coursework and students who simply prefer to take classes during the weekend as opposed to a traditional schedule. Weekend College consists of in-person, online-only and hybrid courses in English, psychology, political science, anthropology, counseling and math. Another valuable resource for adult learners is the college’s Adult Reentry Program, which helps new, returning and
continuing adult students age 25 and older. Re-entering students can benefit from information sessions, support groups, continuous advisement, and campus and community referrals. For students returning from military service, accessing the GI Bill to reach their educational goals is made easier with the help of the college’s Veterans Center. During the 2015-16 academic year, the college’s Veterans Resource Center served 1,253 veterans and veteran dependents.
English courses across the state of California. To date, students have saved more than 48,000 weeks of remedial instruction and more than $500,000 in tuition costs for remedial courses that do not count toward earning associate degrees. “The college has achieved wonderful success with its accelerated learning programs in Math and English, and this grant will now enable us to expand those programs even more,” said Audrey Green, associate vice president of academic affairs at the college. Additionally, the grant will be used to redesign and create new student success programs, all with an eye toward increasing
overall student degree and certificate completion. These new programs include a revised First Year Experience (FYE) program and increased supplemental instruction, learning and tutoring. FYE supports first-time, first-year college students with their transition to college life. Through yearlong academic classes, programs and activities, students learn skills that enhance their college success. “FYE helps students make the leap from high school to college, giving them the skills and confidence needed to successfully complete their educational goals,” said Denee Pescarmona, dean of instructional support and student success, and the grant’s
project director. “This grant will allow us to revitalize that program and add more support for all our first-time students.” And, with the creation of new Student Success Teams formed as part of the grant, all students will reap the benefits. These cross-divisional teams will bring together academic and student support services with counseling and student mentors to meet students where they are and lead them to achieving their academic and career goals. By 2019, the final year under grant funding, the college will have implemented all of its objectives, leading to significant increases in the number of students who complete their certificates and degrees.
COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS BREAKING NEWS • FALL 2016
KNEISEL NAMED 2015-16 ATHLETE OF YEAR
STANDOUT ATHLETE MARISSA KNEISEL HAS BEEN HONORED AS THE 2015-16 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR.
3RD-STRAIGHT SUPREMACY AWARD
ual-sport athlete Marissa “Mari” Kneisel has been named the 201516 Female Athlete of the Year by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) and California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA). A member of the College of the Canyons women’s soccer and track & field programs, Kneisel is the college’s first student-athlete to win the award. The standout forward and team co-captain started all 21 games and had 31 goals, 12 assists and 74 points – including 11 game-winning goals – to lead the team in all categories in 2015. She led the state in goals, points, shots and shots on goal, and ranked 19th in assists. Kneisel rewrote the soccer program’s record book by establishing a new single-season mark for goals scored, and she become the college’s all-time career leader with 51 goals and 129 points. Kneisel was named Western State Conference (WSC) South Player of the Year for a second straight year in 2015, and
she was named to the CCCAA All-Region and All-State teams. She also helped Canyons clinch its fifth straight WSC South Championship. “She demonstrated outstanding character from the first day she stepped on our campus,” women’s soccer coach Justin Lundin said. In the spring, Kneisel participated on the COC track & field team for the first time, displaying tremendous athleticism in the long jump, high jump, sprint and relay. She won the 2016 WSC title in the women’s long jump at 5.37 meters. She was later crowned the 2016 CCCAA Southern California Champion in the same event with a leap of 5.64 meters. She earned a fifth-place finish at the 2016 CCCAA State Championships after jumping 5.39 meters. “Mari is an exceptional student-athlete with a tremendous work ethic,” track & field/cross country coach Lindie Kane said. Kneisel, who previously attended Canyon High School, graduated from COC and accepted an athletic scholarship from NCAA Division I Gonzaga University.
JUST FOR KICKS
or the third straight season, the College of the Canyons Athletics Department has earned the Western State Conference (WSC) Supremacy Award for the combined performance of its athletic programs for 2015-16. The award is based on conference rankings and post-season performance. Athletes’ GPAs are also factored, with COC student-athletes posting a combined 2.94 GPA in the fall and 2.95 in spring. The Cougars won six conference championships last year in women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball, men’s cross country and men’s golf. The men’s golf team went on to win a California Community College Athletic Association So. California Regional Title. Canyons also had three second-place conference finishes in women’s cross country, and the women’s and men’s track & field teams. The women’s cross country team was also a thirdplace finisher at the state championships. The men’s cross country team finished third at the CCCAA State Championships, with sophomore Ethan Walker winning the individual state championship. And, the women’s volleyball program concluded its season with a third place finish at the CCCAA State Championship.
THE COLLEGE INTRODUCED ITS STATE-OF-THE-ART SOCCER FIELD ON OCT. 18. BUILT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CASTAIC LAKE WATER AGENCY AND CITY OF SANTA CLARITA, THE $2 MILLION ARTIFICIAL-TURF FIELD WILL CONSERVE WATER AND REDUCE MAINTENANCE, WHILE PROVIDING THE COLLEGE’S SOCCER PROGRAMS – AND YOUTH SOCCER TEAMS IN THE COMMUNITY – WITH THE VALLEY’S PREMIER SOCCER FACILITY. ILLUMINATED BY NEW LED LIGHTING FOR NIGHT GAMES, THE FIELD MEETS NCAA SIZE REQUIREMENTS AND PROVIDES ATHLETES WITH A SAFE, HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLAYING SURFACE. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND CHANCELLOR DR. DIANNE G. VAN HOOK HOSTED A RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY TO OFFICIALLY UNVEIL THE NEW FACILITY.
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF A CHANGING WORLD...
The Chancellor’s Circle is a partnership between College of the Canyons and a diverse group of businesses, community members, non-profit groups, government leaders and others who are committed to strengthening our community – by actively supporting a strong community college. The underlying tenet of the Chancellor’s Circle is the strong belief that by working together we can add value to a community college education, provide support for creative and innovative programs that enrich the educational experience of students, and provide needed workforce skills that will strengthen and sustain our economy – that we can achieve, by working together, much more than we can by working alone.
Please consider joining us! • Call the College of the Canyons Foundation at (661) 362-3435 • Visit canyonsfoundation.org
Gary and Diana Cusumano
Montemayor & Associates at Re/Max - Alicia E.
Honda Performance Development
Lou and Rita Garasi
Tim Honadel and Holly Schroeder
Newhall Escrow – Steve Corn
Tom and Colleen Lee
Joe and Kathy Klocko
Schools First FCU
Math Support Services
Shepard Insurance Agency
Jim and Jill Mellady
Dr. and Dr. Lee Shulman
American Family Funding
Mitzi and Randy Moberg
Dr. Dianne and Mr. Roger Van Hook
Aerospace Dynamics International
Dr. Skip Newhall
Dennis Witzel and Sheila Chovan
Bradley J. Kirst D.D.S.
NE Systems Inc.– Ed Padilla
Harold and Jacquie Petersen
Elliott and Judith Wolfe
LEADER Aero Engineering Boston Scientific - Lisa Welker-Finney Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital