News & Media

COC hosts College2Career Day at
Valencia Campus

January 26, 2019

With dozens of booths to check out or different activities to join in, College of the Canyons hosted hundreds of career seeking students at their College2Career Day on Saturday.

“Each year we put on the college career day event and invite the public as a whole, specifically targeting high school students, with the intent of establishing that pathway to careers,” said Omar Torres, COC’s interim associate vice president of academic affairs.

Held in the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, the career day event featured a number of college faculty members and vocational instructors who answered any and all questions for prospective recruits for their specific field.  Read full article.

“A very special THANK YOU to Hahn and Associates and Kyle Gatlin for bringing the Surveying truck!” - Regina

right: Ernie and Regina at the Water Systems Technology Table Jan 2019


Intro and Cost of Textbooks

Impact of ZTC

Student Story:
Water Systems Technology ZTC Degree

October 2, 2018

Caroline is a full-time student at College of the Canyons with a double major in Water Systems Technology and Physics.  The following is her story of perseverance over five years and how the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) degrees helped reduce her costs and streamline her pathway to graduation this spring. 
One of her quotes:
“If I had known that there was a whole major degree where I didn’t have to pay for textbooks I would have felt so much more supported. I probably would have stayed in school and gone full-time because I was going part-time to be able to afford all those."
The interview was conducted by the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), which is a partner on our ZTC degree work. The story is featured on the home page of CCCOER. 

SCV Water Pipeline Article
SCV Water Staff Teaching at COC - Fall 2018
College of the Canyons and SCV Water Partner to Produce the Next Wave of Water Industry Professionals
Over the last 20 years or so, College of the Canyons (COC) has instructed thousands of students in Water Systems Technology (WST), preparing them for a career in the water industry.
SCV Water relies on this talent pool to add to and strengthen their workforce. Current employees can advance their career or earn continuing education credits required to renew State certifications for water treatment and distribution. New students have the opportunity to find employment as distribution operators, water treatment plant operators, water service representatives, water quality specialists, wastewater collection workers and/or wastewater
treatment operators.
Our very own Director of Operations and Maintenance, Mike Alvord, is the chair of the WST Advisory Board.  READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
Mike Alvord | Director of Operations and Maintenance,
Chair of WST Advisory Board

​​News Release | March 31, 2018
College Launches Zero Textbook Cost Pathway for Water Technology Program

College of the Canyons has launched a Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) degree for the Water Systems Technology program, utilizing Open Educational Resource (OER) materials. This degree will prepare students to become state certified water treatment, water distribution, and wastewater operators.
Funded by a ZTC grant from the state chancellor’s office, the water technology certificate program will benefit approximately 400 students this year.
“We are very excited to offer this completely Zero Textbook Cost pathway in Water Technology that provides students with the latest developments of knowledge in the field and has been personalized to match the educational rigor of the courses,” said Brian Weston, project manager of Zero Textbook Cost grant at the college.

The pathway, which was created by COC faculty, field experts, contractors, and the South Central Coast Regional Consortium, will provide water technology programs across the state with a free alternative to commercial resources.
“Our water technology faculty were motivated to create the OER materials due to the lack of currency, expensive cost, and available choice found in commercial texts,” said Regina Blasberg, chair of the engineering technologies department at the college.
In 2009, two COC faculty members authored a textbook, and after successful feedback from students, developed a second textbook for the college’s Advanced Water Mathematics course in 2011.
Consisting of eight-member colleges, the South Central Coast Regional Consortium works to create a highly skilled workforce by supporting workforce development efforts across the state.
Read more of this great news online! ....
SCV News | COC Opens Floodgate of Resources for Water Tech Students

News Release | March 29, 2018

Silver Star awarded to Water Systems Technology: 88% increase in earnings and 78% of students attained the regional living wage.


​​EdSurge Article | March 28, 2018
College Launches Zero Textbook Cost Pathway for Water Technology Program

.... according to Regina Blasberg, department chair for Water Systems Technology...
“Water is a unique discipline, it’s not like math or history or communication studies were major publishers put out multitudes of textbooks on,” she says. Using OER in those courses, she added, “really started out of necessity.” And the program is especially topical at the college, which is situated south of the previously drought-stricken Central Valley and just north of Los Angeles, a hotbed of water rights history and challenges.
Anagnoson says she considered using OER before her course was lumped into the Z-degree. Previously, her syllabus relied on a series of pamphlets from the Water Education Foundation, a California-based non-profit. But those materials were not ideal. Some, Anagnoson says, did “not read at a deep level for students,” and others “assumed a lot of prior knowledge.”



College2Career Day

The College2Career Day event highlights the relationship between academic programs and career opportunities. In these photos, two of the Water Systems Technology program faculty, Nick Steffen and Cris Perez, are sharing program and industry information with perspective and current students.

SCV Water Open House

May is Water Awareness Month and SCV Water hosts an Open House celebration at their facility in Central Park. The COC Water Program participated in the fair to promote the Water Systems Technology academic programs.

NEWS RELEASE | July 26, 2017
Four Career Education Programs Shine as Strong Workforce Stars

Four College of the Canyons programs have been ranked by California Community Colleges (CCC) as Strong Workforce Stars, a new annual commendation for career education programs whose students show significant gains in social mobility and earning power.
The college’s Emergency Medical Technician, Administration of Justice, and Fire Technology programs earned a spot on the list under the Public and Protective Services sector. COC’s Water Technology program earned the college its second listing under the Agriculture, Water, and Environmental Technologies sector.

Out of the 114 colleges in the CCC system, only 65 colleges made the list, which included more than 100 career education programs.

“It is an incredible honor to have four of our career education programs ranked as Strong Workforce Stars by California Community Colleges,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “Career education is a cornerstone of our curriculum and we are committed to continue helping our students attain the skills they need to work in high-demand fields and support local companies to grow their businesses by providing the state-of-the-art training that a strong workforce needs.”

The college offers 26 career education programs, including computer applications and web technologies, computer networking, culinary arts, hotel and restaurant management, and welding technology.

The Strong Workforce Stars rankings are based on data from students last enrolled in 2013-14 in career education programs.

Career education programs were designated as Strong Workforce Stars if they met one or more of the following criteria:

   • 70 percent or more of students attain a regional living wage
   • 50 percent or more increase in student earnings
   • 90 percent or more of students report their current job is close to their field of study

The Strong Workforce Program was created with the goal to create 1 million additional middle-skilled workers to boost regional economies and advance social mobility.

Career Education Programs

NEWS RELEASE (source) | July 26, 2017
4 of our 8 regional colleges made the Strong Workforce Stars list

by Paige Marlatt Dorr

Career education programs create skilled workers to fuel regional economies and enable social mobility,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development at California Community Colleges. “These ‘Star’ exemplars ought to be celebrated.”

Strong Workforce Stars, with its focus on proving student success through data, is another demonstration of how the California Community Colleges is carefully and intentionally building a strong workforce for California and improving social and economic mobility” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley.

Read more on the South Central Coast Regional Consortium website...
News Release | May 9, 2017
Students construct water filtration devices for
‘Hydro Ape Challenge’
By Christina Cox


Two student teams from College of the Canyons (COC) tested their skills in and knowledge of water filtration as part of the college’s biannual MakerFaire competition Tuesday.

In the Hydro Ape Challenge, students had the option to complete three different challenges which included constructing an articulated ape hand, creating a filter for contaminated water and producing a video blog for the fair.

Jason Oliver, department chair of the architecture and interior design program, said the filtration competition included teams from the Chemistry Club and the architecture program.

“The filtration competition was organized by faculty,” he said.  “We encouraged students to use recycled elements or renewable elements instead of buying materials.”

To test the filtration devices, the judges used two vials of water that included solutions made up of green food coloring, salt, vinegar and glitter.

They then tested the effectiveness of the devices using a pH test, a spectrophotometry test to see if any light passed through and a conductivity test to see if any electrical current passed through.  The resulting water was also tested on smell and taste.

COC student Anthony Tashjian, who is studying biology and water systems at the college, made his filtration device using water bottles, tape, a PVC pipe, wires, cotton balls, dehydrated corn husks, charcoal, pebbles and other recyclable materials.

Called a gravity filtration system, the device took Tashjian about two to three hours to build and another hour to test.

“This design is good for putting rain water through it,” he said.  “It can filter rainwater to near drinkable levels.”

In fact, Tashjian said he plans on using the device to filter rainwater in his yard and use it to water his plants in the Lancaster/Palmdale area.

No students competed in the articulated ape hand portion of the challenge this year.  The challenge required participants to create a hand out of mechanics to test using different grabbing tasks.

Oliver said that in the future, he hopes to integrate the ape hand challenge into a class assignment.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

College of the Canyons student Anthony "Andrew" Tashjian explains how his water filtration system works in the cafeteria on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

College of the Canyons student Anthony “Andrew” Tashjian explains how his water filtration system works in the cafeteria on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal