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Q. What is Water Systems Technology?

A. The Water Systems Technology program is primarily designed for students interested in becoming water system operators for treatment, distribution, or wastewater facilities.

Q. What kind of certification do I get when I finish the program and how long does it take?

A. The program offers both an Associate of Science Degree (60 units) and a Certificate of Achievement (21 units). The Associate of Science Degree program is a 2-year program since it requires a total of 60 units (21 program units and 39 general education units). The Certificate of Achievement program can be completed in 1-year as it only requires 21 units.

How long it takes for you to complete the program depends on you, the student. Are you a full time student? Are you a part-time student? Are you working and going to school? How many units can you reasonably and successfully complete in any given semester?

Q. How do I get my Degree or Certificate?

A. Degrees and Certificates are not automatically awarded. You will need to petition the college for your degree or certificate using the Petition for Associate Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement form. It is important to note the petition deadlines

Petition for Associate Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement Link
Petition Deadlines Link

Q. What are the requirements to enroll in the program? How do I enroll?

A. There are no program requirements to get started. Your first step would be to enroll at the college and then register for classes.

Q. Is this an online program? Can I take all of my classes online? What is HyFlex?

A. Yes! All of the courses in the program are offered as either 100% online courses or as HyFlex courses. HyFlex means that you can attend your classes remotely from wherever you are as long you have a working camera, microphone, and internet connection. We use Zoom to allow students to synchronously and remotely join classes. This means that each week you may choose to attend class in person (face-to-face) or to attend class remotely using Zoom. The weekly Zoom link is provided through Canvas, the online Learning Management System. Access to Canvas is provided at the start of the term and only to students enrolled in the course.

Q. What classes do I have to take?

A. The required courses for both the degree and the certificate can be found here. The Water program has created recommended pathways for both the AS Degree and the Certificate programs. Each pathway document shows the recommended course sequence.

Q. How much does the program cost?

COC is a California Community College and our tuition and fees are established by the State of California. The current tuition and fees can be found on the Student Business Office fee page.

Q. Will this program make me qualified to be a treatment, distribution, or wastewater operator?

The program is designed to prepare students for a career in water treatment, distribution, and/or wastewater. Our coursework qualifies students for the various certification examinations given by the State Water Resources Control and required for employment.

State Water Resources minimum qualifications for Water Treatment exams and certification aligned with the COC Water program courses.

State Water Resources minimum qualifications for Water Distribution exams and certification aligned with the COC Water program courses.

In addition, the program provides those currently working in the industry CEUs for State Certification renewal. For additional information on state certification, check out the California State Water Resources Control Board.

The overflow plughole on Ladybower reservoir in full flow. Peak District, England.

Q. Will I be able to get a job? Does the program provide job placement services?

A. The program does not provide formal job placement services however the Employment Center office on campus can assist students (free of charge) with finding employment including resume writing/review, job searches, workshops, interview practice, etc.

For additional employment opportunities, we encourage students to join our Water Systems Technology at College of the Canyons group on LinkedIN. This group has been created to provide a forum for students and alumni of the Water Systems Technology program at College of the Canyons and water industry professionals to meet, share information, and network. Employment opportunities are frequently posted here.

For additional information and employment projections, check out the ONet Online website and the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.


Q. What should I do if I’m not certain I want to be a Water Operator?

A. COC students can make an appointment to meet with a Career Counselor who can help you identify the right career path for you.

Q. How do I make an appointment to see a college counselor?

A. COC students can schedule a counseling appointment in person or online through the Counseling Office website. If you have questions about the Water Systems Technology program or courses, contact the department chair, Regina Blasberg directly.

Water tank and pipe.