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History

The College of the Canyons Tradition

The College of the Canyons experience varies from student to student, but it still shares a common, unifying staple: excellence.

College of the Canyons is dedicated to offering students a well-rounded education that will open up a new world of ideas, information, skills and knowledge. Located in the heart of the Santa Clarita Valley, the college provides educational programs and lifelong opportunities for all those with a desire to succeed.

College of the Canyons is one of California’s premier community colleges. It is a public institution with a population of more than 23,000 students offering associate degrees and certificate programs. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities, provides life-long learning opportunities for community members and offers employee training programs for business and industry. The 2012-13 academic year marks the 43rd year of the college’s service to Santa Clarita Valley communities.

Situated on 154 acres, the college’s Valencia campus is conveniently located for easy access by community members and the business community. The college’s outstanding faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, programs and technologies make it a college of choice. Its 16 immensely successful intercollegiate sports programs – divided equally among men’s and women’s teams – traditionally prepare many student athletes for competition at the Division I level. In fact, several players have been selected in both the NFL and MLB drafts.

The 70-acre Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway is celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, and now serves more than 3,000 students on the eastern side of the valley. In August of 2011, the first permanent building on the campus took shape, as the Applied Technology Education Center opened, providing nearly 10,000 square feet of workshops and laboratories for the college’s auto, solar and water technology programs. The next major step will be the construction of more permanent buildings.

The 110,000-square-foot Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center opened for classes in August 2009. The University Center allows students to earn bachelor and master degrees from a collection of public and private universities that offer their programs here. The idea – to improve access to education by eliminating the need for residents to commute long distances to obtain advanced degrees – is working. Hundreds of people have already received their degrees or certificates in this way.

The University Center is also a hub of economic growth for the region, as it houses the local SBDC office, the college’s own Economic Development Division which offers business and employee training, and the Santa Clarita Worksource Center, a college-city partnership which helps local residents find employment.

Additional expansion projects are planned in coming years, with funding from the state and the $160 million Measure M bond approved by local voters in 2006. The Mentry Hall Media Arts Building expansion opened in the fall of 2010, and work was completed on the new library and TLC expansion in the summer of 2012. This new expansion adds nearly 52,000 square-feet of much needed space for student activities, including new group study rooms and computer labs. Also planned is a new Student Services and Administration Building, which will begin construction in 2013, and the new $6.7 million Culinary Arts Facility.

College of the Canyons has served as a gateway to higher education, professional training and, by extension, opportunity for the community. Its commitment to excellence is a tradition reflected by its innovative, results-oriented leadership. The outstanding foundation that has been laid will be further built upon, and the college will undoubtedly continue to uphold the ideals of education and contribute to the development of our vibrant, thriving community for generations to come.