Honors Information Page for CBL students
Use this link below to complete the online registration process for your Community-Based Learning Project.
Online Registration Form
Student Action Team Descriptions
It takes a village to do many things including stemming the current calamitous loss of biodiversity from the planet earth. As Paul Ehrlich aptly states, "we're sawing off the limb that we are sitting on."
In 2015 Ceballos et al. found the extinction rate of vertebrates to be 100 times faster than it would be without human activities. More recently, (Ceballos, Ehrlich and Dirzo, 2017) make the following conclusion: "Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a "biological annihilation" to highlight the current magnitude of Earth's ongoing sixth major extinction event."
This is relevant and important because humans are completely reliant on ecosystem services and natural capital that result from biodiversity (2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). Given that the global value to humans of ecosystem services was calculated to be on average $33 trillion per year (Costanza, 1997), it is well worth prioritizing preservation of these systems
Currently the responsibility for maintaining biodiversity lies in the hand of various organizations both governmental and non-governmental. However, given the scope of the problem and the looming consequences to the human species it is important to broaden the net of responsibility and to unite communities in the effort to maintain biodiversity.
College of the Canyons is ideally situated to be a leader in terms of these efforts due to its respectful relationship with the community, its esteemed success as a learning institution and its commitment to civic engagement and sustainability. The College has included the Biodiversity Initiative in its facilities master plan, which states the following: The continued degradation of life-sustaining resources, such as atmosphere and water, is in full-play and demands immediate action on everyone's part. COC is fast becoming a leader in fostering awareness and initiating solutions to save the earth's ecosystem.
Engage the Election
(Faculty Lead: Patty Robinson)
When it comes to our nation's students, many express disillusionment with politics; and, in some cases, they are heard asking, "Why should I vote? My vote doesn't count." As we head towards the 2020 elections, it is important to foster greater interest in the electoral process, especially among first-time voters. COC has joined with hundreds of colleges and universities around the county who are now part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) project headed by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Data show that in 2014 only 12.6 percent of COC students voted in the midterm election. As a result, a COC Voter Action Plan has been created to develop creative, informative, and sustainable ways to encourage student registration and facilitate voter participation for current and future elections. Become part of the process to create social change by increasing rates of participatory democracy through the development of an Engage tlte Election Student Task Force.
Food Insecurity/Public Health
(Faculty Leads: Patty Robinson and Cindy Schwanke)
Students will examine a variety of issues affecting the public health of our community. This includes addressing the topic of food insecurity, food deserts, and food sustainability. This team is especially concerned with how these issues affect COC students, since many struggle financially and do not have access to healthy and nutritious meals. Students will work with the Culinary Arts Department to plan events on campus, as well as assist with the development of its proposed "Fuel Station" this coming spring. Culinary Arts students will plan and prepare healthy snacks for students, all of which will be available on certain days in the Institute of Culinary Arts building free-of-change. While supported at this time by a campus mini-grant, the goal is to partner with local businesses that can provide food donations, including fresh fruits and vegetables to assist with "Fuel Station" ingredients. Discussion is also underway on how to provide low-cost recipes and food preparation tips to students, as well as to community residents accessing food at local food pantries. Collaborating with the Food Insecurity/Public Health Social Action Team, Culinary Arts students will provide demonstrations of easy-preparation, low-cost meals to students. Recipes for food pantries will address seasonal donations, since many individuals are unfamiliar with how to prepare less popular fruits and vegetables. The overall goal of this team, which is committed to better healthcare, is to organize and facilitate unique events and programs that will provide attendees with knowledge and resources to help them take the first step to transform their health. Events will emphasize practical, applicable, and manageable resources to create greater personal and community well-being. As the team grows, we hope to involve other departments, including Nursing.
Homelessness Task Force
(Faculty Lead: Patty Robinson)
The issue of homelessness in not new. In fact, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that almost 134,000 people are homeless in California, with over 55,000 residing in Los Angeles County. The number of homeless men, women, and children living in the Santa Clarita Valley reaches into the 100s. Unfortunately, these numbers are far greater as a result of the "invisible" homeless who "pass" without others realizing their plight. This problem is not limited to the person living on the street but affects our own students, including your peer sitting next to you in class. Become part of a Homelessness Student Task Force which will work to consider solutions to resolve our region's homeless crisis. Students will work directly with members of several non-profits, as well as consider ways to contribute the City of Santa Clarita's Community Plan to Address Homelessness.
Sexual Harassment and Assault
(Faculty Lead: Shana Williams)
Sexual harassment includes bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, as well as unwelcomed and inappropriate actions ranging from mild transgression to sexual assault. Sexual harassment happens to all genders, ages, sexualities, ethnicities, and races. Sexual violence affects millions of Americans per year, including 69% of sexual assault victims who are aged 12-34. One way to combat this problem is through education and training of young people, even as early as elementary and middle school. Become part of the "Wake Up. Stand Up." Sexual Harassment Prevention Team who will develop a student awareness/education "train the trainer" model for young adults. (This project is based on the work of AOC student Joelle Min.)