NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​
These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 

FEBRUARY


February 28, 2005

Mystery, Music, Motivation at Performing Arts Center in March

Mystery and murder, music and motivation ­ what more could you ask for in the month of March? And it’s all coming to the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts at College of the Canyons, including a new way to purchase tickets for certain events: RUSH Ticket sales.

The month kicks off in fine style March 2 at 7:30 p.m. when longtime NFL personality Mike Ditka comes calling. Ditka who in his first year in the NFL caught 56 passes for the Chicago Bears and earned Rookie of the Year honors, and eventually became one of only two athletes to ever win Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach and head coach ­ now shares his drive and team-building skills with audiences across the country. In his presentation ACE­ Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm, he shares the lessons learned in a life of commitment and attention to the fundamentals ­ and resulting victories.

The following evening, Thursday, March 3, features The Vienna Choir Boys at 7:30 p.m. The Austrian singing group was founded by royal decree on July 7, 1498. Emperor Maximilian I of the Habsburg Dynasty started the group because he wanted special choristers in the Imperial Chapel. From its inception, this organization has attracted the finest singers and composers in the West, including Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Not to be outdone, the College of the Canyons Music Department will host a pair of top-flight performances on consecutive nights the following weekend. The Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble one of COC’s hottest groups ­kicks off its spring season with “Swing into Spring!” on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. This event also marks a new director for the jazz band ­COC Music department chair K.C. Manji ­ following the retirement of longtime band-leader Dirk Fisher. “Swing into Spring!” features an exciting program mixed with major symphonic literature such as Aaron Copland’s “Outdoor Adventure,” and Sammy Nestico’s symphonic rendition of “Persuasions,” which also features solo guest artist and COC faculty member Les Benedict. The fan-favorite Santa Clarita Valley Youth Philharmonic hosts its spring concert on Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. If you’ve never seen the Youth Orchestra, this concert is not to be missed as the group continues to surprise audiences with its maturity and skill in mastering some of the most complicated pieces in modern music, including scheduled recitals of Anton Weber’s “Symphony, Op 10,” one of the most important works in music history; Franz Jospeh Haden’s “Symphony 100,” The Military Symphony; and Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart’s “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, K. 488 in A Major.” The soloist for Mozart’s piece is Hiromi Maruyama, who is finishing the master of the fine arts program in classical and contemporary music at California Institute of the Arts. Maruyama, who completed all coursework in the Suzuki method of piano study by the age of 13, is performing in and around Southern California and teaches private lessons as a certified Suzuki instructor.

The College of the Canyons Theatre Department will stage Neil Simon’s comedic whodunit “Rumors” from March 18-20, directed by John DeMita. DeMita, who stars as a reoccurring character in NBC’s hit television show JAG, is looking forward to the challenge of staging the Vital Express Center’s first non-musical play.

“We’ve got a great mix of experienced and student actors, and we’ve received tremendous support from the technical staff at the college,” says DeMita. “Everyone is very excited.”

Rumors, which DeMita describes as a “very physical, comedic farce, watching well-educated, well-to-do adults acting like children,” will run at 7:30 p.m. on March 18-19, and 2 and 7 p.m. on March 20.

Last, but not least, Cleveland Theater Signstage puts on Robin Hood on March 21 and 22. Signstage is a professional company that performs using a combination of the special beauty of American Sign Language and spoken English simultaneously. The program is specially geared for children ages 6-12, and the 9 and 11 a.m. showings are perfect for groups, school field trips or just a wonderful spring break activity

SIDEBAR

College of the Canyons presents a new way to purchase tickets for seniors, children under 12 and faculty and staff of accredited local schools: the RUSH TICKET PROGRAM. RUSH tickets will be offered two hours prior to curtain on certain events and are priced at less than the lowest regular ticket price for that performance. Not all performances will have RUSH tickets, and notice of availability will be posted on the web site and on the Box Office phone line by 10 a.m. on the day of that event. Purchases of RUSH tickets are available only at the Vital Express Center Box Office, and must be cash purchases ­ no checks or credit cards. RUSH tickets are subject to availability. 


February 25, 2005

Spider People Return to College of the Canyons

Last March, several students and faculty members were spotted scaling the sides of buildings on the College of the Canyons campus attached to string-like supports. This is not a common sight at the college campus, but internal reports reveal that these annual web-spinners will return on March 12 this year to reprise the feat.

No, the campus hasn’t entered the world of super-heroes or the super-natural, but there are certainly some different activities going on here. At the heart of this strange phenomenon is the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. From 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12 is MESA’s annual Leadership Retreat — a highlight of the program’s academic year. Each year, as part of the retreat, students in the program learn about the concept of strengths and the principles of strengths-based achievement, creative use of resources and diversity awareness.
The day’s activities include sessions exploring the field of robotics within engineering as they construct miniature autonomous robots equipped with sound sensors, infrared detectors and other micro-technology. A biotechnology session will allow students to analyze a sample of “mystery” DNA to identify its source and solve a crime.

The high point of the day, however, is an afternoon session that is a lesson in cultivating trust in others and in the mastery of fear, as students and faculty alike swing out into thin air from the third story of one of the tallest buildings on campus — the “I” building — and rappel to the ground. Chances are everyone who participates will develop a new appreciation for at least one super-hero and will help them in identifying their strengths as individuals and as members of a team. Activities and workshops will promote scholarship, leadership and the pursuit of academic excellence.


February 25, 2005

Beat Goes On With Drum Circle Event

The Center for Early Childhood Education Circle of Friends, a support and fund-raising group for the college’s Children’s Center and Early Childhood Education Training Program will hold their fifth annual “drum circle” event at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 5, 2005. For the first time, the event will be held in the Vital Express Center’s Black Box Theatre — an acoustically friendly space for this type of event.

A Drum Circle is a huge jam session ­a fun, welcoming experience that is fun for “children of all ages.” Drum Circle participants express themselves collectively by using a chorus of hand-played drums, percussion and vocals to create a musical song together while having a great time. It is not a professional ensemble, nor is it really about music, but rather a group of friends having a rhythm party!

Participants in the past have included parents, teachers, CEOs of major companies, college Board members and other elected officials and those who simply enjoy the physical activity and the sound of drum-beats. Regardless of what they do for a living, the one thing they have in common is a fun-filled evening of group drumming. The drum circle event is sponsored and conducted by a representative from local manufacturer REMO Inc., the worlds’ most innovative and respected name in drumheads and drums. African djembes, frame drums, SOUND SHAPES‘and other drums will be provided by REMO.

REMO’s Website maintains that drum circles are a wonderful opportunity for people to relate, not only musically, but personally. Studies show that acquiring new learning skills, socializing, and exercise may keep our brains healthy and more importantly, rejuvenate brain cells. Group drumming provides experiences in all three of these important practices for maintaining health and supporting longevity.

Funds raised from this event will help maintain the high quality and safety of the physical environment of the Child Development Center, such as the learning materials and equipment for classrooms and the children’s yards. Tickets for the event are $35 which includes a champagne reception provided by RSVP Catering.

Additional Drum Circle sponsors include Dr. Rex Baumgartner, DDS, Classic Designs Jewelry, and Wilshire Home Entertainment.


February 17, 2005

Spanish Institute to Travel to Costa Rica, Nicaragua

College of the Canyons’ popular one-week Spanish Language Institute, to be held this July, will include a study abroad element in Central America. The travel is designed to bring relevance and context to what is taught in the classroom. During the study trip, students will practice their language skills, receive hands-on experience learning about the cultures, geography and biology of the areas and learn about the history of both countries from pre-Columbian times to the present.

The one-week, on-campus, language and culture segment of the course will be held from July 25-29, and the travel segment will be from July 30-Aug. 11. The college’s fall semester will begin on Monday, Aug. 15.

Students attending both sessions can earn up to 12 units of college credit in biology, history and Spanish. It is possible to attend either one or both sessions earning varying amounts of credit. The first week of the Spanish Institute will involve enrollment fees of $26 per unit, and the travel segment will cost approximately $1,845, plus enrollment fees. The $1,845 covers round-trip air transportation from Los Angeles to Nicaragua and from Costa Rica to Los Angeles; 11 nights in a first-class hotel; most meals; round-trip bus transfers; San Jose city tour; Managua city tour; a half-day tour of Sarchi Pueblo; a half-day tour of Cartago, Costa Rica’s old Capital; full-day excursion to Poas volcano; study excursion to lake Nicaragua in Granada; study field trip to the Tortuguero in the Caribean; and more. Most service charges and taxes are included.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for students and community members to experience the richness of two countries in Central America,” said Claudia Acosta, a native of Nicaragua and chair of the Foreign Languages Department. “The educational elements of the trip provided by biologist Miriam Golbert and history professor Brad Reynolds will provide students a perspective about both countries that few vacationers experience,” said Acosta. “While the countries we will visit have a similar biodiversity,” stressed Acosta, “they are countries of great contrast politically, economically and socially.”

Golbert will provide students with a unique look at contemporary issues in environmental biology in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and help students to understand conservation and biological diversity in Central America. She is an associate professor of biology at College of the Canyons and holds a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology, as well as a doctorate in education.

Reynolds is chair of the history department at College of the Canyons and is a specialist in U.S., Caribbean and Central American history. He earned his Ph.D. in history from USC and will instruct on the history, customs, economic and political development of Central America and Latin America.
An information meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 in the College of the Canyons Library for anyone wishing to learn more about the college’s Intensive Spanish Institute and educational travel trip to Central America.

The meeting will be conducted by Acosta and is designed to provide in-depth information about both on-campus and travel aspects of the institute. The educational elements will be discussed by Acosta, Golbert and Reynolds. All will be on hand to answer questions at the meeting. Community members are encouraged to consider taking the Intensive Spanish course on campus, as well as the travel segment.

This travel program is one of many that College of the Canyons offers, and it recognizes the growing trend in adding these kinds of experiences to college curricula nationwide.


February 15, 2008

McKeon-Sponsored Bill would Aid Hundreds of College of the Canyons Students

Officials at College of the Canyons reacted with appreciation, today, upon hearing that Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), introduced a bill in Congress, Tuesday, to help California community college students get a fair share of federal financial aid grants.

McKeon, senior Republican and prior chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, and current committee chair George Miller, Democrat, introduced H.R. 990, the Pell Grant Equity Act, a bipartisan bill that will repeal the “tuition sensitivity” provision in federal law.

The tuition sensitivity provision in federal law reduces the annual maximum Pell Grant award for students attending institutions with very low tuition charges, and this new bill would allow students attending California community colleges to receive the full Pell Grant entitlement even though tuition is very low.  

“This is great news for our students,” said the college’s Superintendent-President, Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “We had asked Buck to help us do away with this unfair law and, once again, he has assisted us by sponsoring legislation to help our students. We are very grateful for his support. He has been and continues to be an advocate for California community college students. He has passion for what we do and turns that into action.”

“Students should not be forced to sacrifice grant aid because of their choice of one institution over another,” said McKeon, who added: “As Congress and the President work to continue improving student aid programs, it’s illogical that certain students who may otherwise be eligible for a maximum Pell Grant won’t get it simply because of where they go to school. Moreover, repealing this rule takes away an incentive for some low-cost institutions to raise their tuition in order for their students to become eligible for the maximum Pell award.”

“Potentially 1,315 College of the Canyons students could be helped by the new legislation if it passes congress and is signed into law,” said Tom Bilbruck, COC’s Director of Financial Aid. “Many of our students are trying to get their education but face huge financial hurdles. While our tuition is low, at $20 per unit, even the cost of books is beyond the reach of many students.”

Currently, approximately 260,000 California community college students, already among the lowest income and most disadvantaged, face reductions of their Pell grant award payments (by as much as $112) in 2007 as a result of the recent drop in state fees to $20 per unit. Because these are the lowest fees in the nation, California students are the only ones negatively impacted by the “tuition sensitivity” provision.

Senator Barbara Boxer, (D-California) has offered to sponsor similar legislation in the Senate.


February 15, 2005

Gruber Systems to be Honored at Business and Industry Reception

Gruber Systems will be honored as the college’s 2005 Training Partner of the Year at a reception to be held at the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 22. The reception, an event which this year is part of the college’s 35th anniversary celebration, is designed to honor the college’s business partners. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $40 per person.

Gruber Systems Inc. was instrumental in launching the college’s customized training unit in 1989. Gruber again played a leadership role in 1996 when the college submitted its first Employment Training Panel contract (ETP) through the state of California. ETP funds support workforce development projects such as the one conducted at Gruber during the past 12 months.

“Gruber Systems came to the college in the spring of 2004,” said Dena Maloney, dean of economic development for the college, “and asked the Employee Training Institute to provide training for 80 of their employees and to facilitate two Kaizen events.” The Kaizen method is an originally Japanese management concept for incremental change and improvement and a way-of-life philosophy that assumes every aspect of our lives deserves to be constantly improved. Key elements of Kaizen are quality, effort, involvement of all employees, willingness to change and communication.

The evening’s program will include a description of the results achieved by Gruber as a result of the training as well as presentations by Ms. Joan MacGregor, president of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees; Dr. Dianne Van Hook, superintendent-president; and Maloney.

“It is especially significant to recognize Gruber’s many contributions in this, our 35th anniversary year,” stressed Maloney. “Gruber’s leadership in securing training dollars and supporting the college’s expansion in customized training has paved the way for many other companies throughout our region to benefit from the programs we have developed. We are so pleased to be a part of Gruber’s future through our educational program.”
This is the college’s seventh Training Partner of the Year award. Past training partner honorees include: Pacific Metal Stamping (2003/04); UltraViolet Devices Inc. (2002/03); Answer Products (2001/02); Arvato Services (2000/01) B&B Manufacturing (1999/00); Aerospace Dynamics International Inc. (1998/99) and ITT Aerospace Controls (1997/98).


February 14, 2005

Mystery, Music and Motivation at Performing Arts Center in March

Mystery and murder, music and motivation — what more could you ask for in the month of March? And it’s all coming to the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts at College of the Canyons.

The month kicks off in fine style March 2 at 7:30 p.m. when longtime NFL personality Mike Ditka comes calling. Ditka — who in his first year in the NFL caught 56 passes for the Chicago Bears and earned Rookie of the Year honors, and eventually became one of only two athletes to ever win Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach and head coach — now shares his drive and team-building skills with audiences across the country. In his presentation ACE — Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm, he shares the lessons learned in a life of commitment and attention to the fundamentals — and resulting victories.

The following evening Thursday, March 3 features The Vienna Choir Boys at 7:30 p.m. The Austrian singing group was founded by royal decree on July 7, 1498. Emperor Maximilian I of the Habsburg Dynasty started the group because he wanted special choristers in the Imperial Chapel. From its inception, this organization has attracted the finest singers and composers in the west, including Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Not to be outdone, the College of the Canyons Music Department will host a pair of top-flight performances on consecutive nights the following weekend. The Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble ­ one of COC’s hottest groups ­ puts on a thrilling event on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. while the fan-favorite Santa Clarita Valley Youth Philharmonic hosts its spring concert on Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. If you’ve never seen the Youth Orchestra, this concert is not to be missed as the group continues to surprise audiences with its maturity and skill in mastering some of the most complicated pieces in modern music, including scheduled recitals of Anton Weber’s “Symphony, Op 10,” one of the most important works in music history; Franz Jospeh Haden’s “Symphony 100,” The Military Symphony; and Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart’s “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, K. 488 in A Major.” The soloist for Mozart’s piece is Hiromi Maruyama, who is finishing the Master of the Fine Arts program in classical and contemporary music at the California Institute of the Arts. Maruyama, who completed all coursework in the Suzuki method of piano study by the age of thirteen, is actively performing in and around Southern California and teaches private lessons as a certified Suzuki instructor.

The College of the Canyons Theatre Department will stage Neil Simon’s comedic whodunit “Rumors” from March 18-20, directed by John DeMita. DeMita, who stars as a reoccurring character in NBC’s hit television show JAG, is looking forward to the challenge of staging the Vital Express Center’s first non-musical play.

“We’ve got a great mix of experienced and student actors, and we’ve receivedtremendous support from the technical staff at the college,” says DeMita. “Everyone is very excited.”

Rumors, which DeMita describes as a “very physical, comedic farce, watching well-educated, well-to-do adults acting like children,” will run at 7:30 p.m. on March 18-19 and 2 and 7 pm on March 20.

Last, but not least, Cleveland Theater Signstage puts on Robin Hood on March 21 and 22. Signstage is a professional company that performs using a combination of the special beauty of American Sign Language and spoken English simultaneously. The program is specially geared for children ages 6-12, and the 9 and 11 am showings are perfect for groups, school field trips or just a wonderful spring break activity.

In related news, College of the Canyons presents a new way to purchase tickets for seniors, children under 12 and faculty and staff of accredited local schools: the RUSH TICKET PROGRAM. RUSH tickets will be offered two hours prior to curtain on certain events and are priced at less than the lowest regular ticket price for that performance. Not all performances will have RUSH tickets, and notice of availability will be posted on the web site and on the Box Office phone line by 10 a.m. on the day of that event. Purchases of RUSH tickets are available only at the Vital Express Center Box Office, and must be cash purchases ­ no checks or credit cards. RUSH tickets are subject to availability.


February 11, 2005

Study Abroad Through College of the Canyons

College of the Canyons is offering exciting new study abroad programs that not only teach students about foreign history and cultures, but take them to the places they are studying.

Trips to Costa Rica and other Central American countries as well as Caribbean nations have been a staple of the Spanish Language program for several years and have proven to be so popular and of such educational value that the college is expanding its programs.

The summer of 2005 is the second time that the Hotel/Restaurant Management program will go to Rome, Italy and offer three program-related classes. The program will run from June 25 to July 23.

Three classes will be offered: Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRMGT 102 - Introduction to Tourism — Required) HRMGT 210 (Hotel/Restaurant Law) and HRMGT 245 (Hotel/Restaurant Supervision). Students will be required to take Introduction to Tourism and either the Law or Supervision class while in Rome. Each three-unit class has no prerequisites. All three classes will have online learning modules that will be completed prior to departure to allow students more time to visit Rome’s historical sites and take full advantage of an outstanding, European learning experience.
“I know from my own experience of college in Rome, and comments from students in last year’s program, that this is the experience of a lifetime,” said Kevin Anthony, department chair for the college’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program.

Students will be housed at the University of Loyola, Chicago, John Felice Rome Center college dormitory, located in Monte Mario. This is the largest American university outside of the United States.

Total price for air transportation, housing, bus pass and tours will be $3650. Applications for the program should be made by March 31 and payment is required by April 30. All participants must possess a current passport. “This year’s class will have the opportunity to obtain financial aid, and the program hopes to have some fund raisers to help defer the cost of the trip,” he added.

Additional study-abroad opportunities will be offered this summer at the College of the Canyons Vienna Institute, hosted by Dr. Brad Reynolds, history professor, and Dr. Bernardo Feldman, music professor. They are offering a 23-day trip, departing June 14 to Vienna and Salzburg, Austria; Berchtesgaden, Germany; Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy. The price for this institute is $3,895, which includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Europe; 21-nights accommodation; 36 meals; ground transportation and transfers; sightseeing tours; a performance at the Vienna State Opera; and much more.

The first part of the Vienna Institute will be based in Vienna, the “World Capital of Music.” The unique atmosphere of the city, the easy and relaxed approach to music and the background and appreciation of the people have created an atmosphere which inspired many of the greatest composers to write unforgettable works of music. Classes will be held at the University of Vienna and will be taught onsite at historically and musically significant places.

During the second part of the program, students will travel through some of the European continent’s most beautiful areas. Classes will be held directly at the sites which provide the opportunity to live and feel the atmosphere of each place. Students will travel through the Danube Valley to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. A trip to Berchtesgaden features the magnificent countryside of the Alps as students make their way to Venice — the “City in the Sea.” Excursions to Florence and the Tuscan countryside are precursors to the final destination, Rome, where students will visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and many additional historic landmarks.

The college has participated for many years in a Semester Abroad program through the Southern California Foothills Consortium, offering a semester in Salamanca, Spain in the spring semester, and a semester in London, England in the fall. Also offered is a London work and study program through a consortium with Mt. San Antonio College.


February 8, 2005

Longtime Instructor and Coach Lee Corbin Dies Suddenly

Lee Corbin
The College of the Canyons family is mourning the loss of one of its own: Lee Corbin, a longtime faculty member and athletic coach who died at his Las Vegas home in January, just seven months after retiring from College of the Canyons. He was 62.

Mr. Corbin arrived at College of the Canyons in 1973, playing a pivotal role in developing the curriculum and setting the standards in the new college’s Mathematics Department. He also coached the golf team and held many offices in the COC Faculty Association.

“Lee was a very sensitive, thoughtful individual who brought passion to the things he cared about,” college Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “He contributed to the growth, development, character and values of College of the Canyons and, in the process, earned the respect, appreciation and affection of his colleagues. Lee certainly will be missed.”
He was born in La Junta, Colo. on Aug. 17, 1942, attended grade school in Timpas, Colo., and graduated from La Junta High School in 1960. He attended Otero Junior College on a football scholarship and continued his education at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, graduating with a degree in math and education. He received his master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

He enjoyed deep-sea diving, underwater photography and traveling. He loved sports and traveled the country playing golf. He had moved to North Las Vegas to pursue his passion for playing golf.

A celebration of Mr. Corbin’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 in the Cougar Den, the picnic area immediately south of Cougar Stadium, where friends and colleagues will share their memories of him and bid him a respectful farewell.

Services are scheduled 10 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Peacock-Larson Funeral Home Chapel in La Junta, Colo. Interment will be held at the Higbee Cemetery South of La Junta.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the College of the Canyons Foundation, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Please note that your contribution is for the Lee Corbin Memorial Scholarship.


February 4, 2005

Audit Gives College District a Clean Bill of Health

The Santa Clarita Community College District received a clean fiscal bill of health during its annual audit, which determined there were “no findings representing reportable conditions, material weaknesses and/or instances of noncompliance related to the financial statements.” The same report was made with regard to federal and state awards.

The audit, approved by the district’s Board of Trustees at its Jan. 19 meeting, serves as outside verification of the district’s commitment to sound risk-management practices as well as its ability to plan ahead and deal with the state’s unstable funding mechanism and anticipate existing and future liabilities. Doing so enables the district to respond successfully to opportunities and challenges presented by the college and community’s growth, and commit to expand access to students and businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“The lack of findings contained in this audit report reinforces the district’s consistent practice of complying with general accounting standards, anticipating new requirements and maintaining adequate internal budget controls,” Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “As a result, we have been able to safeguard the assets of the district. Our fiscal stability and planning enable us to work with community partners in a forward-thinking manner to anticipate and prepare for future demands in our local economy.”

“We’re very pleased with the results of the audit,” said Board of Trustees President Joan MacGregor. “The trustees and the administration have worked very hard to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”

While not unheard of, it is unusual for an organization to come through an audit without a single finding, said Sharlene Coleal, vice president for business services at College of the Canyons. “The credit for this really belongs to the staff of the Business Services Department, and is evidence of their expertise, dedication and pride in their work.”

The accounting firm Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co. prepared the audit, which covered the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004.


February 2, 2005

Number of University Center Graduates Nears 500

Nearly 500 students have completed their degree or credential programs at the Interim University Center since it opened in early 2002, with a majority of them earning degrees or credentials at the graduate level, according to reports submitted by participating institutions.

Most of the 485 students completed graduate programs at California State University, Bakersfield and University of La Verne, two of six institutions that offer advanced degree and credential programs at the center. The idea behind the University Center is to dramatically improve access to in-demand educational programs by bringing them to the citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley.

“The Interim University Center has met some immediate educational needs within the community, but limited space restricts our ability to add more in-demand programs,” said Tom Orr, a staff member at the center. “Construction of the permanent University Center is critical if we’re to meet those needs.”

Of the 485 graduates, 385 completed graduate or credential programs during the period of January 2002 through December 2004; the rest completed undergraduate programs. During the same period, cumulative graduate-level enrollments stood at 4,935, while undergraduates numbered 2,523.

Enrollment figures show that the Interim University Center is growing. December marked the first time that undergraduate enrollment at the end of any six-month period exceeded 500 students.

Also offering programs at the center is Chapman University, which has experienced a sharp increase in enrollment in its undergraduate programs, and Cal State Northridge’s Tseng College of Extended Learning, which is launching new programs in sociology and public administration this month.
Also offering programs at the center are ELS Language Centers and TEACH, which helps train and prepare future teachers. Talks are under way with other prospective educational partners, as well.

“The data suggest that graduation and enrollment numbers will continue to increase ­ but only to a point,” said Orr, who noted that the most pressing need is for a single-subject teaching credential program, as well as additional degree programs in accounting, engineering and English.

The Interim University Center also plans to conduct a campus and community needs assessment to determine which educational programs are most in need, Orr said.

“Now that the special education credential and doctoral program in organizational leadership have been confirmed to start in September, we hope to identify appropriate programs that will complement our offerings,” Orr said, adding that they may include professional development courses and certificates.

For more information about programs offered through the Interim University Center, call Orr at (661) 362-UNIV (8648) or visit www.canyons.edu/offices/univctr.


February 2, 2005

College to Unveil Culinary Arts Program

With many flourishing restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley and a growing number of students interested in the lucrative and creative field of culinary arts, College of the Canyons is preparing to unveil a culinary arts degree program that will cater to the field's high demand. 

The first class offered will be Foods and Nutrition in the Restaurant Industry. It will be available in the spring semester, which begins Feb. 6. The class includes fundamental culinary techniques for commercial kitchen operations. 

“The truth is, if you learn how to cook, you will always have a job,” said Kevin Anthony, chair of the college's Hotel and Restaurant Management program. “The class will provide students with a solid beginning in the fine art of culinary skills.” 

The class will also provide serv-safe instruction and examination for individuals in need of a Los Angeles County food handler’s certificate. Because students will begin cooking on the very first day of class, learning how to handle and prepare food in a safe and appropriate manner is the first skill students must master. 

Chef Steve Eisner who has been in the food industry for more than thirty years, will be teaching the course. “The class is a terrific starting point for people who aspire to be professional chef’s, restaurant owners or hospitality managers in hotels, country clubs or institutional settings,” said Eisner. 
“The real fun is in the kitchen! What pot to use, how to hold a knife, how to bake, stew, braise and the best part is that students get to eat what they cook,” said Eisner. “I get so excited when I see students progress through the class and end up cooking a beautiful buffet as part of the class final.” Eisner is also president and CEO of ISSI, a hospitality company that offers food and housekeeping services in many parts of California. 
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