Message from the Chancellor

“No one belongs here more than you.”
– Brené Brown

Dear Students,

You have many options when it comes to choosing a college where you can earn a degree, obtain a certificate, or take just the few classes needed to achieve your goals. So how do you know College of the Canyons is the right choice for you?

Finding answers might seem challenging, especially given current circumstances. Colleges are closed and you can’t tour the campus and meet our outstanding faculty and staff. But now, as always, College of the Canyons stands apart from the rest.

Since we first opened our doors to students more than 50 years ago, our college has been widely recognized for offering innovative programs, really “seeing” our students, putting the their needs first, and being intentional to create a welcoming, open environment that fosters the success of those we serve. The opportunities we create to energize students exceed those found elsewhere because we are committed to helping your thrive.

More Options to Succeed

Canyons HallHere, you can choose from 99 associate degree programs and 122 certificate options, in everything from animation to welding. That includes 31 associate degrees for transfer, also known as ADTs, which help you move seamlessly from our college to a California State University campus. For two years’ running, College of the Canyons has been named a “Champion of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer” by The Campaign for College Opportunity for significantly increasing the number of students earning an ADT.

Preparing people for careers, especially in these times of economic disruption and the changing nature of work is more important than ever. More than 92 percent of our nursing graduates pass the licensing exam the first time they take it, a pass rate higher than the national average. While we are known for training nurses, along with fire fighters, police officers, welders, land surveyors, automotive technicians and more, all of our career education programs can help you launch a rewarding career. Students who complete career education courses at College of the Canyons see a 37 percent increase in median wages.

Keeping College Affordable

We recognize that attending college can be a challenge, especially when it comes to affordability. We’re committed to eliminating the barrier of cost for as many students as possible. Our Canyons Promise program provides free tuition for first-time students who enroll full-time. For fall 2020, we had 1,865 students enroll, a 50 percent increase from the prior year. And, thanks to donors who give generously to the College of the Canyons Foundation, we awarded $250,083 in scholarships to our students in 2020, and we have a scholarship endowment of $1.5 million to support our students in the future.

Textbooks represent a significant cost of education, so we are working to make them more affordable. When you register, look for classes labeled with “ZTC” in the course schedule. ZTC stands for zero textbook cost, and identifies courses where the instructor has chosen alternatives to costly traditional textbooks. We are a leader in creating these resources, so much so that we saved students $5 million in textbook costs over the past year.

We recognize that some students struggle with food and housing insecurity, so we launched the Basic Needs Center (BaNC) to provide students with food and housing assistance, and to connect them with other services and resources so they can focus on class, and not worry about where they will sleep or might be able to find food.

With instruction being moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also working to ensure students have access to technology. We have provided more than 1,000 laptops to students to date. And we don’t loan them out to be returned at the end of the semester. The laptops are theirs to keep.

Building for the Future

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus as soon as it is safe to do so. And things will certainly look different then, as we are moving forward with construction and renovation projects to create modern, well-equipped learning spaces for our students.

At the Canyon Country Campus, we are nearing completion of the Science Center, a four-story, 55,000-square-foot facility featuring classrooms and labs for many in-demand programs, including anatomy, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, and environmental science. And next to it, the Student Services/Learning Resource Center is taking shape since we broke ground this year. A mirror image of the Science Center, its four stories will provide a central location for tutoring and library services, along with meeting and classroom spaces.

At the Valencia Campus, we are continuing to upgrade facilities that date to the early days of the college. Boykin Hall, a 44-year-old science laboratory facility, is set to undergo a $4.8 million modernization that will provide students with upgraded laboratories and classrooms.

We Want You Here

Canyons HallWe serve 35,000 individual students each year at College of the Canyons. Their reasons for choosing COC are as varied as their backgrounds, experiences, and interests. We recognize that no two students are alike, and we seek to inspire each one to reach their individual potential. And indeed, they have. The Class of 2020 was among our largest graduating class ever, with 2,427 students earning degrees, a 7 percent increase over the prior year. We look forward to welcoming you to College of the Canyons and helping you achieve your goals!

We are a community of learners, doers, and leaders who represent a diverse spectrum of age, gender, and ethnicity, and who are committed to helping each other succeed. Thriving student alliance groups, including the African American/Black Student Alliance, the Latinx Alliance, the Trans Alliance, the Gender Sexuality Alliance, the First-Gen Student Alliance, the Autism Social Alliance, and the Veteran Student Alliance, are led by faculty, staff and administrators committed to helping students connect with mentors, counselors, financial aid advisors and other resource specialists, and creating opportunities to discuss issues in safe and brave spaces.

So what is it about College of the Canyons that draws so many students here? The same thing that will undoubtedly bring you here too – knowing that this is where you belong.

Welcome to College of the Canyons. We’re glad you’re here.

Sincerely,

Dianne Van Hook Signature

Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook
Chancellor