A Message from the Chancellor
'Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.'
-- WINSTON CHURCHILL
Welcome to College of the Canyons!
It’s a pleasure to have you on our campuses, and we look forward to helping you achieve your goals and fulfill your potential. As you pursue higher education at our Valencia Campus, Canyon Country Campus, or online, you will find yourself considering new opportunities, facing new challenges, and seeing your life change in the process.
We proudly offer programs and services designed to help you succeed. But what will ultimately determine whether you make the most of College of the Canyons is you.
Peter Drucker said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” Here at College of the Canyons, we have committed ourselves to planning for your future by:
- Surpassing others’ expectations of us;
- Offering more of everything;
- Leading the way;
- Continuing to excel and rise to the top;
- Inspiring passion, vision and determination in our students; and
- Meeting our community’s needs with a “can-do” spirit, positive attitude, and spirit of innovation, flexibility, responsiveness, and courage.
We have distinguished ourselves as one of the leading community colleges in California. With 72 majors and 75 certificate options, we are recognized for our leadership in correlating education with economic development, job retention and job creation. And, we are applauded by the communities we serve for offering high quality academics, building and maintaining excellent facilities, hiring forward-thinking faculty and staff, featuring outstanding student support systems and effectively managing our resources.
In the “Student Success Scorecard” released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, College of the Canyons outpaces statewide averages in multiple indicators. First-time COC students who graduated high school as "college prepared" (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 more than 79 percent -- 8 percent higher than the statewide average of 71 percent. Similarly, COC students who fell into this category also saw higher completion rates than students from five surrounding community colleges. In addition, the roughly 49 percent completion rate for COC "unprepared" student groups (entering college ineligible to enroll in degree-applicable math or English) was 8 percent higher than the statewide average of 41 percent.
The reasons to attend College of the Canyons are as varied as the students themselves. We attract students from a wide spectrum of educational interests and cultural backgrounds. Some students already have advanced degrees. Others attend classes to learn, for the first time, about technology that will enhance their careers and their lives. Still more decide that "now is the time, and this is the college" to get serious about a college education. Many enroll because they want and need the quality teaching, the extra care that COC instructors and staff provide, and the chance to prove themselves. Regardless of the reason they choose COC, our students are successful and the number who graduate each year continues to grow. Our most recent graduating class was the largest ever, with 1,317 students becoming proud Cougar alumni.
We see more high school students interested in getting a "jump start" on their college educations by signing up for the on-campus middle college high school, Academy of the Canyons, or attending while also enrolled at their local high school. More students are realizing that the cost of a bachelor's degree can be significantly reduced by completing their first two years at a community college, and see us as a smart choice immediately after high school.
As well, we have expanded access to higher education in our community through the University Center. Six university partners offer 40 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and credential options on campus. Nearly 1,800 students have graduated from the University Center, earning advanced degrees without having to leave the Santa Clarita Valley.
We also focus our efforts on developing the local economy and serving businesses in our community. With more companies locating in the area, we welcome them and ask, "What can we do to help?" Through the Employee Training Institute, the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, the Small Business Development Center and WorkSource Center, the college provides indispensable workforce development and technical assistance to employers in the region. In the past year, we have served nearly 900 employees at more than 4,000 businesses.
While we are proud of what we currently offer, we also have an eye on the future. Each day we are planning to accommodate the needs and wants of current and future students. As we build out the Valencia Campus and expand the new Canyon Country Campus, we are constantly verifying the focus of our mission. Preparation for the future means planning and acting today.
When new technologies are developed, the college will master them and offer training to whoever needs those skills. In addition to programs such as computer networking; graphics and multi-media design and computer information technology; the college has added a biotechnology program and is providing training in nanotechnology fields. Other programs recently added due to public demand include construction technology and plumbing technology.
New programs require new facilities, and we recently completed expansions in Valencia to Mentry Hall, our media and fine arts building, as well as an expansion of the Library and The Learning Center. A new Student Services/Administration Building is under construction, as is the Institute for Culinary Education. At the Canyon Country Campus we opened the Applied Technology Education Center, the first permanent building on that campus. Of course, all of this expansion means more opportunities to provide the training and classes that the community tells us it wants.
My vision and my hope is that this college, businesses, governments, private groups – virtually anyone and everyone who cares about our collective future – will continue to work together and guarantee that this exciting and nurturing "learning environment" will thrive. I know – all of us at COC know – that what we provide the community is priceless.
We are providing our students with the very best tools to be successful and we are providing them with a solid example of how to succeed. As Anatole France said, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
With that in mind, I ask you this: Will you make the commitment to take advantage of this wonderful community resource? Will challenge yourself to under take the work necessary to achieve your success? We are here, and we are ready to help you achieve your dreams!
Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook