Adrian Gonzales is Palomar’s new Vice President of Student Services.
After being appointed, Gonzales has made it his mission to efficiently assist students on their educational journeys by any means necessary. Wanting students to know there is a wide variety of services on campus that offer help not only with education, but career planning as well.
Gonzales began his college education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, and went on to receive his master’s from the University of Washington in Seattle.
After graduating, he began his career in education at the Ford Foundation. His role was working to create an endless educational loop linking K-12 curriculum with college and continuing it through life after college. After this, Gonzales became employed as a dean at the College of the Desert, a position he held for 14 years before being promoted to Interim Dean of Student Services.
“I want to have good communication with the students,” Gonzales said. “We need a more defined plan, and constant support for students with continuing their education, career development and job placement.”
He went on to say the biggest challenge he is expecting to face during his time at Palomar is the implementation of the Student Success Act, which was designed to help better prepare community college students for the workforce during economic hardships. “We really have to look at all the details and determine how effectively we can implement it without wasting resources,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales gave two examples. He said repeatability is an important issue and it is his job to figure out how to keep it going while continuing to provide support for students who cannot complete classes due to work or other commitments.
Priority enrollment was another factor he mentioned.
“I have to look at the technical and fiscal sides of the system to make sure the people who really should have the first pick of classes actually have it,” he said.
Gonzales said he has walked around campus and talked with students about their involvement with Palomar. He expressed excitement with knowing students feel an attachment to the campus and to other students in the community.
Gonzales said the thing he is most looking forward to at Palomar is helping students succeed.
“I want to help them achieve that light bulb moment, where you can see the light in their eyes and that look of complete understanding. Many students feel voiceless, but I want to get them excited about being here and about learning. There’s nothing better than that,” he said.