2010 NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​

Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT​ | NOV | DEC​​​​

October 29, 2010

Walk-Through Flu Shots Administered at College

College of the Canyons nursing students along with nurses from L.A. County Public Health Department and nursing faculty and staff from the college helped administer more than 1,000 flu shots to local residents during the flu-immunization Point of Dispensing (POD), held Friday Oct. 29, on the college’s Valencia campus.

The annual flu-immunization POD is a joint effort on the part of the college, the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the City of Santa Clarita and the L.A. County Sheriff and Fire Departments. The annual event also serves as a test of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) response, which would be dispatched in the event of a pandemic or bio-terrorism attack.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the college has hosted a flu shot event. However this year organizers decided to adopt a walk-through model, as opposed to the traditional drive-thru process used in the past.

Beginning at approximately 10 a.m., free flu-vaccines were dispensed to community members who had gathered outside of the college’s East Physical Education building in anticipation of the event. The wait for shots ranged from more than an hour for those who arrived near the 10 a.m. start time to just a few minutes for those who arrived after 12:30 p.m.

During the course of the 4-hour event, flu vaccines were administered to 1,015 people. Of those, 278 were of the nasal variety and 13 were pediatric vaccinations.

 A number of tetanus, toxoid-diptheria-accellular pertussis (Tdap) and pneumonia shots were also distributed during the event, bringing the total number of shots administered to 1,518. Tdap is the vaccination for the condition more commonly known as whooping cough.

While the drive-thru flu shot concept proved to be very successful in years past, the main reason the vaccine is administered is to test the CRI response and help prepare for the community’s response to a potential pandemic. The purpose of the CRI plan is to treat an impacted, mass population with medications within a short time period. 

Under the plan, communities are challenged to develop a variety of models through which vaccines can be distributed to mass populations. These “points of dispensing” or PODs can take many forms, including both the drive-thru and walk-through models.

According to public health officials, over the last four years the Santa Clarita flu PODs held at COC have ranked among the best in all of California. 

However, organizers decided to go with a “walk-through” model at this year’s event in order to perfect that particular distribution system. In the case of an actual emergency, it is likely that both models would be utilized in an effort to inoculate as many people as possible, in the shortest amount of time.

Although the majority of patients received their shot via the walk-through model, drive-up accommodations were made available for disabled community members.

In all, approximately 150 volunteers from the participating agencies took part in the POD exercise.

“It is amazing how creative and dedicated all of the volunteers were in making sure this event ran smoothly. I am impressed with how much we learned this year, which makes this event even more useful,” said Michael Joslin, the college’s dean of student services as well as the POD incident commander for the second consecutive year. 

“The planning and implementation of the flu POD fosters cooperation and communication between agencies that otherwise don’t often work together,” stressed Joslin, “but who need to be able to coordinate their responses in the event of a large-scale emergency.”

October 29, 2010

College Presents Jack Oakie Film Festival Nov. 2

College of the Canyons will host a Jack Oakie Film Festival designed to celebrate the artistic achievements of Jack and Victoria Oakie, while assisting students interested in applying for a prestigious Oakie scholarship award.

The Jack Oakie Film Festival will take place from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the College of the Canyons cinema room, located on the Valencia campus in Hasley Hall, Room 101.

The event will feature a 4:30 p.m. screening of the film “Tin Pan Alley” starring Jack Oakie, followed by a 6:30 p.m. showing of “Harvey” starring Victoria Horne Oakie.

Prior to the screening of “Harvey” at 6:30 p.m., COC theatre instructor Leigh Kennicott will provide insights and commentary about both films.

“The College of the Canyons Foundation is very grateful to the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Trust Foundation for its support of our students,” said Michele Edmonson, College of the Canyons Foundation assistant director of development. “We are extremely happy to have an opportunity to celebrate the Oakie legacy through this film festival.”

2010 marks the fourth year The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation Trust will award $10,000 in scholarship awards to students studying the Fine and Performing Arts at COC.

The primary criterion for the Oakie scholarship awards is for students to watch a Jack Oakie or Victoria Horne Oakie film and critique the film from the perspective of a scriptwriter, a director, an actor, a comedian, a singer or a dancer.  

Students interested in applying for an Oakie scholarship award may pick up an application packet in Pico Hall, Room 112 located on the college’s Valencia campus. 

About the Oakies

Jack Oakie’s film career was remarkably prolific during a turbulent time in American history. He worked steadily in the film industry from 1927 through the 1940s, and was on contract at Paramount Studios from 1929 to 1934. His career spanned many decades and encompassed stage, film, radio, and later, television.

Oakie appeared in 87 films and was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Dictator of Bacteria in the 1940 Charlie Chaplin film “The Great Dictator.” 

Both Jack and Victoria were actors and long time residents of the San Fernando Valley — known for being philanthropists and humanitarians throughout their lives. Continuing their legacy of giving, The Oakie Charitable Foundation trustees remain dedicated to the couple’s wishes; “Give the money to the kids!” 

For more information about the College of the Canyons Oakie Film Festival or how to apply for an Oakie scholarship award please contact the COC Foundation at (661) 362-3737.

October 26, 2010

Calling all Cougars: College to Host Homecoming Barbecue

The Foundation and COC Athletics are ‘calling all Cougars’ to take part in the college’s annual Homecoming celebration and pre-game barbecue honoring the college’s 2010 Outstanding Alumni & Friends honorees Marjanne Priest, and Jeri and Carl Goldman.

The College of the Canyons 2010 Homecoming Alumni & Friends Barbecue will take place Saturday Nov. 6, in the Cougar Den, located adjacent to Cougar Stadium.

Festivities will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m. with a no-host-bar reception, followed by a catered barbecue dinner and awards presentation.

After dinner, the college will present its 2010 Outstanding Alumni & Friends awards before guests make their way into Cougar Stadium for the 7 p.m. football game between the hometown Cougars and the visiting Ventura College Pirates.

The College of the Canyons 2010 Outstanding Alumni is Marjanne Priest, co-founder and corporate secretary of the Betty Ferguson Foundation (BFF). Through a partnership with the COC Foundation, in 2005 BFF established the Education Advancement Forum at College of the Canyons with a proposed $100,000 endowment. To date, more than $36,000 has been raised toward that goal.

The College of the Canyons 2010 Outstanding Friend co-recipients are Jeri and Carl Goldman, owner/operators of local AM radio station KHTS 1220, The Hometown Station. Over the years the college has benefitted from Carl and Jeri’s support in many ways, including the coverage of news and events associated with the college, support of the campus’ many fine and performing arts programs, athletic event coverage and ongoing advocacy for the college both locally and in Sacramento.

“Attending the annual College of the Canyons Homecoming barbecue is a great way for community members to pay tribute to our Alumni and Friends honorees and take in some exciting Cougar football,” said Chuck Lyon, COC athletic director. “We invite the community and all of the college’s many friends, alumni and supporters to come celebrate with us.”

Members of the COC Alumni and Friends can purchase tickets to the homecoming barbecue at a cost of $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Non-members may purchase tickets for $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

Dinner tickets include a catered barbecue meal, dessert and beverages, plus entrance to the game.

October 26, 2010

SBDC Receives Union Bank Donation

SBDC director Steven Tannehill (center) is joined by (from left to right) Kelle Warren, SBDC program specialist; Catherine Grooms, SBDC assistant director and Dr. Dena Maloney, COC Vice President of the Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development; in accepting a $2,500 check from Union Bank representatives Amado Orellana (right), Sr. Relationship Banker and Gerardo Guzman (far right), Customer Service Manager.

The check, presented Friday, Oct. 22, at the SBDC office located inside the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, will support the SBDC’s ongoing mission to provide free technical assistance and training to prospective and existing small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Union Bank as a sponsor of the SBDC program at College of the Canyons,” Tannehill said. “We will now be able to couple Union Bank’s generous donation with funds provided through the Small Business Administration to provide additional in-depth consulting and training services to local small businesses, at no cost to them. Union Bank’s support of the SBDC, and the entire small business community, during these challenging times is greatly appreciated.”​

October 25, 2010

Fast Track Institute Provides a Fast Track to Employment

College of the Canyons has developed the new Fast Track Institute to provide accelerated job preparation programs for job seekers, mid-career professionals, recent high school graduates and community members looking for an opportunity to quickly jump start their careers during the current economic downturn.

The Fast Track Institute will offer a variety of fast-paced, intensive job preparation courses that will teach entry-level job skills and allow participants to quickly begin working in local businesses and industries where applicants with up-to-date training are in high demand.

Fast Track courses take only a few months to complete, with participants earning a recognized professional certificate in their particular area of study or a list of skill competencies they can share with potential employers.

“This trend-setting model offers significant benefits both for our students and local businesses,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “We are proud to lead the way in creating real solutions that meet the needs of Santa Clarita companies, and help local residents obtain skills to launch new careers in industries that are actively hiring new employees.”

According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the county’s unemployment rate is expected to hover at approximately12.4 percent through the remainder of 2010.

While the City of Santa Clarita’s April 2010 unemployment rate of approximately 7.4 percent is lower than that of the county, as well as several other nearby cities, those figures are a stark contrast to other periods in the city’s history when local unemployment rates hovered between two and three percent.

However, there are several local employers that have maintained their market position, and are predicting job growth within their respective industries — despite the current economic climate.

For instance, a number of aerospace employers are anticipating an increased need for trained machinists over the next two years, as new contracts are established and the current workforce begins to reach retirement age.

Meanwhile, local employers in the manufacturing industry have indicated an almost constant need for employees trained to perform entry-level jobs related to micro and precision assembly — positions with the potential to pay up to $18 an hour after the first year.

“In meeting with industry representatives to begin developing programs for the Fast Track Institute we realized that well-paying jobs were going unfilled because the pool of available candidates lacked the proper preparation,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of Economic Development and the Canyon Country campus.

“The Fast Track Institute is aimed at giving job candidates those vital entry-level skills that are needed to gain employment and start a career,” added Maloney. 

A total of 18 initial programs have been identified for inclusion in the Fast Track Institute’s first offerings. Programs will be divided into four general industry areas: Manufacturing, Green Technology, Medical/General Office and Managerial/Professional.  

The managerial/professional track is specifically focused on the needs of mid-career professionals who either need to re-enter the labor market due to downsizing, or require additional training and certification in order to remain competitive in their current industries.

“All of the Fast Track programs were selected based on labor demand and will be particularly focused on industries where future job growth is expected,” Maloney said.

The college is also in the process of identifying other high-demand career and technical skill sets that can be developed into programs and delivered in a Fast Track format.

“The Fast Track concept is an important door-opener for people into a job and a career,” said Kristin Houser, Dean of Career and Technical Education. “Participants can get their foot in the door with this training, then come back to the college to pursue a certificate or degree and receive more in-depth education and training.”

Fast Track institute classes will typically be offered as intensive day and evening classes held at several Santa Clarita Valley locations, including the college’s training center at Aerospace Dynamics International, Inc., in Valencia and at both College of the Canyons campuses.

Classes being offered in fall 2010 include CNC Machinist Training, Office Administration and APICS Operations and Management Fundamentals.

“There is an urgency surrounding the industry areas we are initially focusing on,” said Pete Bellas, Fast Track project leader. “Local companies need prepared candidates to fill these positions now, and are willing to hire applicants who may lack experience but have received the proper training.”

All Fast Track courses are competency based, meaning students will need to demonstrate their skill set before receiving certification. 

Another goal of the Fast Track Institute will be to provide students with opportunities to meet and interact with potential employers through a variety of job shadowing, internship and job recruitment programs.

Courses are fee-based and paid for by the student or through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system, subject to student and course eligibility.

A series of information sessions about the College of the Canyons Fast Track Institute will be held throughout the fall 2010 semester in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center. Sessions currently scheduled include:

  5 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26, Room 206
  3 to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 1, Room 206
  6 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, Room 207
  5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 10, Room 206

October 15, 2010

Art Gallery to Present Thought-Provoking Prints

Continually presenting exhibitions that will evoke a discussion about the cultural role of artistic expression, this fall the College of the Canyons Art Gallery will present the thought-provoking work of late master printer Patrick Merrill.

Widely renowned throughout Southern California for his grand, intensely charged images, Merrill’s large-scale prints are often recognized for their deep political and psychological meanings.

“Patrick had the ability to transcend his media, creating powerful and sometimes disturbing images,” said COC art gallery director Larry Hurst. “His work is so infused with his being that it often seems like he is physically in the room with you.”

The exhibition, Patrick Merrill — Conjunction: Intaglio & Relief, will open Tuesday, Oct. 19, and run through Wednesday, Nov. 24.

This exhibition will feature pivotal examples of Merrill’s work, collected over a 25-year period of study into the nature of ‘synthesis,’ both as a methodological practice in printmaking and as the conceptual foundation for what Merrill believed was the primary function of being an artist — to be a cultural critic.

Merrill, who passed away in late August 2010, once commented about his work: “The conjunctive describes space, and the conjunctive gave me the means by which to engage complex bindings: narrative, philosophical or methodological.”

A special reception honoring the artist will be held in the COC Art Gallery from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24.

In addition, respected art historian — and contributor to a forthcoming book about Merrill’s life and work — Dr. Ruth Capelle will deliver a presentation about the artist from 11:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the COC Art Gallery.

“Patrick Merrill does not claim a celestial vision of the future; he maps the realities as they have already occurred and continue to shape our world,” Capelle said.

The COC Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Visitors unable to visit the gallery during these hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to make a viewing appointment.

All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.

October 14, 2010

Scholarly Presentation to Focus on ‘Mysteries of the Open Ocean’

The College of the Canyons scholarly presentation “Mysteries of the Open Ocean” will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, on the main stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons.

Presented by COC biology instructor Amy Foote, this all-ages event will take audiences on a voyage to the darkest depths of a unique and biologically diverse underwater world that is sure to illuminate the imagination.

“Since the surface of the Earth is approximately 71 percent water and mainly made up of our oceans, I feel it’s very important to educate the community on the many important features of this vast entity,” Foote said.

“Only a few scientists have ventured to the mid depths of the ocean,” added Foote. “Through this presentation I will share some of their findings that will absolutely amaze you.”

The presentation will begin by providing audience members with some background about the physical and chemical characteristics of the open ocean, and the many different types of creatures and organisms that live in the open ocean communities. 

However, the main focus of the presentation will be a discussion about how these features change — and how the organisms adapt — as the depth of the ocean increases.

“Past the 500 to 1000 meter mark the ocean is dark, because light cannot travel that deep,” Foote said. “But have you ever wondered how this affects the organisms that live at those levels? How do they eat? How do they communicate? How do they reproduce, especially if they cannot see each other? Again, the answer’s will amaze you!”

The presentation will also address the daily human affects on the world’s oceans, including last summer’s BP oil spill and the threat that disaster continues to pose to the various animals and organisms included in the ocean’s massive food web.

“As humans we do many things that affect our oceans, but probably the largest is the lack of education out there about our oceans,” Foote said. “It takes education and information for people to understand that when the water is polluted there are consequences.”

Foote joined the College of the Canyons biology department in 1999 and has taught a multitude of biology courses and labs ranging from organismal and environmental biology and human genetics, to oceanography and marine biology.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a Master of Science in Biology with a Marine emphasis from California State University, Northridge.

“I was brought up around the ocean and on boats my entire life,” Foote said. “One semester in college I decided to take a marine biology course. From there it was just a question of where I wanted to study marine biology. 

“Now I get to teach and share information about the largest and most dynamic natural phenomena on earth,” Foote exclaimed.

The scholarly presentation “Mysteries of the Open Ocean” is being presented by the College of the Canyons Foundation. 

Admission to the event is free, however seating may be limited. 

A pre-presentation reception sponsored by the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will be held in the PAC lobby beginning at 6 p.m. the evening of the event.

Attendees can park for free in lots 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, located off Rockwell Canyon Road adjacent to the PAC. 

For more information about the College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation “Mysteries of the Open Ocean,” please contact the College of the Canyons Foundation at (661) 362-3434.

October 12, 2010

Jupiter on Full Display at Canyon Country Campus Star Party

Back at the Canyon Country campus for a second viewing, the planet Jupiter will be on full display and available for all to view during the campus’ annual fall Star Party, being held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in the Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater.

During the event, College of the Canyons faculty members and astronomers will be on hand to provide audiences with information related to the largest planet in the solar system and help attendees personally view the planet through one of several high-powered telescopes that will be positioned toward the planet, its famous red spot and more than 60 moons.

To begin the evening, NASA astronomer Dr. David Ciardi and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) science system engineer Dr. Kevin Grazier will present a short orientation lecture to familiarize audiences with the fifth planet from the sun.

“This is the second time we’ve looked at Jupiter,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of the Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development. “We had such strong feedback about that first event and, given Jupiter’s visibility at this time of year, we’ve decided to focus on it again. 

“Jupiter is a fascinating planet,” stressed Maloney, “and there is still a lot we can learn about it.” 

Star Party attendees are encouraged to come early with picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a festive atmosphere as the sun sets in the west and Jupiter comes into view.  

Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the event through campus food vendor Maui Wowi. A portion of the concession sales from the Star Party will be donated to the Dr. Ram Manvi Memorial scholarship fund, to benefit students who are majoring in the fields of mathematics, science or engineering technology.

For more information about the College of the Canyons Star Party, please call the college’s Canyon Country campus at (661) 362-3801.​

October 8, 2010

Classified Senate to Host 21st Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair

College of the Canyons will hold its 21st annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 6 and7. As in years past, the event will be held at the Valencia campus’ parking lot #8, located adjacent to Cougar Stadium, off Valencia Boulevard.

The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, and also be held in conjunction with the campus’ weekly Farmer’s Market, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.

Dozens of vendors, representing a wide variety of craft products, will be on hand offering their wares and providing attendees the opportunity to purchase some very unique holiday gifts. Typical items include watercolor paintings and limited edition prints, jewelry, clothing, holiday decorations and much, much more.

“This is a fantastic pre-holiday shopping experience,” said Seher Awan, the event’s coordinator, “and is well known locally for being the place to find that one-of-a-kind, surprise-your-family experience when gifts are opened.”

Parking for the event is free and plentiful. This annual event is a fundraiser for COC’s Classified Senate. This year, 25 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.

October 7, 2010

Professional Development Outreach to Benefit Local School Districts

This week marked the beginning of what will become, for the five school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley, a hallmark of their efforts to bring sustainable Arts Education to every one of their 55,000-plus students.

The Santa Clarita Valley K-12 Arts Education Consortium, a partnership that developed as a result of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, announced the 31 teachers who will make up the first cohort of local educators to participate in a year-long series of workshops that will focus on developing an understanding of the arts.

The selected teachers will be provided tools and techniques to integrate the arts into their classrooms. They will also address curriculum requirements and develop concrete and measurable ways to enhance arts education for SCV K-12 students.

“This program is a natural fit for College of the Canyons and our education partners in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “In an era of limited resources, we can accomplish much more by joining together and combining our strengths and know-how. Great things will come of this partnership for those involved, and most importantly, for all of the students we serve together throughout the community.”

The following teachers from the Castaic Union, Newhall, Saugus Union, Sulphur Springs and William S. Hart Union school districts were selected because of their demonstrated commitment to improving the education of SCV students in and through the arts: Lynda Ashley, Sylvia Borg-Otting, Gayle Berentsen, Renee Branam, Geneen Caskey, Susan Cherritt-Nave, Linda Davis, Carolee Doing, Trisha Dominguez, Dina Echols, Cindy Edwards, Cheryle Ehrlich, John Fossa, Susan Friedman, Margo Grisanti, Sally Haggen, Cynthia Hatton, Brenda Keller, Cynthia Kirk, Lee Erin Kurimoto, Joan LaMarr, Dulce Mogan, Cate Muro, Priscilla Nielsen, Julie Sheldon, Tara Speiser, Jennetta Thomas, Jennifer Twitchell, Melissa Valencia, Dianne White and Kristine Wilde.

The Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation develop and/or expand educational partnerships with local school systems in order to establish arts-based professional development programs for teachers. The program is based on the belief that educating teachers is an essential component of any effort to increase the artistic literacy of young people.

The Consortium is made up of assistant superintendents from each school district and is the result of participation in the Partners in Education Program, which was advanced through a critical partnership between the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons (PAC) and the individual school districts. Select members, funded by the Kennedy Center, traveled to and participated in workshops at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. There they gained insights into arts integration and developed an understanding of the resources required to launch a professional development in the arts initiative.

With continued resources provided by the school districts, as well as the Kennedy Center, participating teachers will discover the benefits of integrating arts with other curriculum by creating activities that build upon already-established arts education standards -- The California Visual Arts and Performing Arts Content Standards, or VAPA.

K-12 teachers participating in the first cohort have committed to the full year’s program, which includes approximately 15 hours of workshop experience as well as in-class activities that are recorded and quantified. Kennedy Center-trained teaching artists will lead the workshops in the various arts genres so that each teacher achieves the proposed outcomes. The outcomes include gaining a deeper understanding of the beauty, depth and range of the arts, the value of the arts in aesthetic terms, and proven value associated with a well-rounded education.

“The Sulphur Springs School District is looking forward to this unique partnership and the opportunity it brings to enrich and inform teachers through exceptional professional development,” said SSSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Nolet. “Arts education plays a critical part in every child's education. We are (eagerly) anticipating the many years of working together to strengthen the role arts integration plays in the lives of our students.”

Professional Development in arts education is a sub-component of the PAC’s K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program that uses College of the Canyon's vast cultural and community resources to provide high-level arts education programming to every student in Santa Clarita.

With the united efforts of school district administrators in the creation of the SCV K-12 ArtsEd Consortium and the subsequent establishment of professional development outreach for arts education, Santa Clarita schools are positioned to be among the leaders in creative arts education in the region.

October 5, 2010

Athletic Hall of Fame to Induct New Honorees on Jan. 20

The Athletic Hall of Fame committee has announced the 2011 class of inductees, which includes the 1993 state championship men’s golf team, former women’s basketball player Kyetra Brown, former football player Mike Herrington, former women’s soccer player Kristine Marbach and former football player Isaac Sopoaga.

“This year’s inductees are very diverse in what they have accomplished at COC and in their careers,” dean of athletics and physical education Len Mohney said. “These inductees are role models for our current student-athlete population as proof of what can be accomplished through hard work. I am proud to be honoring them as the 2011 class.”

The four individuals and the golf team will be honored during the Cougar Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Guests of the dinner will have the honor of enjoying keynote speaker Joe Kapp who was a quarterback at Hart High School, the University of California, Berkely and in the NFL. Kapp spent four years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and Boston Patriots and stood up to the league in an antitrust case that helped form today’s NFL contracts.

The 1993 men’s golf team was the first squad to win a state title in the men’s golf program.

Women’s basketball player Kyetra Brown was one of the most talented point guards to don the Cougar uniform. Brown, who played on the 1994-95 and the 1996-97 team, was the conference player of the year and All-State both seasons she played. She is also a member of the California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Mike Herrington had his early beginnings as a member of the Cougar football team from 1976-77 and went on to become a pillar in the Santa Clarita Valley football community. He is in his 22nd season as the head coach at Hart High School and has led the team to six California Interscholastic Federation titles.

Women’s soccer player Kristine Marbach was the first Cougar to earn All-American status in the women’s program. She still holds records as the all-time leading scorer, career-goal and single-season goal leader.

Defensive end Isaac Sopoaga was the first Cougar to earn the Western State Conference Player of the Year award in 2000 and has been a six-year veteran with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. His 31 sacks as a freshman at COC still stands as the single-season record in California community college football.

October 4, 2010

Canyon Country Campus to Host Evening of Cinematic Suspense

Students and community members in the mood for a frighteningly fun film experience are invited to the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus for an evening of Halloween inspired cinematic suspense, screams and shrieks, during the free outdoor screening of director Alfred Hitchcock’s chilling classic “Psycho.”

“Alfred Hitchcock’s films are timeless, suspenseful thrillers,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, vice president of the Canyon Country campus and economic development. “The College of the Canyons cinema department is offering a class on Hitchcock’s films this semester, and we thought showing ‘Psycho’ during the Halloween season would be a great way to launch the Canyon Country campus’ movie under the stars series.”

The scream-filled screening of “Psycho” will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater.

The film will be shown on a 16-foot-wide, state-of-the-art outdoor movie screen, with attendees encouraged to come with blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a festive atmosphere as the sun goes down and fear fills the night.

The evening will begin with a brief presentation about Alfred Hitchcock and the film “Psycho” by College of the Canyons cinema instructor Melinda Johnson. Following the screening, and subsequent screaming, there will be a question/answer period providing the audience an opportunity to discuss the film.

Hot cocoa, popcorn and other snacks, beverages, tricks and treats will be available for purchase through campus food vendor Maui Wowi, located adjacent to the amphitheater.

For more information about the movie under the stars series and the screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” please contact the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus at (661) 362-3801.

October 4, 2010

Newly Signed Bill to Ease Transfers for Community College Students

Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB 1440, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, in an effort to simplify and streamline the transfer process for California community college students hoping to transfer to schools within the California State University (CSU) system.

The bill, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and co-sponsored by the California Community Colleges, will require the state’s community college districts to establish associate degree programs in transfer studies, while also guaranteeing that students who complete an associate degree program designated for transfer will be granted admission into the CSU system, with junior status.

Since the adoption of the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, preparing students to transfer to a four-year university has been a core function of the CCC system. In fact 73 percent of college students attend community colleges. However, only 25 percent of those who intend to transfer to four-year universities actually do.

SB 1440 also establishes unit limits on most academic majors, thereby reducing the chance that students will spend extra time, money and taxpayer resources, to complete unnecessary, or excessive coursework that might not transfer to some four-year universities because of a school’s particular entrance requirements.

“SB 1440 puts the needs of California’s community college students first,” said California Community College Chancellor, Jack Scott in a statement. “This law is going to make a real difference for students. The current process is too complicated. It’s easy for students to get frustrated, confused and waste time when the requirements change.”

According to a recent study by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, roughly 50,000 community college students transfer to the CSU system each year. Yet they do so with an average of 80 semester units, when only 60 are required to transfer.

Upon transferring to a CSU campus many students take excess units to make up for courses that did not transfer from their community college.

“The California Community College system does a great job preparing students to transfer to CSUs and UCs,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “Historically, students who are admitted to these colleges as transfer students from community colleges perform as well as, or better than, students who began their college careers at four-year institutions.

“Nevertheless, receiving institutions within the CSU system often have different lower division requirements for the same majors and fields of study,” added Dr. Van Hook. “This has added another barrier for our students, and causes many of them to have to repeat or take additional lower division courses, depending on which campus they were admitted to, and when they were admitted.”

It is estimated that SB1440 and its soon-to-be implemented transfer agreements will generate approximately $160 million in annual cost savings and help provide access to education for roughly 40,000 additional community college students and 14,000 CSU students each year.

The new legislation will also help strengthen California’s economy by providing more students with the skills and education needed to enter the workforce.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) projects the state will face a workforce shortage of a million bachelor’s degree holders by the year 2025.

However, it is also predicting that gradually increasing CSU attendance/graduation rates, combined with a 20 percent increase of the current community college transfer rate should dramatically close that gap over the next 15 years.

“California’s community colleges serve nearly 3 million students each year, approximately six times the combined amount of students that annually attend CSU and UC campuses,” Dr. Van Hook said. “Community colleges are the gateway to degree acquisition and gainful employment for a large majority of the state’s high school graduates.

“Making access to education and state-of-the-art training readily available to all students is critical to the state’s economic revival and the future growth of California’s businesses and industry,” added Dr. Van Hook.

In addition to the influx of recent high school graduates, displaced workers, adult reentry students and returning military veterans that have flocked to community college campuses in recent months, College of the Canyons officials are also expecting enrollment demand to surge as a result of SB 1440.

But while the state’s higher education system annually funds more than $11,000 for each full time CSU student and more than $20,000 for each full time UC student, the state only contributes approximately $5,000 for each full time community college student.

“As the most affordable part of the state’s public higher education system, and the one that is the most economical to fund, California’s community colleges are an under-appreciated resource that is critical to the development of our student population,” Dr. Van Hook said. “Our students have earned the right to be supported through the removal of barriers to educational access. SB 1440 is a step in the right direction.”

October 1, 2010

Theatre Department Musical Features ‘Texas-Sized’ Cast

With a posse of more than 40 students and community members performing as cowboys, cowgirls, line dancers and country crooners, this month the College of the Canyons theatre and music departments will present a production of the foot-stomping musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

Written by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” is a happy-go-lucky romp centering on the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel — so named because during the Great Depression poultry was accepted as a form of payment.
“Some audiences may be familiar with the 1982 film of the same title starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, but the stage version of this musical is much funnier, faster-paced and enjoyable for audiences,” said Paul Wickline, COC theatre department chair and director of the production.
Featuring a delightful country western score and a Texas-sized cast of actors, dancers and singers, this musical is cheerfully inoffensive and promises to be a frolicking good time for teens, adults, seniors, and anyone else who finds joy in a good old-fashioned line dance.

“This production features a multi-talented cast full of music, theatre and dance students as well as veteran actors from the Santa Clarita Valley,” added Wickline. “The talent, energy and enthusiasm they bring to the production will make this an entertaining, memorable experience for audiences. We can’t wait for opening night!”

However, because the production does contain some mature content, parental discretion is advised for children under 13.

“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” will run on the PAC main stage at the following times:

• 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15
• 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17
• 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22
• 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24

General admission tickets are $12 for adults or $6 for COC students and senior citizens.