A variety of student programs previously scattered across the campus were recently brought together under one roof.
The new Teaching and Learning Center at Palomar College’s San Marcos campus is a fully functional student support building designed to help students navigate their way through the overwhelming experience of college life.
The center offers conference rooms, group study areas, individual study areas, a student lounge area, staff and faculty offices, a classroom and a wireless Internet connection.
“The Teaching and Learning Center provides a space for students to really come in and have a quiet place to study,” said Debora Avila, the Teaching and Learning Center supervisor.
The conference rooms, which can be used by both teachers and students, are equipped with phones, televisions and stationary and mobile whiteboards.
Group study areas have a PC tower and monitor for students to collaborate on projects and ideas, and the individual study areas include computers so students may work on homework and conduct research.
“[The TLC] is really nice. It’s clean,” said mechanical engineering student Anthony Cirillocs. “It’s pretty cool, it seems like they thought it out.”
Another student, Kevin Jackson said, “It’s beautiful! It looks like a really nice place to come in and work.”
The center houses faculty offices for student-to-staff meetings. There is also a faculty room where teachers can collaborate and propose ideas for center activities or conduct teacher-to-teacher mentoring.
“Here at the Teaching and Learning Center, our goal is to provide a welcoming space for all Palomar College students,” Avila said. “It’s not about being a student ID number, it’s about helping the student be successful.”
According to Palomar College President Robert Deegan, who also paid a visit to the center, the TLC is a central focus point for student support programs.
Such programs include the First Year Experience, Summer Bridge, Learning Communities, Foster Youth and Village Mentoring, a program that is currently under development.
The programs offer basic level courses and counseling to help prepare students to take on their chosen major and assist in subject areas where students may be struggling, such as math or literature.
The programs also focus on students building relationships with their mentors and making connections with their fellow peers.
The center will offer workshops to aid students in career planning, transferring to and from Palomar College and seeking financial aid to help find funding for their educational pursuits.
“We’re here to build a rapport with students so that they feel comfortable coming to the center to seek help,” said Anel Gonzalez, the Foster Youth Liaison.
President Deegan explained that the purpose of the TLC is to provide additional support to students, improve transfer rates and increase student retention.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure student success,” Deegan said.