header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 7
1849 - Jayhawkers encounter Bennett-Arcan party in southern Utah; latter makes wrong decision, heads through Death Valley toward SCV [story]
William Manly

| Thursday, Jan 7, 2021
COC Culinary Arts
Chef Daniel Otto teaches a culinary arts student how to properly sear a steak.


Although College of the Canyons was limited to remote instruction during the fall 2020 semester, it was clear that not everything could be properly taught over Zoom.

Students enrolled in essential infrastructure programs such welding, culinary arts, automotive technician, medical laboratory technician, emergency medical technician (EMT), land surveying, construction management and technology, and nursing need hands-on training to be prepared to enter the workforce.

After following state and county protocols in order to receive the necessary clearance to begin hosting on-campus classes, the college began to offer in-person instruction for more than 50 class essential infrastructure class sections to provide students with hands-on training during the fall 2020 semester.

As a result, countless of students have secured employment and four nursing graduates and 37 EMT graduates will qualify for national licensure examinations.

“Being able to finish their training in person gives students the technical and dexterity skills they need,” said Cindy Schwanke, chair of the college’s culinary arts program. “It’s hard to teach that online.”

After adjusting syllabi and undergoing training to teach online, the culinary arts department restructured its program to teach beginning courses online and reserve in-person instruction for advanced students who are finishing their degrees.

“We were very grateful that the college allowed us to come back on campus,” said Schwanke. “I was happy for the students.”

On a Tuesday morning at the College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education, five masked students gathered around a large steel table to watch as Chef Michelle Razzano poured liquid nitrogen over a bowl of marshmallows. Next door, Chef Daniel Otto taught students how to properly sear a steak. In another corner of the building, Schwanke’s students poured chocolate under her watchful and skilled eye.

“When they walk into a professional kitchen or pastry shop, they’re not walking into it cold,” explained Schwanke. “It gives them a sense of familiarity in a kitchen and the basic skills to move so they’re not training on the job.”

Once given the green light for in-person instruction, the college’s Medical Lab Technician (MLT) program also reconsidered its instruction methods to best teach students during the pandemic, which has spurred creativity among faculty.

“We are using more videos and audio recorded instruction to help our students know what we will be doing in lab ahead of time,” said Dr. Hencelyn Chu, chair of the MLT program at the college. “This helps students anticipate and plan for the lab activities, which has increased our efficiency to accomplish the tasks in a timely manner on campus. Students come to class prepared and ready to go.”

Still, the adjustment process has been challenging for faculty and students alike.

“I did not realize how facial expressions, specifically, during the on-campus instruction, significantly impacted instruction,” said Chu. “Students can see when you smile when encouraging them to keep going, while learning a new skill. That is tough to do with the masks on.”

In a recent lab lecture, four socially distanced students were present as
Dr. Chu filmed a lab lecture on how to operate a blood count analyzer with the help of an aide.

“Having students observe how to perform new techniques and skills live is critical to the students’ abilities to connect lecture theory with lab experience,” said Chu. “Online simulation activities are important. However, they do not replace hands-on activities in the lab.”

To that end, on-campus courses are designed to maximize opportunities for students to develop their skill sets and increase their confidence.

“Such activities will help them perform safely and effectively at the clinical sites during year two of the program,” said Chu. “Without the on-campus lab courses, they may not be able to practice safety skills and techniques and develop the confidence that they need to succeed in their clinical training and subsequent employment.”

The experience students acquire in clinical lab courses can help them obtain jobs as lab assistants and entry-level positions in clinical labs, added Chu.

“This is currently in demand, as many COVID-19 testing facilities are hiring specimen processors, lab assistants, and non-technical staff members to help with the increased testing labs,” said Chu.

Citing a MLT shortage in California and in many parts of the country, Chu says training the next generation of MLTs has never been more crucial.

“Physicians and health care practitioners rely on our services to diagnose and monitor treatment for all patients, including those with underlying conditions and COVID-19 patients,” said Chu.

The demand is so high that several students are already employed as phlebotomists and lab assistants in various facilities.

“Because of the recent COVID-19 surge, it has impacted their ability to concentrate on school work because they are picking up extra shifts at the hospitals to cover for colleagues who are COVID-19 positive and are unable to work,” said Chu. “These are very challenging times for our students right now.”

COC MLT Students

Dr. Hencelyn Chu (right) films a lab lecture on how to operate a blood count analyzer for her MLT students.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
California State University, Northridge’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is hosting the first annual BikeFest on Sunday, Oct. 23.
Wednesday, Oct 5, 2022
College of the Canyons has received a $1.37 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Assistance Means Parents In School program to directly benefit the college’s Early Childhood Education Center. 
Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022
"Groundworks," a new documentary by Justine Garrett (Critical Studies MFA 2006) and Ian Garrett (Theater MFA 2008), airs on multiple U.S. public television stations this month. In Southern California, the film was broadcast on KCET on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and will air on PBS SoCal on Oct. 10-11, coinciding with Indigenous People’s Day.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Two recent graduates of CalArts’ MFA Experimental Animation Program, Moon (Yuezhu) Wang and Dairys Escoto De León, have been selected for the 2022-23 Association for Independent Colleges of Art and Design Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowships.
Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
Are you hiring? Looking for a new career? The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Center has partnered with College of the Canyons, the city of Santa Clarita and America's Job Centers of California to host a valley-wide job fair at the Canyon Country Community Center Thursday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Second Annual Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Golf Tournament fundraiser will be held Monday, Nov. 7 at the Valencia Country Club.
Nov. 7: Second Annual SCV Sheriff’s Station Golf Tourney
College of the Canyons freshman Carla Menendez tied with two others for medalist honors, leading the Cougars to a fifth straight conference victory at Antelope Valley Country Club on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Cougars Continue Conference Win Streak, Menendez Medals Again
Want to find beauty in your yard year after year? Learn how to landscape using perennials and natives. They are plants that live for two or more years and are well suited for your landscape and the Santa Clarita Valley climate. Join the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's free virtual gardening class, "Perennials and Natives for the SCV," on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9 a.m.
Oct. 15: SCV Water Free Gardening Class SCV Perennials, Natives
The California Highway Patrol will implement a yearlong federal grant to help save lives and reduce the risk associated with riding a motorcycle.
CHP Receives Grant to Increase Safety for Motorcyclists
The Santa Clarita Valley Potters will be "abandoning" art throughout the Santa Clarita Valley Oct. 10-21. Residents are encouraged to join the Abandoned Art SCV Facebook page to find clues on where the hidden ceramics can be found in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Oct. 10-23: SCV Potters Abandoned Art, Fall Sale
1849 - Jayhawkers encounter Bennett-Arcan party in southern Utah; latter makes wrong decision, heads through Death Valley toward SCV [story]
William Manly
California State University, Northridge’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is hosting the first annual BikeFest on Sunday, Oct. 23.
CSUN’s College of Social, Behavioral Sciences Hosting Inaugural BikeFest
California State University, Northridge continues Fall women's tennis action this weekend as the Matadors travel to the Long Beach State Tournament.
CSUN Women’s Tennis Heads to Long Beach State Tourney
Denise Redmond, executive director of Carousel Ranch announced that she will step down from the position as of Jan. 1, 2023.
Denise Redmond Stepping Down from Carousel Ranch
A woman was reportedly found dead Thursday inside a clothing collection box on the 24800 block of Orchard Village Road in Newhall, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Woman Found Dead in Newhall Clothing Collection Box
The College of the Canyons softball program is inviting youth players from across the region to participate in the 2022 COC Softball Youth Skills Clinic, with three dates running in October.
Lady Cougars Softball Program Hosting Youth Skills Clinic
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — Following federal pressure to reduce how much water it takes from the Colorado River, California on Wednesday announced a plan to cut its consumption annually by 400,000 acre-feet. 
California Announces Plan to Cut Imports of Colorado River Water
If you don’t have your REAL ID yet, there is no need to be frightened. Add it to your bag of treats this month and be prepared for federal enforcement beginning May 3, 2
DMV Reminding Californians REAL ID Enforcement Begins in Seven Months
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday two additional COVID-19 deaths and 68 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with a total of 12 deaths and 1,822 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 68 New SCV Cases; Two Additional Deaths
2000 - Movie stuntman Richard Farnsworth, 2000 Newhall Walk of Western Stars inductee, and Dr. Robert Rockwell, first COC president, die on the same day [Farnsworth story] [Rockwell story]
Jack Rhead's goal in the 84th minute sent CSUN past Sacramento State 2-1 in Big West men's soccer action Wednesday afternoon at Hornet Soccer Field.
Rhead Scores in the 84th Minute to Lift CSUN Past Sacramento State 2-1
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 10 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,058 new cases countywide and 30 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID Roundup: Santa Clarita Tops 91k Total Cases
College of the Canyons has received a $1.37 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Assistance Means Parents In School program to directly benefit the college’s Early Childhood Education Center. 
COC Receives $1.37 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education Center
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital's Girl Talk: A Women’s Health Series will be returning on Thursday, Oct. 13.
Oct. 13: Henry Mayo’s Women’s Health Education Series Returns
Valencia-based Landscape Development Inc. announced that its maintenance division, Enhanced Landscape Management LLC, has completed the asset purchase of Ventura, CA based, The Groundskeeper, Inc..
Valencia-Based Landscape Development Further Expands Its Footprint in SoCal
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today awarded $144 million in Safe Clean Water funding, including 24 new infrastructure projects, 17 scientific studies, and various watershed area resources designed to increase the region’s water resiliency.
Supervisors Approve $144 million in Safe Clean Water Funding
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn that directed the County’s Internal Services Department to equitably identify internet broadband demonstration sites across all five of the County’s Supervisorial Districts.  
L.A. County Board of Supervisors Approve Digital Equity Motion
Vice-Chairman of the Public Safety Committee Assemblyman Tom Lackey announced Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1406 into law.
Governor Newsom Signs Assemblyman Lackey’s Bill to Prevent Inadvertent Fatal Shootings
%d bloggers like this: