These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


October 27, 2006

Land Surveying, Construction Programs to Debut

College of the Canyons has designed two new programs in construction management and land surveying. This is in response to the community’s need for trained professionals necessary to catch up with growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. The City of Santa Clarita was the fastest growing city with a population size of at least 150,000 in Los Angeles County and exceeded the state's growth rate of 1.7 percent in 2003, according to the city’s website.

The college has developed a construction management certificate of achievement and associate degree program, as well as a land surveying certificate of achievement and associate degree in an effort to meet the high demand for trained workers.

“The only other Land Surveying program in the Southern California region is Santiago Canyon College in Santa Ana,” said Audrey Green, Dean of Program Development and Community Extension. “Both COC programs were developed at the request of the local industry and with their assistance. Large construction companies need trained and educated managers for both residential and commercial projects. Land surveying and engineering companies are turning away work due to the shortage of trained employees,” added Green.

The first classes in Land Surveying were offered during the fall semester and saw robust enrollment. Land Surveying classes slated for the spring semester include Surveying 101: Introduction To Land Surveying, and Surveying 102: Advanced Land Surveying. Construction Management Technology courses planned for the spring semester include Construction 101: Introduction to Construction and Construction Engineering, Construction 103: Blueprint Reading for Construction, Construction 104: The Construction Process-Planning and Scheduling, and Construction 108: Introduction to Construction Inspection and Codes.

“We are hoping to interest graduating high school students who have an affinity for being outdoors and who like math. Surveying in particular, requires knowledge of geometry and trigonometry,” says Green.

October 25, 2006

New Works Festival Puts Out Call for Submissions

Actor Lionel Barrymore once said, “Half the people in Hollywood are dying to be discovered and the other half are afraid they will be.” The fifth annual College of the Canyons’ New Works Festival is looking for playwrights in both halves to submit short plays, long plays, scenes and monologues which will be chosen to be performed at this year’s festival in March. For the first time, non-students are encouraged to submit their work along with College of the Canyons students.

The festival is collaboration between the COC English and Theatre Departments in an effort to motivate aspiring writers with the opportunity to see their work transmitted from the page to the stage.

“I was teaching a creative writing class and students were writing great short plays,” COC English professor Kim Gurnee said, “but they were never able to see their work come alive onstage, which is a very important part of creating dramatic work. After this need was identified by the English and Theatre departments, the festival was born.”

The festival is directed by David Stears, founder and artistic director of the Santa Clarita Repertory Theater, who, with the experience of creating more than 65 original works, is no stranger to developing new works.

Plays should be original works submitted by the original playwright, who should be willing to participate in the festival. The deadline for submissions is noon Tuesday, Nov. 21. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee.

October 23, 2006

Three-Week Educational Trip to Spain Offered

The Foreign Languages Department at College of the Canyons is finding new ways to introduce students into today's global society through studying abroad. For students who wish to be immersed in Spanish culture, learn the language, and earn up to 8 units in coursework, a summer trip to Spain will be offered from July 24 to August 11, 2007.

“Studying abroad gives students a relevant and unique opportunity to learn and understand languages and cultures besides their own,” said Claudia Acosta, chair of foreign languages at College of the Canyons and who will also accompany students on the trip.

“Students return from trips with a newfound appreciation for their family, their own culture and the world,” said Acosta, “and they gain an entirely new perspective.”

Some highlights of the trip include visiting the cities of Toledo, Segovia, Valladolid, and a four-day stay in Madrid. Optional trips include visiting Seville, and Lisbon, Portugal. Students who wish to be further immersed in the Spanish culture will have the opportunity to stay in the city of Salamanca for two weeks. Students can choose to live with a family or share an apartment for the duration of their stay.

Students will also visit universities and museums, listen to guest speakers lecturing on current issues, and will attend a flamenco show with the opportunity to learn the dance.

Information meetings about the trip will be held in the COC library, room R-206 from 2 to 3 pm on Oct. 27, 5 pm on Nov. 6, and at noon on Nov. 27.

October 23, 2006

Conference Adds Pre- and Post-Event Elements

The upcoming October 31st Entrepreneurs Conference at College of the Canyons has added an innovative electronic link between the participants and the Sloan Brothers, founders of StartupNation and the keynote speakers for the event.

“We decided there are two major opportunities to take this conference to the next level”, said Peter Bellas, Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies and one of the conference planners. “Before the conference, we want to hear from conference registrants about the issues and topics that are really important to them. After the conference, we want to make sure that attendees have ongoing support as they implement the great ideas gained during the conference.

“Through the assistance of the Sloan Brothers, Bellas set up a web-based forum on the StartupNation’s website to facilitate a dialogue between participants and the entrepreneurial experts at the Sloan Brothers organization.

Following the conference, the forum will be available so that conference attendees can pose questions about what they learned during the conference, share their experience as they try out business strategies covered by the conference speakers, and collaborate with other conference participants.

“One of the key challenges in being an entrepreneur is the isolation of working alone, without the peers you might have in a larger organization,” said Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. “With the Small Business and Entrepreneur Forum created for this conference, entrepreneurs will have access to a group of like-minded peers who are busy trying to start or grow a business. The web-based forum,” stressed Maloney, “is a unique way to launch a support network once the conference is over.”

According the US Small Business Administration, 550,000 small businesses are started every year. California is home to 2.6 million small businesses with half the state’s employment in small business. The Dream and Discover Entrepreneur Conference focuses on the needs of entrepreneurs who have a desire to start, expand or develop their business.

The conference is sponsored by the College of the Canyons Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, the Small Business Development Center hosted by College of the Canyons, and the California Community College Economic and Workforce Development Division.

To learn more about the conference, call the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division 661.259.3874.

October 18, 2006

‘Rocky Horror Show’ to Play at Performing Arts Center

The Santa Clarita Valley will do the time warp for the very first time as Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” opens at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center on Friday, Oct. 20. An 8 p.m. costume contest with prizes such as gift certificates, T-shirts and tickets to upcoming shows will precede an 8:30 curtain time for the first performance.

From its U.S. debut in 1974 at Los Angeles’ The Roxy to the cult-classic movie, “The Rocky Horror Show” has become a rite of passage for American audiences.

Mark Salyer, the show’s director, remembers the first time he experienced the show. “In the mid-80s, I was a first-timer. I arrived decked out as Brad Majors, scared to venture into any of the other wacky characters I heard about,” said Salyer. “I left covered with confetti and toast crumbs and a whole new Saturday night ritual to look forward to.”

Audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters, and like a true rock ‘n’ roll concert, participation is key. “The audience is part of it all,” said Salyer. “We want people to come ready to scream and yell and, especially, dress up.”

The lead role of Janet will be played by Whitney Vigil, who played Audrey in last year’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” COC student Aaron Wong, whom Salyer describes as “a total cross between Mick Jagger and Yoko Ono,” will play Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter.

Although audience members will not be allowed to bring their own audience-participation items, participation kits will be available for purchase in the lobby for $5 each.

Additional performance dates are 8 p.m. Oct. 21, 2 p.m. Oct. 22, 8 p.m. Oct. 27, and 7 and 11 p.m. Oct. 28.

Note: Content and themes may not be suitable for younger audiences. Parental discretion is advised.

October 11, 2006

Study-Abroad Trip to China Planned for June 2007

Driven by wild imaginations and a hunger for adventure, countless children have begun the Herculean task of digging a tunnel to China in their backyards, only to abandon the project, unfinished, due to the heat of a sweltering summer day.

Now, instead of digging that tunnel, College of the Canyons is offering students the opportunity to earn credits for Asian history and humanities classes during a 15-day trip to China and the Yangtze River from June 11 to June 25, 2007.

“Some of my best adventures have happened in China,” said COC history professor Sherrill Pennington. “I’ve climbed the Great Wall, stood before a mighty river in Shanghai, and even met a nephew of China’s last emperor. Next summer, students will have similar experiences as they encounter the places and people that make China such a fantastic place to visit,” said Pennington, “all while augmenting the research they're doing in their coursework.”

The trip includes a tour through Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and a cruise on one of the world’s longest rivers, the Yangtze. Students will get to visit the Forbidden City, Shanghai Museum, the Great Wall that stretches 2,480 miles, and the Terra Cotta Warriors archeological site considered the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

The classes that will be offered are History 191 (History of Eastern Civilization I) and Theatre of the Mind (Humanities 100).

​October 1, 2006

Free Speech In California, An In-Depth Presentation

Free speech is a right of all U.S. citizens. It was guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights since the earliest days of our republic. But do we really know what it means?  

Over the past 230 years, lawmakers have sought to define it, the Supreme Court has interpreted it, scholars have debated it, and citizens have both benefited from it and been befuddled by it. What started out as a fairly simple concept that defined a fundamental protection of our citizens and of our democracy, has mutated over the years into a very complicated matter. From restrictions against yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, to the handling by police and the military of 1960’s Vietnam war protests, to protection of the U.S. flag, to re-interpretations of our rights as a result of 9/11 and the enactment of the Patriot Act, it is clear that freedom of speech is not an absolute. And, it is clearly misunderstood.

A presentation by College of the Canyons professor, Dr. Robert Brode, at 7 p.m., November 21, at the college’s Performing Arts Center, will explore the status of free speech and free expression in California and open a lot of eyes in the process.

Brode is Department Chair for Administration of Justice and Real Estate at the college and will present this topic to fellow academics and the community in what the college refers to as a Scholarly Presentation — an in-depth exploration of a topic of interest. Brode is a retired Burbank Police Department Sergeant who received his Juris Doctor degree from Whittier College of Law. He is certified to practice law in all California courts, the United States Central District Court, the Ninth Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is currently also a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer with the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Support Brigade of the California National Guard at Los Alamitos.

In a world where the 15-second sound bite is so often the extent to which many people have the opportunity to explore complex issues, the Scholarly Presentation provides a healthy alternative for those who want to know more about a subject, ask questions and satisfy intellectual curiosity. Previous Scholarly Presentations have provided insights into eating disorders, how the brain processes 3-D images, the fascinating world of the sea sponge, and much more. The presentations are extremely well attended and often are the catalysts for extended intellectual discussions and debate.

The event is sponsored by the College of the Canyons Foundation and the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees. There is no cost to attend this event. For reservations or for more information, contact the Foundation at (661) 362-3737.