2011​ NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​
Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​​​​

July 26, 2011

College to Prepare Students for New Careers in Aging Services

In an effort to provide better care for the community’s aging population, while simultaneously preparing students for careers in the fields of aging services and gerontology, College of the Canyons will introduce its new Skills for Healthy Aging Resources and Programs (SHARP) certificate program this fall.

Representing a program format not currently offered anywhere else in the nation, the college’s 12-unit SHARP program is designed for students to be able to complete in just one semester, with classes scheduled in the evenings and afternoons to accommodate working adults.

Geared toward those interested in careers in aging services or the larger health-care industry, the SHARP program will provide the skills and knowledge needed to begin delivering various types of evidence-based health promotion (EBHP) strategies to older adults, in a variety of health care settings.

“This program was designed to help older adults change their lives, and help students reach their career goals,” said Dr. Patty Robinson, dean of the social sciences and business at College of the Canyons.

According to the National Council on Aging, EBHP is defined as “a process of planning, implementing and evaluating programs adapted from tested models or interventions in order to address health issues” in both individual and community settings.

The SHARP program’s use of EBHP programs for older adults emphasizes both disease prevention and treatment, with strategies focused on topics including self-care, physical activity, fall prevention, substance abuse, nutrition and depression.

“The goal of the SHARP program is to teach students about these issues and get them trained to be able to go out into the field and relay this important information to the growing number of older adults out there,” said Robinson. “If we can start training and educating people about how to take better care of themselves, they will live longer and healthier lives.”

According to recent projections, more than 10,000 adults from the baby boomer generation will join the ranks of “older adult” each day, until 2029 — representing approximately 25 percent of the United States population by 2025.

In addition, chronic diseases affect the quality of life of more than 133 million Americans and more than 14 million Californians. It’s projected that by the year 2030 approximately six of every 10 people will be managing more than one chronic health condition.

Although various EBHP programs are already being offered to older adults in more than 30 counties by the state’s various community service providers — in settings such as senior centers, hospitals, health clinics and senior housing facilities — program leaders and facilitators are now required to undergo specific training in order to be certified for such work.

According to a recent Aging Labor Force Study conducted by the California Social Work Education Center, most public social services employees do not have any formal training related to aging and older adults.

“This program was designed to provide those organizations with qualified set of graduates to form an applicant pool and hire from,” said Dr. Janet Frank, assistant director for academic programs, multicampus programs in geriatric medicine and gerontology at UCLA. “However, gerontology is a multidisciplinary field, so the content included in this program will give students a great foundation to pursue many types of work in the healthcare industry.”

The SHARP pilot program was designed in collaboration with College of the Canyons, Santa Barbara City College, Partners in Care Foundation, National Council on Aging, California Geriatric Education Center and the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

This fall, the college will begin offering the four-course, 12-unit SHARP certificate program, with students being able to complete the first two courses in the program — Gerontology101: Introduction to Healthy Aging and Gerontology 102: Health Promotion-Behavior Change Theories and Practices — during the first six weeks of the program.

During the second 10-week block, students will begin to apply the skills they have learned in the courses Gerontology 103: Health Promotion Program Implementation and Gerontology 104: Health Promotion-Field Practicum, which involves 60-hours of fieldwork at a local community service provider.

Upon completion of the program students will be able to pursue employment in the aging services industry in positions that require individuals to plan, administer, evaluate and/or teach such programs.

“Our ultimate goal is to have better prepared people working in the aging services industry,” Frank said. “But these EBHP programs are also going to help bring about a new way to deliver community-based health care services.”

July 13, 2011

July 21 Session to Shed Light on New Solar Energy Courses

The Career Technical Education (CTE) division will host an information session for students interested in learning more about the educational pathways and career opportunities associated with the college’s new lineup of solar and alternative energy courses debuting this fall.

The college’s solar energy technician certificate program will include 13 units of instruction spread over three courses — Introduction to Energy Technology, Solar Photovoltaics Systems and Solar Thermal Systems — with students typically able to complete the program in two to three semesters.

The first course in the program, Introduction to Energy Technology, will be offered at the Canyon Country campus’ soon-to-be-completed Applied Technology Education Center (ATEC), with subsequent lab courses in the program scheduled to debut in spring 2012.

Including instruction in electricity fundamentals, alternative energy technologies, energy efficiency concepts and industry relevant mathematics, this introductory course will also serve as a prerequisite for future degree and certificate options in the college’s solar and energy series.

Upon successful completion of the solar energy technician certificate program students will posses a detailed understanding of the PV and solar thermal energy technologies currently being employed, and will be qualified to accept entry-level positions in the fields of solar PV and solar thermal design, installation and maintenance.

Students who complete the program will also be eligible to sit for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) exams in the areas of entry-level solar thermal and/or entry-level photovoltaics.

“All of our new solar technology courses and program options have been developed in conjunction with an advisory board composed of local businesses and industry representatives to make sure the curriculum addresses the direct needs of the industry,” said Kristin Houser, dean of career technical education at the college. “We want to turn out well-trained technicians who will be prepared to help meet the energy industry demands of tomorrow.”

The debut of the college’s new solar energy courses coincides with ongoing state and nationwide trends in the utilities and power generation industries to reduce consumer dependence on nonrenewable energy sources through a variety of wind and solar energy projects spanning all 50 states.

“Along with the increased amount of renewable energy being generated will come an increased demand for a workforce of highly skilled solar technicians,” added Houser.

In fact, a survey of the nation’s solar industry, released in January 2011, showed that more than 50 percent of all solar firms expect to add jobs over the next year, with less than 3 percent expecting layoffs.

Those same solar companies also anticipate a 26 percent increase in the solar industry’s workforce over the next year, representing approximately 50,000 new jobs across all related industries.

With that, the solar job positions expected to be among the fastest growing include: photovoltaic (PV) system installers, electricians and roofers with experience handling solar installations, sales personnel at wholesale solar firms and sales representatives at installation firms.

College officials are currently in the process of developing additional solar technology and energy program options in the areas of photovoltaic sales/customer service, weatherization and energy efficient technology, energy code compliance and energy auditing.

Once these program options are developed, students who first complete the introductory course prerequisite, Introduction to Energy Technology, will be eligible to enroll in the solar or general energy technology certificate program option of their choice.

Students interested in learning more about the College of the Canyons solar technology program or the lineup of new alternative energy courses are invited to attend an information session from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at the college’s Canyon Country campus, Room 300.

July 12, 2011

SBDC Partnership to Provide Free Small Business Training

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by College of the Canyons, has partnered with Citi Community Development (CCD) to begin offering a series of free seminars to help entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to launch and grow small businesses.

The Small Business Essentials: Building Financial Capacity training series will provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with information and real-world insight on a number of business-related subjects.

“We are thrilled to offer this series of core business training at no charge to the small business community, thanks to the support of Citi Community Development,” said SBDC Director Steve Tannehill. “These courses cover the essential topics for anyone looking to start a small business or grow an existing business.”

The seminar series began Tuesday, July 12, with meetings scheduled to take place through September in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, located on the college’s Valencia campus.

The schedule of topics includes:

• Basics of Business Plans — Tuesday, July 26
• Accessing Capital — Thursday, Aug. 11
• Monster Marketing Mistakes — Thursday, Sept. 15
• Social Media — Friday, Sept. 30

Each session will be hosted by a combination of SBDC business advisors and local Citibank business bankers, and conducted free of charge thanks to a $10,000 sponsorship from Citi Community Development.

“College of the Canyons is a strong partner in expanding financial inclusion,” said Rashi Kallur, community officer for Citi Community Development. “This series of classes enables us to build on our commitment to helping small businesses grow and succeed, and represents a terrific resource for underserved entrepreneurs in the Santa Clarita area.”

Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. CCD’s focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities.

The SBDC hosted by College of the Canyons was launched in January 2006 and serves northern Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita, Antelope and San Fernando valleys. SBDC business advisors assist prospective and existing small business owners in starting, retaining or expanding their businesses by providing workshops, one-on-one consulting and other resources to the business community.

July 11, 2011

Assistant Superintendent Named President of Reedley College

The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) Board of Trustees has unanimously confirmed College of the Canyons Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mitjl Carvalho Capet as the new president of Reedley College. Capet will assume his new position effective Aug. 1.

Capet served as the College of the Canyons assistant superintendent/vice president of instruction for nearly six years. He is the current assistant superintendent/executive assistant to College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.

“I am extremely proud of Dr. Capet and congratulate him on this outstanding accomplishment,” Dr. Van Hook said. “He is a committed and creative educational leader and a kind and compassionate colleague. We will miss him, but know he will find much success in this new opportunity and have a chance to fulfill his dream.”

Capet arrived at College of the Canyons in 2005. Prior to that he served as vice president of student learning at Cerro Coso College in the Kern Community College District and dean of business, arts and applied technologies at Rio Hondo College in Whittier.

Throughout his service at College of the Canyons, Capet was actively involved with the educational programming of the college’s many new educational facilities, and played an essential role in the college’s successful Measure M bond campaign in 2006 and the opening of the Canyon Country campus in 2007.

His insights about how to run additional educational centers in a college district gleaned from his years of experience in the Kern Community College District were pivotal to how the Canyon Country campus was structured from an educational perspective. He played a key role in developing the curriculum for the new campus and in positioning it to be successful from the first day that it opened.

While at COC, Capet also helped to expand the college’s commitment to high-quality instruction by hiring numerous full-time faculty members and overseeing the development of new degree and certificate programs at the college over a six-year period.

His responsibilities also included the oversight of all instructional operations involving the college’s approximately 200 full-time faculty, 450 adjunct faculty and 200 member educational support staff.

“Mitjl Capet is masterful at enrollment management,” said Dr. Van Hook, “and his skills, insights, experience and knowledge in that area have been instrumental in helping College of the Canyons excel in very difficult budget times.”

With state budget cuts a continual issue in recent years, Capet also sought new ways to help the college stretch its spending dollars. He developed a multi-year enrollment management plan for the college that enabled COC to serve a consistent number of students with less money.

That plan called for the strategic scheduling of essential classes to minimize the number of low-enrolled classes. By doing so, the college greatly increased the “fill rate” of its classes — the percentage of students in each class compared to the class’ capacity — from 60 percent to more than 90 percent.

“The higher the fill rate, the more efficient the college is,” said Capet, “and the farther those state budget dollars can go.”

Capet served as a COC Foundation board member and volunteered in a number of capacities with charities throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
He also is known for his passion for the arts. He established and maintained an art studio for more than 20 years and taught art at the high school and middle school level for several years. He has had personal art works shown in America and abroad. It is no wonder, then, that he has been a very strong supporter and advocate of the arts community in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“The blend of active community leadership, dedicated faculty and staff, and enthusiastic students we have at COC combined to create a very stimulating work environment, which has been an honor to be a part of,” said Capet.

Capet will take over for retiring Reedley College president Dr. Barbara Hioco. In his new position, Capet will be responsible for the planning and leadership of the main Reedley College campus, as well as the college’s off-campus locations.

Established in 1926, Reedley College is located in Reedley, Calif., approximately 30 miles southeast of Fresno. Included among the college’s facilities are an 800-acre forest center at nearby Lake Sequoia and 300 acres of farmland.

The college serves approximately 6,000 students in 100 areas of study, and is one of only 11 California community colleges to offer on-campus student housing. As the area’s main education and economic center, Reedley College covers a service area of approximately 6,000 square miles, providing educational opportunities to students throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

“Although I am excited about becoming a college president, leaving the College of the Canyons family was a hard decision to make,” said Capet. “In the six years I was here, no two days were ever alike, but I cannot recall a day I didn't want to come to work.”

July 6, 2011

PAC Partners with Boys & Girls Club for Arts Education Program

An exciting new arts education program — developed in partnership between the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program and the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley (SCVBGC) — kicked off this week to the sound of beating drums.

The four-week program called “Beat the Odds,” began Tuesday, July 5, and is an eight-session residency program that emphasizes improving learning skills such as focus, listening, risk-taking, team building and leadership. Hosted by the Boys & Girls Club, the sessions will be facilitated by Teaching Artists from the PAC’s K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program, who have been specially trained in the unique curriculum by REMO, Inc.
“Beat the Odds” is a drum circle-based activity that seeks to maximize creative expression while building social and emotional skills, emphasizing the process of learning over performance. UCLA researchers have shown that the “Beat the Odds” program can significantly improve such problems as anxiety and attention deficit/hyperactivity.

“We appreciate this partnership with the PAC’s Outreach Program and are happy we can be a part of this community initiative,” said the SCVBGC’s chief professional officer Jim Ventress. “We are especially thankful for the support of Remo through providing equipment. Anything to help advance art with young people is much needed.”

This partnership will maximize the ability of the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program to make important contributions to Santa Clarita by working with other community-based organizations to develop programs that provide arts integration opportunities for as many students as possible.

“We are always looking for ways to support arts education in Santa Clarita,” said PAC managing director Adam Philipson. “During school, after school, as well as in the summer months, the youth of our community can benefit from the arts year-round. We are very excited that the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley has partnered with us to provide this summer access.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley

Formed in 1968 by a group of community leaders who recognized the need for high-quality programs and facilities at affordable costs for area young people, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley now serves more than 2,300 youth, ages 7-17, at facilities in Newhall and Canyon Country. Programs engage members in education and career exploration, the arts, sports, recreation and fitness, character and leadership development, and healthy life choices.

PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program

The PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program continues to provide incredible opportunities for the youth of the Santa Clarita Valley through valuable partnerships with major arts organizations in California and across the nation. The program uses College of the Canyons’ vast cultural and community resources to expose Santa Clarita’s student population to top-tier, visual and performing arts standard-based arts activities and integrated performing arts learning opportunities. The Outreach Program has, at its core, a collaborative approach, partnering with teachers and administrators in school districts, and community-based organizations throughout the area to develop an enhanced arts education curriculum and a variety of unique educational opportunities for all students.