In the midst of high demands and limited resources, Palomar College has hired a new dean of counseling.
Brian Stockert began work on Oct. 14, and said he is already immersed in resolving challenges within the counseling department.
With a bachelor’s in government relations, political science
and a master’s in counseling relations from National University,
Stockert brings a wide repertoire of skills and assets to Palomar’s counseling department.
Statewide regulations put into motion by the Student Success Task Force have put new demands on both students and the counseling department, to get more students through the counseling office. However, those state demands don’t come with more money for more counselors, leaving both staff and students frustrated.
“The (counseling) department has constantly given me problems in telling me which classes are appropriate for a transfer, they need to get their act together,” said 24-year-old political science student Lauren Carnine. “I’m just happy that they’re getting some new leadership that can revamp their execution a bit.”
Another student said she feels no personal benefits when going to see a counselor.
“There hasn’t been one time I had a good experience in a counseling appointment,” said 19-year-old student Paulina Lopez.
Student demands and frustration levels remain high, and Stockert said he is aware of the challenges. He said there is a lot of work to be done with the Palomar counseling department.
One of the main subjects Stockert wants to implement is keeping student needs as the first priority. “We want them to succeed… we want to follow up with them to help with their progress in getting from point A to B,” Stockert said.
Stockert added that he believes in the value of the Student Success Act, a program which aims to help students transition easily from the classroom to the workforce in hard economic times.
Stockert said he will work collaboratively to help implement the benefits of this program at Palomar College.
When informed about the Student Success Act, 21-year-old criminology student Gil Aloni expressed her optimism for the counseling department’s future.
“It sounds like the department is committed to students,” Aloni said.
“Success is not success if the student has not reached a pathway goal that is oriented to what they want to do, because otherwise it’s just hollow,” Stockert said.
To get started, Stockert said he plans on setting a good example.
“I’m a strong believer in leadership development, good leadership will help create motivation for the students,” Stockert said.
Stockert said he is aware of the presence of new technology, and would like to find an effective way to utilize it to reach out to students in a qualitative manner.
With resources Palomar offers, such as the Transfer Center and Career Center, Stockert said he is enthused to be working here.
“We’re all in this together,” Stockert said, pertaining to the many programs Palomar has. “We all support the students and their ideas.”
Stockert said he holds to his enthusiasm and commitment to bettering the counseling department.
“If I’m doing my job well, you won’t be talking about me,” he added. “You‘ll be talking about the people I work with.”