Public Information Office
These notices have been retained because the information remains relevant.
Advisory: Door-to-Door Solicitors
May 8, 2017
College of the Canyons received a report about two men posing as College of the Canyons students and selling discount cards that they claimed helped them offset the cost of their college tuition. Variations of this practice occur regularly, with the perpetrators claiming to be students raising money for college projects or activities.
College of the Canyons does not endorse this activity, nor does it ask its students to go door-to-door to solicit monetary donations for any reason. We encourage anyone encountering this type of activity to report it to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at (661) 255-1121.
Guidance Regarding Undocumented Students
Dec. 7, 2016
As one of the state's public community colleges, College of the Canyons is part of the largest system of higher education in the nation, the California Community Colleges. This system is led by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, a 17-member body which has the legislatively granted authority to develop and implement policy for the colleges.
In addition to being governed by state laws and regulations, College of the Canyons is also bound to follow federal statutes, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows children of undocumented immigrants to pursue higher education in the United States.
With speculation about possible immigration policy changes, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office released a guiding statement of principles to colleges regarding undocumented students.
College of the Canyons is making the statement available here for the benefit of students and community members with questions about DACA. The college intends to follow these guidelines and remain in full compliance with state and federal law while continuing to offer access to higher education for the benefit of our community.
Chancellor's Office Guidance Related to Undocumented Students
Additional information about the college's programs and services is available through the Admissions & Records Office at both campuses:
- 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
- Canyons Hall, First Floor
- (661) 362-3280
Canyon Country Campus
- 17200 Sierra Hwy., Santa Clarita, CA 91351
- Quad 1, Building C
- (661) 362-3900
Regular Business Hours
- Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Friday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Message from the Chancellor Regarding DACA
Sept. 5, 2017
A message from Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook regarding the announced expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Advisory: Facts About Bats and Rabies
Updated Feb. 19, 2016
The Santa Clarita Valley is home to a variety of species of bats, as is Los Angeles County in general. Although most people never see bats – they generally sleep during the day and come out at night to feed on insects – there have been reports of bats interacting with people. Healthy bats avoid humans and other animals. On rare occasions, a healthy bat may wander into homes and buildings while following insects.
If a bat has rabies, it can spread it to people or pets through bites. Only about 1 percent of bats in nature have rabies. However, bats that fly during daylight or have encounters with people and pets are more likely to be rabid; about 10 to 15 percent of these bats test positive for rabies in Los Angeles County. Of the 34 rabid bats found in Los Angeles County in 2015, half of them were found in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Encountering a bat may be a startling experience and a potentially dangerous situation, but you can safely handle the situation by following a few simple steps.
If you encounter a bat
- Stay calm. The bat's intentions are not to harm you, but it will bite in self-defense.
- Isolate the bat. Make sure no pets or people are near the bat.
- Do not touch the bat (or any other wildlife) with your bare hands. Wear thick gloves when you approach the animal, since an infected bat can transmit rabies through biting.
- It is illegal to keep, injure or kill bats. Do not attempt to rehabilitate the bat on your own or harm any bats when trying to exclude them from your house. If you find a bat in your home or on the ground, you may contain it and call Animal Control.
If you are bitten by a bat
- Bats that bite a person or pet should be tested for rabies.
- The bite mark from a bat can be very small and hard to see.
- Bats that are found indoors near a sleeping person, young child, adult who cannot speak, or pet should be tested for rabies. In these cases, try to gently trap the bat without touching it (such as covering it with a bucket).
- Call Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control at (661) 257-3191 or (562) 940-6898, or Los Angeles County Public Health at (213) 989-7060 during normal business hours or (213) 240-7941 after hours.
- You should also talk to your doctor and/or veterinarian.
- Rabies Fact Sheet (Los Angeles County Public Health)
- Rabies Overview (California Department of Public Health)
- Bats and Rabies Public Health Guide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Updated March 20, 2015
Are vaccinations required for college students?
- U.S.-based students attending the college do not require a vaccination record, nor do we collect information from the application about vaccinations.
- Students working in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and nursing, as well as EMT students, must demonstrate they are free of tuberculosis (TB).
What about international students?
- Currently, international students must show proof of a negative TB test.
What laws govern vaccinations at the college?
- Education Code 76403 requires the college to establish procedures necessary to assure cooperation with local public health officials for the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and to be compliant with any immunization programs required by the California Department of Health Services.
- The policy and procedure related to vaccinations are currently in the early stage of being developed and approved by the Board of Trustees.
What about children attending the school on campus?
- Children in the ECE must have the same vaccination records as any public school. Until the summer of 2014, parents could exempt their children from vaccinations, and some actually did. Parents had to claim personal or religious reasons. It was then up to the ECE staff to provide them with information about vaccinations.
- The law changed in summer 2014. Parents can no longer exempt their children. They must have a health care provider sign off on the exemption. Some of those exemptions have occurred. The ECE currently has children with both types of exemptions.
- Currently about 1 percent of the children at the ECE have such an exemption. Keep in mind that the ECE accepts infants and toddlers into the program; some of those children are not yet fully vaccinated purely as a function of their age and the age at which some vaccinations are administered.
Where can I get more information?
- The March 2015 newsletter from the Community College League of California Office of Government Relations provides some background information about vaccination policies in the various public education systems in California.
Legionnaire's Disease Remediation
April 29, 2010
A College of the Canyons employee has reported to the college's human resources department having been diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease. Legionnaire's disease is NOT contagious. It is contracted from water containing the Legionnaire bacteria. A second employee has reported the possibility of having been exposed to Legionnaire's bacteria and is awaiting medical test results. Both employees work on the third floor of Seco Hall. The college is following guidelines established by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deal with the issue. Part of our response is to thoroughly inspect the area to see if there is an identifiable source of the Legionnella bacteria that causes the disease. If the bacteria is found in the building, we will follow guidelines for eradication. At this time, we have no reason to believe that floors 1 and 2 of Seco Hall or any other student or employee area on campus are of concern.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/legionella
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): www.osha.gov
Information About H1N1 Flu Virus
Updated October 26, 2009
As the novel H1N1 (earlier referred to as "swine flu") outbreak threatens to grow in the United States and internationally, College of the Canyons urges all students and staff to take precautionary steps to safeguard their health and prevent the spread of this virus.
The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, Foothill-De Anza Community College District and ToucanEd have produced a 10-minute pandemic-prevention video targeted at students and faculty, offering facts about pandemic flu and tips for prevention. The video, in both standard and closed-captioned versions, can be viewed here.
Everyday actions to stay healthy
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective if you rub your hands together until they are dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Avoid close contact with sick people
Influenza is thought to spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. If you get sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Stay home until you have no fever for 24 hours (without using ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. to lower your temperature). If you are 18 or younger, do not use aspirin to treat fever.
Know the symptoms
H1N1 symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The high-risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not the same as for seasonal influenza. H1N1 flu has a greater impact on younger people, so the first groups targeted to receive the new H1N1 vaccine will be children 6 months to 24 years of age, pregnant women, caregivers of children, and health care providers. Once these groups are vaccinated, others will get the vaccine. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV). Many people are in high-risk groups for both seasonal and H1N1 flu, so they will need both types of influenza vaccine this year.
The CDC is monitoring the situation and providing frequent updates:
Tarantulas at Canyon Country Campus
August 3, 2009
There have been a number of sightings recently of tarantulas and black widow spiders at the Canyon Country campus. While we do not intend to alarm anyone, we do want to both advise and educate everyone about this development.
We are likely seeing more spiders now that the campus is becoming more established, and, as the temperature rises, these creatures generally become more active. As always, we try to live harmoniously with the wildlife that call the campus their home, but we must be cautious with the spider population. There are hundreds of tarantula species found in most of the world's tropical, subtropical, and arid regions. They vary in color and behavior according to their specific environments. Generally, however, tarantulas are burrowers that live in the ground. Most tarantulas would rather retreat than attack, but they will bite if they feel threatened. Like all spiders, their bite is venomous. While the toxicity of most tarantula bites is like a bee sting, some people are highly allergic to the venom and a bite could prove to be very painful or even fatal. Many people find tarantulas interesting and like them for pets. However, we urge everyone to avoid contact with them and leave them to their natural habitat.
Black widows are spiders identified by the colored, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. They are generally non-aggressive and bite only in self-defense, such as when someone accidentally touches them. We urge everyone to exercise caution when sitting at outdoor tables and benches. If you see spider webs, be extra cautious. We are working on cleaning up webs and encouraging our spiders to relocate to areas where human/spider interactions will be minimal.
What you can do
If you encounter a tarantula or a black widow spider on campus, please contact the switchboard immediately and report its exact location. In the case of tarantulas, our staff will remove them and release them into a safer location in the hills. We have also notified our pest service to help us deal with the situation and ensure the safe handling of all spiders on campus.
August 22, 2006
We've had a number of snake encounters recently at College of the Canyons, which is home to a number of different kinds of snakes, most of them benign. Occasionally, these encounters involve rattlesnakes.
This time of year is typically when snakes have offspring, and we frequently see both large and small snakes for a relatively short period of time. This year has been particularly hot, and with the construction on campus, it is expected that snakes are looking for other places to live.
As always, we try to live harmoniously with the wildlife that calls the campus their home, but we must be cautious with the snake population. It is a good rule of thumb to consider all snakes we encounter as potentially dangerous, to leave the snakes alone, and to call the switchboard immediately if we encounter a snake on campus. We have people on staff who are very experienced in identifying and handling snakes. We'll have them take care of any situations on campus.
We encourage you to follow the link below for additional information specific to rattlesnakes.
Advisory: West Nile Virus Precautions
May 30, 2006
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has reported that mosquitos infected with West Nile Virus have been found in Santa Clarita, Northridge and Chatsworth. Last year, that didn't happen until July.
To prevent human cases from occurring, the district urges residents to take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites, especially between dusk and dawn. People should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when they're outside from dusk to dawn.
West Nile is spread to humans from the bites of infected mosquitoes, which catch the disease by biting birds that carry the virus. There is no specific treatment for West Nile, which can be fatal in extreme cases.
If you run across a dead bird, call (877) 747-2243. Don't pick it up or touch it. Check to be sure there is no standing water where mosquitos can breed around your home or neighborhood. Make sure your window screens are in good repair.
Fewer than one out of 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito get severely ill. In most cases people who are infected never become sick or have only very mild symptoms that include fever, headache, nausea, body aches and a mild skin rash. The virus can, in rare cases, cause encephalitis and death. The elderly are most at risk for severe cases of the disease. There is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus. In a serious case, an individual may be hospitalized to ensure good supportive care.
Advisory: Facts About West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that has been found in parts of Asia, eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The virus was first detected in the United States in 1999 in New York City.
The majority of people and animals infected with the virus will experience no symptoms, or a mild to moderate illness. In rare cases, the virus can cause a more serious condition called encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, according to the California Department of Health Services. The elderly are at a higher risk for disease caused by WNV. In 2003, a total of 45 states detected WNV activity and more than 9,300 human cases, including more than 240 deaths, were reported. In 2003, WNV was detected in mosquitoes, wild birds, sentinel chickens, and a horse in six Southern California counties. Three human WNV cases were also reported from Southern California.
Many people who are infected with WNV have no symptoms. Approximately 15 percent of individuals who are infected develop an illness with fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rash, or swollen lymph nodes. In a smaller percent of individuals infected (<1%), a more severe illness (e.g. viral meningitis or encephalitis) may develop. These more severe illnesses often require hospitalization. The time between the mosquito bite and the onset of illness, known as the incubation period, ranges from 5 to 15 days in humans. Of the 9,300 confirmed human cases of WNV in the U.S. in 2003, 3 percent died. The elderly and immunocompromised are particularly susceptible to severe illness caused by WNV. There is no specific treatment for infection with WNV, although supportive care is important.
To decrease exposure to mosquitoes and the infections they may carry:
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk.
- When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts and other protective clothing.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET according to label instructions.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding.
- Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
West Nile Virus information and dead bird reporting
- Call toll-free: 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473)
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://westnile.ca.gov
Advisory: Cougar and Mountain Lion Encounters
For many years, our campus has been visited periodically by the real-life version of our campus mascot, the California cougar. Usually, this occurs in the late spring, but the heat, construction in the area, wildfires, changes in the natural food pattern, availability of water and other factors make predicting their arrival and length of stay difficult. Recently, fresh tracks were found on the west side of campus near Interstate 5, and a runner spotted a "big cat" in a tree near the cross country trails.
While this may seem alarming to those who are new to this part of the country, over time we have learned to have a healthy respect for these magnificent creatures and try to get along with them as best we can by giving them their space. Typically, cougars visit our campus late at night and in the early morning hours searching for food and water. When the campus springs to life with cars, machinery and noise, these visitors are usually well back into the hills. However, to be on the side of caution, we are passing along some safety and informational tips should you have an encounter with a cougar:
- If you encounter a cougar (a real one) on campus, please notify Campus Safety immediately.
- Never approach a cougar, especially one that is feeding or with cubs.
- If you come upon a cougar, stay calm. Talk firmly to it and move slowly. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation, so give it a way to escape.
- Stop. If it is safe, back away slowly. Do not turn your back and do not run. Running will stimulate the cougar's instinct to chase and attack. Face the cougar and stand up straight.
- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms and open your jacket if you're wearing one. If small children are with you, pick them up so they will not panic and run.
- If the cougar behaves aggressively, throw stones or anything you can reach without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly.
- Fight back if the cougar attacks. Unlike with bears, "playing dead" does not work. Cougars have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have successfully fought off lion attacks using such objects as rocks, sticks, clothing, garden tools and even their bare hands.
- When you hike in mountain lion country, go in groups and make plenty of noise to avoid surprising a lion. Keep children close and within sight at all times. Talk with children about lions and teach them what to do if they encounter one.
Advisory: Tips for Victims of Identity Theft
General guidelines to help minimize the effects of identity theft.