For the sixth consecutive year, College of the Canyons has been honored for its dedication to providing access to service-learning educational opportunities with inclusion on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, inclusion on the annual Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
Originally inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll initiative is meant to celebrate the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.
This year, College of the Canyons is one of only 29 higher education institutions in the state — and the only California community college — to appear on the Honor Roll. In addition, the college has been included on the honor roll every year since its inception in 2006.
“We are extremely honored to have received this designation for the sixth year in a row,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “But what really inspires us is the passion and commitment on the part of our students to serve the community. Their commitment to learning and serving is infectious, and we take great pride in all that they accomplish to the benefit of others.”
Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to teach civic responsibility, strengthen communities and enrich the learning experience.
With the belief that students can make valuable contributions to the world while gaining educational experience, College of the Canyons strives to increase community involvement, strengthen student leadership skills and build meaningful community relationships by carrying out various service-learning projects.
“The recognition received for this award speaks loudly to the commitment of how important it is to our students, faculty and community-based agencies who work together for the common goal of creating new relationships, providing hands-on learning and strengthening community ties,” said Kim Arredondo, COC service-learning program technician.
In the academic year for which the college was recognized and awarded, service-learning projects at COC included the participation of roughly 64 faculty members from the college’s various departments, 80 non-profit community-based organizations and 894 students.
Recent College of the Canyons service-learning projects have included placements with The Wildlife Learning Center, Penny Lane Centers, Heads Up Therapy with Horses, Placerita Canyon Nature Center, Help the Children, Habitat for Humanity, Single Mothers Outreach, and the Boys & Girls Club.
Another successful service-learning collaboration is the annual flu clinic — joint sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the City of Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons and the L.A. County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments — in which COC nursing and EMT students gained valuable experience working with patients and dispensing flu vaccinations.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
For more information about service-learning opportunities at College of the Canyons, contact the COC service-learning office 661-362-3231.