These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


January 26, 2006

Governor’s Proposed Budget Good News for College

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed 2006-07 budget for California contains good news for the state's 109 community colleges, especially College of the Canyons.

The budget contains increases in a number of key areas that will allow the colleges to serve more students, and while community college revenues will increase under the Governor’s plan, student enrollment fees will remain the same. The current rate is $26 per unit.

“This budget proposal demonstrates the governor’s continued commitment to access to our community colleges, which serve as the gateway to higher education for millions of California students,” said Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Superintendent-President of College of the Canyons.

The Governor took a bold step in addressing per-student funding inequalities between campuses by proposing $130 million for equalization. Due to a complex and unfair funding formula, the average amount of funding that colleges receive per student varies from a high of $5,481 to a low of $3,752. College of the Canyons currently ranks 52 out of the state's 72 college districts, receiving $3,871 per student.

The Governor’s budget for the current fiscal year provided equalization funds of $30 million, from which College of the Canyons received more than $400,000. The state has not decided how the money will be allocated in 2006-07, but College of the Canyons may see a significant boost in revenue from these funds.

The budget also includes 3 percent funding for enrollment growth, which will let colleges serve more students by adding classes and providing additional services. It is too early to tell exactly how much money that will mean to College of the Canyons, but initial estimates show the increased funding will make room for 63,800 more students at community colleges statewide.

As well, the Governor’s proposed 5.18 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) recognizes the quickly inflating costs for the colleges to operate while maintaining high quality classroom instruction and student services. The proposed COLA could mean an additional $2 million in funding for College of the Canyons in the 2006-07 fiscal year.

“We’re excited about the budget proposed by the Governor because it has the potential to correct some longstanding problems in community college finance,” Dr. Van Hook said. “We are optimistic that the Legislature will recognize the importance of the priorities outlined in the Governor’s budget and approve the funding levels as proposed when they vote on the budget later this year.”

January 25, 2006

Tuition-Free Classes Offered to Older Adults

College of the Canyons is now enrollment students in a wide variety of tuition-free programs for older adults throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

Upcoming classes include Painting for Older Adults, Creative Expression Through Needlework Activities; Basic Computer Literacy; Lifelong Learning Skills to Improve Memory and Flexible Thinking; and Global Events Discussion Groups.

Additional opportunities include Art Appreciation, Film Exploration, Issues on Aging, Creative Expression Through Vocal and Instrumental Music, and Writing Personal Histories.

Taking classes such as these is a great way to stay active, meet people and learn a new skill or brush up on some rusty ones. They meet at a variety of convenient locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley such as community centers and senior apartments. While most classes begin on February 6, others have later start dates; and some offer both daytime and evening sessions. For more information or to enroll, please call the College of the Canyons Community Extension Office at 362-3304.

January 24, 2006

‘Indians of the Southwest’ Class to be Offered

Demographic studies show that many southern California residents are transplants from some other place in the country or from around the world. And, while native Californians have had a chance to learn about local and regional history during their early educational experiences, the transplants generally do not. College of the Canyons is offering an anthropological look at the first settlers of the southwest in a class that everyone should want to take. It is called “Indians of the Southwestern United States” and during the spring semester, students will learn about the rich culture and history of the southwest and the environmental adaptations, archaeology, history, and ethnography of the Native American people.

Anthropology 215, offered from 7 to 9:50 p.m. on Wednesdays at the main COC campus, will be taught by Michael Mauer, who’s work with the Gene Autry and Southwest Museums make him an expert on the southwest. “My mother’s family were Arizona ‘pioneers’, arriving in the Territory in 1868, pretty early for Anglos. I spent a lot of time in the desert when I was a kid, and have always loved that country, its history, and its people. I find that the more I learn about the south west, the less I know, and the more interesting it becomes.” Mauer remains involved with the Southwest Museum in its docent-training program, giving lectures and other presentations on the Native Americans of the Southwest.

Topics discussed in the class include the archaeological background of the Phoenix and Tucson areas and their elaborate irrigation systems, the prehistoric cities of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and the Pueblo, Navajo and Apache cultures. The class also covers the historical relations of the Native Americans to the Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo cultures and explores the impact they had on one another.

“What is so great about this class is that it allows students to have an intimate and hands-on experience with Southwestern Indian art and technology; culture and history become tangible,” said Mauer.

The three-unit course is transferable to both the UC and CSU systems, and meets the diversity requirement for an associate degree at College of the Canyons.

January 23, 2006

Ferguson Foundation to Present $100,000 Endowment

Subject: Presentation, by the Betty Ferguson Foundation, of a check for $25,000 to the College of the Canyons Foundation. This is the first of four installments.

Time: 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Place: College of the Canyons, Student Center (S Building), Staff Lounge/Board Meeting Room

Event: Marjanne Priest and Judy Cox, who founded The Betty Ferguson Foundation in 1997, will be on hand along with several representatives of the Betty Ferguson Foundation Board, to present the check to the College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors (Board President, Steve Zimmer). With it, the College Foundation will create The Betty Ferguson Foundation Education Advancement Forum Scholarship that will be awarded to a College of the Canyons female student of any age who is either earning a vocational certificate, an associate degree (AA/AS) or is completing her general education requirements for transfer to a four-year university.

The Betty Ferguson Foundation is a local organization of women and youth, with a membership of approximately 275 members. Its mission is “To train, develop and empower women and youth to be a vital force in society.”

January 17, 2006

Geographic Information Systems Course Debuts

This Spring, College of the Canyons will offer yet another cutting edge course, Geography 151: Intro to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which will give students access to the latest advances in technology and geography.

“GIS is a map-making process using digital data that allows for creativity and problem solving in any field imaginable,” said COC Geography instructor Mary de la Torre. “From tracking the spread of disease, missing persons, sex offenders, or simply figuring out on which street corner to locate a coffee house, GIS is a visual tool that manages and analyzes geographic information for business, government, marketing and emergency response purposes, among many others.”

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, GIS experts relied on GIS technology to help find the thousands of people trapped inside their homes and to aid emergency responders in the massive effort to find missing persons.

The course will not only teach students the history of automated mapping and review of the hardware and software elements used in GIS, but will also provide hands-on-experience in applying GIS technology in the natural and social sciences, business and government.

Jeff Hemphill, a Geography instructor at the University of California, Santa Barbara from which he received a Geography Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002, will be teaching the course. “If you are interested in planning, business, or engineering, GIS is a skill you should start on early in the progress of getting your degree, no matter what your major is,” Hemphill said.

Some specific topics addressed in the course are: use of map scales, data structures, coordinate systems, data sources and accuracy, working with spatial data, map features and attributes, map overlays, manipulation of data base, creation of charts and graphs and presentation of data in map layouts. But aside from these topics and learning ESRI ArcGIS, which is the industry’s leading GIS software, “students will learn to think spatially, how to use geospatial data, how to approach geographic problems, and cartography and remote sensing. Basically, I’m going to put a little bit of everything in this class,” said Hemphill.

January 13, 2006

College Event to Focus on Technology

As a part of Los Angeles County’s recognition of Technology Week, the Economic Development Division of College of the Canyons will host a Santa Clarita Valley Technology Event, Tuesday, January 24, 2006, in the Vital Express Center on the College of the Canyons campus.

The free program, which starts at 4 p.m. will open with a panel discussion called “Biotech to Nanotech: Impact and Opportunities,” which will feature specialists in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. Three speakers will discuss the broad impacts of these new technologies in the area of nanotech, biotech and hydrogen. The discussion, which will be moderated by Peter Bellas, Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) at the college, will include a question and answer period.

A reception will follow at 5 p.m., before the 6 p.m. keynote address by Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruses. Buckelew will speak on “How the Cruising Industry Uses Technology Now and In the Future.”

LA County Technology Week is the brainchild of the LA County Business Technology Center (BTC), which started the program three years ago as a way to showcase Los Angeles County as a regional technology leader. The college launched its BTC affiliation in October 2005 and is hosting the January 24th event to bring Santa Clarita into recognition as part of the technology region.

January 4, 2006

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy Role-Playing Scenarios Slated

Subject: Role-playing scenarios

Time: 3 to 11 p.m. Jan. 4 and 5, 2006

Place: At various locations throughout the College of the Canyons campus, including empty classrooms and vacant parking lots. The command post will be in the college’s small gymnasium.

Event: The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Academy, class #345, will be holding role-playing scenarios, such as traffic stops, family disturbances and pedestrian contacts at College of the Canyons.

Role-playing scenarios teach academy recruits how to handle the many confrontational situations that will arise in their law enforcement careers.

January 3, 2006

‘Zest at Work’ Jumpstarts Year for Employee Training Institute

Have you ever gone out for dinner with friends and family, only to be greeted by a mumbling waiter, who not only gets the order wrong but neglects to come back to check if you need a refill? This lack of “spirit to serve” the customer is exactly what the half-day seminar “Customer Service: Zest at Work,” from NewLeaf Training and the Employee Training Institute at College of the Canyons intends to counteract on January 26, 2007. 

“It is often the case that people forget who their customers are, and that is in turn mirrored in the language and attitude they use when serving them,” said Paul Butler who will lead the workshop. “It is important to always remember that we are human beings, not human doings.” 

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 interactive seminar is meant to help those employed in the service industry to transfer their own zest for life into the workplace, a practice which will naturally yield better customer service and differentiation amongst ones competitors,” said Butler. 

Besides increasing and improving customer service, the seminar will also teach participants how to improve their personal performance, achieve work-life balance, improve team communication, reduce labor turnover and how to have better customer interactions. 

“A concerted focus on good customer service can make the difference between red ink and black ink for a business today,” said Kristin Houser, the director of the COC Employee Training Institute. “We’re excited to be able to offer this action-oriented seminar as part of our Employee Training Institute course lineup.” 

Butler has extensive corporate experience within leading global service companies such as Hilton, Marriott, and PricewaterhouseCoopers and is owner of Valencia-based company, NewLeaf Training and Development, a company which trains and develops programs which help work teams achieve their full potential and increase their profits.