College of the Canyons

College of the Canyons

Santa Clarita, CA


College of the Canyons to Launch first Bachelor’s Degree Program in Building Performance

Jason Oliver
Jun 25, '24 5:12 PM EST
College of the Canyons Architecture and Interior Design Program - ARCHID
College of the Canyons Architecture and Interior Design Program - ARCHID

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

The first of its kind in the state, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Building Performance (BASBP) program at COC will provide a cost-effective pathway for 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 (AEC) industry.

“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,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “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 (BEM) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) 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, says 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,” said Oliver. “Building performance focuses on improving the measurable ways a building can be resource-efficient, in addition to improving environmental quality for building occupants.”

The 120-unit degree program will include completion of the following upper division courses:

  • ARCHT 317 - Regulatory Compliance Documentation - Residential
  • ARCHT 320 - Climate Appropriate Biodiverse Landscaping and Irrigation
  • ARCHT 350 - Environmental Control Systems for Net-Zero Buildings
  • ARCHT 370 - Building Energy Modeling
  • ARCHT 417 - Advanced Regulatory Compliance Documentation - Non-Residential
  • ARCHT 450 - Advanced Sustainable Building Certification Systems
  • ARCHT 490 - Integrative Process for Sustainable Building
  • BIOSCI 330 - Environmental Biology in a Changing World
  • HIST 450 - World Environmental History
  • PHILOS 450 - Environmental Ethics in a Changing World
  • WE 486 - Work Experience Education - Architecture

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 (BEM), Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) 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 (BDP), 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,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Dr. Sonya Christian. “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.” Vision 2030 is a 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,” said Dr. Omar Torres, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction at the college. “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, 2024 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, please email: [email protected]

For more information about the BASBP program at COC, and to apply, please visit:

College of the Canyons Architecture and Interior Design Program