These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


February 20, 2007

Body Mind Wellness Challenge Kicks Off

Subject: The Student Nutrition and Wellness Advocates (SNAC) program at College of the Canyons will kick off its Body Mind Wellness (BMW) challenge with a pre-assessment workshop for participants.

Time: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007 and Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007.

Place: College of the Canyons, Fitness Center (PE 202)

Event: The BMW Challenge is an 8-week comprehensive wellness program geared to improve the nutrition, fitness and the emotional wellness of COC students, staff and faculty.

In order to enter the BMW challenge, participants must first undergo a complete pre-assessment of their current health which includes an eight-page lifestyle questionnaire, a five-component fitness test, and have their blood pressure, pulse and several blood tests taken.

After the pre-assessment participants commit three to five days per week of physical activity and attend weekly workshops relating to nutrition, fitness and emotional health. At the end of the eight weeks, participants will have a post-assessment to rate progress.

Participants who complete all components of the challenge are “winners” and will be eligible to enter a drawing for a variety of wellness prizes that encourage the continuation of healthy, happy living.

February 15, 2007

McKeon-Sponsored Bill Would Help Hundreds of Students

Officials at College of the Canyons reacted with appreciation upon hearing that U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-California) introduced a bill in Congress Tuesday to help California community college students get their 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 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.

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

February 13, 2007

Langston Hughes Project Jazzes up Performing Arts Center

Langston Hughes once said, “Jazz is a montage of a dream deferred. A great big dream-yet to come-and always yet to become ultimately and finally true.” On Tuesday, February 27, 2007 that “great big dream” Hughes referred to will harmoniously unravel in the multimedia concert performance the Langston Hughes Project “Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz.” The event is presented by the COC Associated Student Government in honor of Black History month.

“Contemporary urban musical artists, such as Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, or Ludacris, owe a debt of gratitude to Langston Hughes, and those who listen to current music will want to attend The Langston Hughes Project,” said Floyd Moos, dean of fine and performing arts at College of the Canyons. 

“Hughes brought a new and important voice to the African-American experience,” stressed Moos, “and his work announced to the world that the 20th century inner city streets were filled with complex and exciting possibilities.”

Dedicated to “the greatest horn blower of them all,” Louis Armstrong, “Ask Your Mama” was written by Hughes as an 800 line, twelve-part poetic suite. The intention was to transmit the mood created during the Harlem Renaissance by spoken word, a live jazz quartet and the use of visual illustrations on screen of African American artists and photographers such as Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks and Romare Bearden. Written in the 1960’s as a visualization of the global struggle for freedom at the time, “Ask Your Mama” remained unfinished due to Hughes’ death in 1967. The recent recovery of the words, music and images made it possible to finish Hughes’ vision justly. 

Music director and composer, Ron McCurdy, in collaboration with Eli James Brueggemann, orchestrate the original music based on the music cues suggested by Hughes. 

The words, sounds and images in “Ask Your Mama” speak to all ages and recreate an unforgettable era in our cultural history, bridging the Harlem Renaissance, the post World War II beat writers’ coffeehouse jazz poetry world and the Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960’s.

February 12, 2007

Design 360 Unlimited to be Presented at Art Gallery

The Art Gallery opens 2007 with Design 360 Unlimited, an interior design exhibition by the firm of the same name that was established in Santa Monica in 2003. The exhibition will run from Feb. 27 through March 31.

The exhibition will feature the work of principals Dean Singer, a second-generation designer, and his partner, Megan McFarland. Ideas, drawings, plans, boards, materials and an installation will take viewers from concept to finished interior.

A corporation that is primarily concerned with hospitality projects, Design 360 Unlimited’s client list includes Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, La Quinta Inn and Suites, Loews Hotels, Trump International and MGM Grand, among others.

Singer developed his international perspective while studying and working in both Florence and London. As director of design at the world’s largest design firm, he oversaw hospitality design projects worldwide. Born and educated on the East Coast, McFarland traveled west and had a career in interior design while still a student at California State University, Northridge. She moved from being a partner in a high-end residential design firm in Beverly Hills to her own firm.

Singer and McFarland will be on campus to participate in a question-and-answer session with gallery Director Joanne Julian at noon March 8 in the gallery. Community members are welcome to attend, and admission is free for this interactive exchange of ideas.

An opening reception is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 for students, faculty, college staff and members of the public. Admission to the gallery is free. A $1 parking permit can be obtained from the college’s South Parking Lot or in Parking Lot 6. The permit allows attendees to park in any regular space in student lots.

Art Gallery and store hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed Friday, Sunday and all college holidays. For additional information regarding this and future exhibitions, please call (661) 362-3613.

February 9, 2007

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 Aug. 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. She 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 and Valladolid, as well as a four-day stay in Madrid. Optional trips include visiting Seville, and Lisbon, Portugal.

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

February 8, 2007

New State Budget Supports Community Colleges

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s proposed 2007-08 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 $20 per unit, which is a $6-per-unit decrease that took effect Jan. 1.

“The governor has consistently demonstrated his support for California’s community colleges, and this proposed budget reaffirms his belief in the important work we do for students and businesses in the economic development of the state,” said Dr. Dianne Van Hook, superintendent-president of College of the Canyons.

The budget includes a 2 percent increase in funding for enrollment growth at all 109 community college campuses statewide. This funding will enable colleges to serve more students by adding classes and providing additional services. Early estimates indicate College of the Canyons could receive about $2.8 million of the $109.1 million available statewide. This is particularly good news for College of the Canyons, which was recently named the fastest-growing community college in the nation by Community College Weekly. While more than half of the 72 community college districts in the state are in a mode of declining enrollment, College of the Canyons is on the move and leading the pack in meeting the needs of the community it serves.

As well, the governor’s proposed 4.04 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 $2.4 million in funding for College of the Canyons in the 2007-08 fiscal year.

The governor’s January budget is considered a starting point for budget deliberations in Sacramento. It will be adjusted after tax receipts are collected in April, and the governor will make changes when he releases the May Revise. The budget will then be debated in the Assembly and Senate.

“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,” Van Hook said.

February 1, 2007

Sen. Runner Named Co-Legislator of Year for 2007

​Matters were winding down in Sacramento in August 2006 and it seemed the state Senate would soon adjourn, but business was far from over for Sen. George Runner. At the last moment, Runner literally ran down the halls with his bill, SB 1303, to get it passed in both houses and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
Thanks to the senator’s fast feet, SB 1303 increased high school student access to community college courses during the summer.

Runner’s intrepidness and dedication to higher education were recognized by Sacramento at a special dinner on Sunday, Jan. 28 when the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) named Runner Co-Legislator of the Year for 2007.

“As a thoughtful conservative, Runner’s priorities in the Legislature are to focus on improving economic prosperity, business growth, education excellence, and family preservation for all Californians. We honor him for his many accomplishments and contributions,” said Tom Clark, president of CCCT as he presented Runner with the award.

The California Community College Trustees is a statewide organization of locally elected board members responsible for governing California’s 72 community college districts. CCCT is affiliated with the Community College League of California, a non-profit association whose membership is composed of all 72 community college districts.

In attendance at the special dinner honoring Runner was College of the Canyons Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook, who has worked closely with Runner. “Sen. Runner has been a remarkable friend and advocate for California’s community colleges during his years in the Assembly and Senate,” Van Hook said. “All of us owe him a debt of gratitude for the tremendous work he has accomplished on our behalf. Our community colleges are more accessible and effective institutions because of his vision, dedication and persistence.”

Runner has provided leadership on numerous legislative issues related to community college funding, including Partnership for Excellence, funds earmarked for student success initiatives, including transfer to four-year colleges and universities, degrees and certificates, successful course completion, improving basic skills, and workforce preparation.

The senator also played a key role in the passage of SB 361, a bill he co-authored to establish a new comprehensive funding formula for community colleges. The new formula determines appropriations for equalization, growth, over cap growth, non-credit, and enhanced non-credit career and college preparation. He has also spearheaded efforts to improve building processes for community colleges so new facilities can be constructed faster and for less money, thus improving services to students.

First elected to the Senate in 2004, Runner represents Senate District 17, which incorporates the Antelope Valley, a majority of the Santa Clarita Valley, portions of Northridge, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, Sunland and Tujunga in the San Fernando Valley, as well as portions of San Bernardino County and Ventura County.

Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, Runner serves as vice chair of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and vice chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Runner is also a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, and the Rural Caucus.

February 1, 2007

High School Students to Visit College, Explore Careers

Subject: College of the Canyons will sponsor a number of high school students as they explore various careers on campus.

Time: 9:15 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, 2007

Place: College of the Canyons campus

Event: More than 100 students from the William S. Hart School District will participate in the College of the Canyons’ Groundhog Job Shadow Day, which is a nationwide effort of thousands of workplaces that open their doors to shadowing students eager to make a connection between academics and careers. Students will visit a variety of campus departments where they will meet the work teams, be encouraged to ask questions and even have the opportunity to complete tasks unique to those jobs.