COC to launch first bachelor’s degree program in building performance 

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News release 

College of the Canyons will launch its first bachelor’s degree program in January 2025. The bachelor of applied science in building performance program is an extension of COC’s architectural drafting and technology associate of science degree program.  

The first of its kind in California, the new degree will provide a cost-effective pathway to careers involved with creating high-performance buildings by preparing students for the state-recognized Certified Energy Analysist exam, and growing employment opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industry, said a news release from the college.  

“Since its inception, our architecture program has been a statewide leader in preparing graduates for exciting, well-paying careers in the AEC industry and as champions for sustainable building design and construction,” COC Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook said in a news release. “This new BASBP program will be pivotal for enhancing COC’s mission of helping students build their future, as well as providing an opportunity for graduates to apply directly for master’s-level architecture programs or pursue professional licensure and industry certifications in California. I would like to thank the architecture faculty members whose leadership was instrumental to the creation of this innovative program.”  

Students enrolled in the BASBP program will learn how to examine the effects of environmental factors and resource consumption on the performance of building projects using a variety of analytical and simulation methodologies. Utilizing advanced Building Energy Modeling and Building Information Modeling methods, graduates will be prepared to help architectural projects achieve code compliance, improve building performance, and attain sustainable rating system certification.  

Jason Oliver, chair of the college’s architecture and interior design program, said that creating high-performance buildings is important because more thoughtful planning, design and construction of the built environment can help meet the objectives and performance targets necessary for achieving resiliency and developing sustainable communities.  

“The wide range of crises being experienced due to the effects of climate change are well understood scientifically, yet the impacts of these crises on the built environment still remain largely unaddressed for communities in which we reside,” Oliver said in the release. “Building performance focuses on improving the measurable ways a building can be resource-efficient, in addition to improving environmental quality for building occupants.”   

Students will be required to complete a project-based learning internship to apply the skills they’ve learned in the program to improve their readiness for employment in the AEC industry upon graduation. Students will be equipped for careers as building energy modelers, building information modeling and computer-aided design technicians or as sustainable building certification system consultants. 

The BASBP program at COC was approved on May 13 as a California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Degree Program, which aims to increase the ease and affordability of earning a bachelor’s degree for community college students.   

“Research has shown that community college BDPs excel at providing affordable flexible higher education opportunities to students who are often nontraditional, low-income and place bound,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Sonya Christian said in the release. “By serving a racially diverse student population, community college BDPs also play a crucial role in closing equity gaps, which aligns with the goals of Vision 2030. College of the Canyons’ program in building performance will help graduates qualify for high-wage positions in their region, bolster their upward mobility, and strengthen their communities.” 

Developed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Vision 2030 is a statewide community college framework for bold and thoughtful action with the goal of advancing student success, access, support, and socio-economic mobility with equity.  

“We are very excited to offer this innovative new degree program to students interested pursuing careers in architecture,” Omar Torres, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction at the college, said in the release. “This program will benefit a broad spectrum of potential applicants, including first generation college students, veterans, and existing AEC professionals seeking to advance their careers.” 

The application process for the program’s first cohort will open on July 1 for a January 2025 start date. A free Zoom information session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, July 1, for interested applicants. The session will review the admissions process and provide an overview of the degree curriculum. To RSVP for the information session, email [email protected]

For more information about the BASBP program at COC, and to apply, go to 

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