College of the Canyons was one of two California community colleges recognized as one of “America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting” by Washington Monthly magazine for its commitment to inspiring students to vote and actively participate in community decisions.
To document colleges’ and universities’ efforts in promoting civic engagement, the magazine highlighted more than 150 institutions around the country.
“College of the Canyons recognizes the importance of getting students involved in participatory democracy, especially through voter registration, education and participation,” said Patty Robinson, faculty director of civic and community engagement initiatives at the college. “Higher education has an obligation to encourage civic, community and democratic engagement for the public good.”
“At the Monthly, we believe that colleges have a special obligation to help young Americans become active political citizens,” wrote the magazine. “It will help if they make sure students can be confident about where they will be on Election Day.”
During election seasons, COC hosts numerous discussion panels and distributes nonpartisan materials that provide additional information on propositions and candidates.
The college’s Center for Civic Engagement worked with a diverse group of California college and university campuses to plan the California Student Voting Summit on Sept. 18. Sponsored by California Campus Compact and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, the summit provided workshops and panels of local and national experts in student voting, campus organizing and civic education.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Center for Civic Engagement and the League of Women Voters of Santa Clarita Valley are scheduled to host a virtual presentation to help voters understand California’s 2020 ballot propositions.
The school also participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which provides colleges and universities with data on student registration and voting rates. These numbers provide benchmarks to measure the success of future voting engagement efforts.
In addition, COC participates in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national, nonpartisan awards program recognizing colleges and universities for improving civic learning, political engagement, and student voting rates. As a part of this initiative, students, faculty, and staff have worked together to develop and implement an action plan to increase voting and civic engagement.