With Santa Clarita Valley voters approving Measure E by a 57.59 percent majority, College of the Canyons will have the resources needed to not only meet the demands of growing student enrollment, but also address the community’s future needs for education and training.
The college, which was originally designed in 1967 for a capacity of 5,000 students at build-out, now serves more than 20,000 students at the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses. Projections estimate that student enrollment will surpass 30,000 in little more than a decade. Measure E will enable the college to expand its facilities and help students enroll in courses they need to graduate and reach their educational goals.
“With the resources voters made available through Measure E, College of the Canyons will expand access to high quality education and create more opportunities for the students, businesses, and community partners we serve,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook said. “Measure E also positions the college to be responsive to emerging workforce training demands as the Santa Clarita Valley’s dynamic economy continues to thrive.”
Recent estimates show that by 2020 nearly two-thirds of job openings in the U.S. will require some postsecondary education or training, though not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. With 1 million jobs in California expected to require at least some college education by 2020, College of the Canyons will play an integral role in ensuring the local workforce is trained and qualified for the increasingly skilled positions found in the area’s companies.
“With new facilities, College of the Canyons can continue to deliver relevant education and training programs that are responsive to emerging and ever-evolving local industry needs, thus equipping students to be successful in cutting-edge fields,” Van Hook said.
Measure E adhered to the guidelines of Proposition 39, which requires approval by 55 percent of the voters within the college district. It also includes accountability measures such as a citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits. The measure’s impact on homeowners would be $15 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value), which would generate $230 million over the next 12 years.
College of the Canyons operates two campuses, a 154-acre site in Valencia and a 72-acre facility in Canyon Country. On the day it opened in 2007, the Canyon Country campus exceeded its five-year enrollment target, welcoming more than 3,500 students. Due to its continued enrollment growth, the campus is eligible to receive 85 percent of the construction costs of three permanent buildings from the state, only if the college has local funding to match state resources, and assuming state resources are available. Measure E will assist the college in leveraging available state resources for construction projects at both campuses.