COC Earns Prestigious Community Service Award
For the fifth time in as many years, College of the Canyons has been honored for its dedication to providing access to service-learning educational opportunities with inclusion on the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.
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.
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College of the Canyons is one of only 15 higher education institutions in the state — and the only California community college — to earn ‘distinction’ honors. The college has been included on the Honor Roll every year since its inception in 2006 — having previously earned ‘distinction’ honors in 2007 and 2009.
“There is a strong spirit of volunteerism that thrives on our campus,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “As a college, we believe in giving back to our community, which supports us and enables us to be what we have become. That engagement with the community allows our students to gain hands-on experience and augment what they’re learning in the classroom.”
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.
“Inclusion on the President’s list exemplifies the college’s commitment to engaging our students and creating strong community ties,” said Jennifer Hauss, director of service learning at the college. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work with the faculty, students and community-based organizations who devote so much of their time and energy to making a difference.”
Last semester service-learning projects at COC included the participation of roughly 45 faculty members from across the college’s various disciplines, 80 non-profit community-based organizations and more than 400 students.
Recent College of the Canyons service-learning projects have included placements with The Gentle Barn, SCV Education Foundation, Placerita Canyon Nature Center, SCV Food Pantry, and the Boys & Girls Club.
Another successful service-learning collaboration is the annual drive-thru 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 please contact Jennifer Hauss at (661) 362-3422.