These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


December 13, 2006

New Pastry Chef Instructor Keeps it Fresh

​To then-6-year-old Cindy Schwanke, nothing was worse than the discounted day-old pastries her mother brought home from work.

“I hated them,” admits Schwanke. “From that time on, I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef because, to me, freshness is a must.”

Now an award-winning pastry chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food-service industry, Schwanke will teach the first pastry baking class at College of the Canyons during the 2007 winter session that runs from Jan. 2 through Feb. 3.

“I came to COC in search of classes to complete my four-year degree, and that is how I learned of the great need to address the culinary arts passion in our valley,” says Schwanke. “I hope to give my students a strong desire for a future in culinary arts by sharing my passion and experiences with them.”

Schwanke has experience in teaching specialty classes in pastry design, baking and cake decoration as well as having the opportunity to prepare the specialty desserts for the Academy Award dinner hosted by Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. While at Spago, Schwanke had the opportunity to train with Sherry Yard, who was named outstanding pastry chef by the James Beard Foundation. “A James Beard award,” Schwanke explains, “is the equivalent to the Oscar in the realm of culinary arts.”

“We are so fortunate to have a pastry chef that worked with Wolfgang Puck,” said Kevin Anthony, department chair of the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Arts Department at COC. “Cindy’s professionalism and enthusiasm are going to help develop our culinary arts program.”

A resident of Santa Clarita for 17 years, Schwanke has also worked with the Hyatt Hotels in Valencia and Huntington Beach and at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

December 12, 2006

Nursing Program Achieves Re-accreditation from State

The Nursing Program has been reaccredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

The associate degree program in nursing at COC was found to be in compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the BRN, which accredits the nursing program every eight years.

“The BRN accreditation is necessary to run a nursing program,” said Nancy Faulconer, nursing program technician for the college. The accreditation process looks at organization of the program, faculty responsibilities, curriculum, facilities, policies and much more.

“We had a very strong accreditation visit,” said Sue Albert, Dean of Allied Health at College of the Canyons. “The accreditation team was so impressed by the course syllabi developed by our faculty,” stressed Albert, “that they re sharing them with other nursing programs. The accreditation validates the strength of our nursing program, the use of alternative methods of teaching and will allow us,” said Albert, “to continue to meet the nursing needs of our community.”

The College of the Canyons Nursing Program is extremely popular and routinely receives many more applications than its facilities can accommodate since it is recognized as one of the best programs of its kind in California. It boasts an 89.8 percent passing rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

The COC Nursing Program graduated its first LVN to RN in 1980 and generic Registered Nurse (RN) education began at College of the Canyons in 1990. For more information about the COC Nursing Program, please call the college at (661) 362-3550.

December 4, 2006

Training Institute to Present New Workshops, Courses

The Employee Training Institute and Small Business Development Center are offering a lineup of four workshops and courses from January through March for local business owners and employees.

Kicking off the series will be the course “Conflict Resolution: Turning Conflict into Collaboration” which is aimed at helping attendees handle difficult conversations and learning how to use the power of questions to resolve workplace conflicts.

ETI instructor and federal and state workplace mediator Gina Rae Hendrickson, who also teaches negotiation and mediation at the University of California Santa Barbara, will teach the course.

The two half-day workshops “Safety and OSHA Regulations” and “Environmental Regulations and Management” will teach attendees about compliance obligations in workplace safety and environmental arenas, and how to use knowledge of regulations to create competitive business advantages and improve the bottom line. These workshops are ideal for businesses regularly dealing with safety and environmental issues, such as printers, contractors, dry cleaners, hair salons and auto repair businesses.

ETI instructor Robert F. Ehrhardt, a former president of the National Association of Environmental Professionals and OSHA-authorized Outreach Trainer for general industry compliance, will teach both workshops.

Ending the month of January will be the half-day workshop “Customer Service: Zest at Work,” facilitated by Paul Butler from NewLeaf Training. Because highly motivated teams deliver better customer service and earn greater profits, this interactive seminar aims to inspire new positive energy and enthusiasm within work teams. This workshop will be ideal for anyone working in retail, hospitality or service businesses.

Butler has extensive corporate experience within leading global service companies such as Hilton, Marriott, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers and is owner of Valencia-based company, NewLeaf Training and Development.

For those interested in improving the outcomes of the most challenging negotiations, and increasing their ability to influence others and reach goals, Gina Rae Hendrickson will teach another course, “Advanced Negotiation Skills,” during March. Participants will learn the three phases of negotiating, the seven elements that determine the success or failure of negotiating and how to plan for important negotiations. Real estate agents and brokers, financial services professionals, business development professionals, and contractors are types of professionals for whom this course has been developed.

Additional information about the courses and workshops:

Thursdays, January 18, 2007 through February 22, 2007: “Conflict Resolution: Turning Conflict into Collaboration,” 1 to 5 pm at COC in room X-8. Call for information on fees; state funding may be available for eligible businesses and attendees.

Saturday, January 20, 2007: “Safety and OSHA Regulations,” 8 am to noon, and “Environmental Regulations and Management” 1 to 5 pm at COC in room X-8 ($89 each, or $160 both)

Friday, January 26, 2007: “Customer Service: Zest at Work,” 8 am to noon at Mann Biomedical Park ($195)​​​​​