COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS : Growth Outpaces State Funding

The Santa Clarita Community College District, with only one campus--College of the Canyons in Valencia--is the fastest-growing community college district in the state for the third consecutive year, according to the state Department of Finance.

And, like many other community colleges in fast-growing areas, College of the Canyons does not have enough funding to keep pace with its growth.

The college’s average daily attendance (ADA) is up more than 10% from last year, said Dianne Van Hook, district superintendent-president, but the district is unlikely to receive state funds to cover the increase.

The average daily attendance funding the college receives from the state is based on growth projections, in this year’s case, 8.5%. This predetermined amount, however, isn’t adequate for the college’s actual student attendance, which means the college is losing funding, Van Hook said.


The total loss in ADA funding to the college from the 1987-88 school year through 1990-91 has been more than $6.3 million, Van Hook said. Unfunded ADA rose from zero in the 1986-87 school year to 14% in 1987-88 and continues to increase, she said.

In 1987-88, enrollment grew by about 16%. The 1988-89 growth rate was approximately 12%.

The college’s Master Facility Plan predicts the growth rate will continue at well above 10%. District enrollment projections range from 16,500 to 39,000 by 2020. Fall enrollment was 5,668 in 1989 and 6,104 in 1990, Van Hook said.