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COC touts degree options

Community college has more than a dozen programs at recently opened center on Valencia campus

Posted: August 15, 2011 9:30 a.m.
Updated: August 15, 2011 9:30 a.m.
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College of the Canyons’ University Center has added 15 programs for students since opening its permanent location in 2009, a COC official said.

The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center counts a total of 35 programs with seven college partners, said Cathy Ritz, chief operating officer of the COC Foundation and University Center operations.

Students are able to enroll in bachelors, masters, credential and advanced certificate programs at the University Center from four-year colleges, such as UCLA Extension, California State University, Bakersfield, and National University.

COC leaders launched the University Center as a way to give Santa Clarita Valley students access to four-year degree programs after earning their associate’s degrees at the community college. The goal is for students to complete their higher-education goals within four years and without leaving the Santa Clarita Valley, she said.

“By bringing these degrees from four-year colleges and universities to the COC campus, it removes barriers for students wishing to pursue their high education goals,” she said.

The center has been especially beneficial for working adults and single parents, she said.

“The concept is particularly appealing to students who don’t have the time to commute to distant university campuses,” she said.

The University Center opened on COC’s Valencia campus in August 2009, giving what had previously been an interim center its permanent home.

Since January 2002, about 1,600 students have graduated through the University Center.

About 1,600 students were enrolled in classes from January to June, she said.

Many of the programs are combinations of online and classroom instruction.

This fall, the center will debut a Master of Social Work program through California State University, Northridge.

The college hopes to partner with California State University, Los Angeles, to offer students a bachelor’s degree in engineering starting in 2012, she said.

Under the partnership, students would be able to take classes from College of the Canyons and Cal State L.A. concurrently, all at the University Center, earning their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at the same time, she said.

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