Palomar College targeted enrollment numbers for older students with its latest event, “Path to Palomar.”
On April 27, Palomar College and the Education to Career Network (ETCN) hosted the Path to Palomar event for students enrolled in local adult schools. The event showcased several of Palomar’s education programs to the visiting students, such as automotive and computer technology, as well as nursing and business management.
Valerie Belden, the head organizer for the event, said the “[ETCN] is trying to get these students to come in to Palomar, and become students here, and further their education. This is for non-credit classes and is geared for older adults.”
The event began in the cafeteria where visiting students were served with lunch boxes while the president of the college, Joi Lin Blake, opened the event with a brief greeting. In her five-minute speech, Blake advertised the college, and shared her experiences working in the educational field. “We have some amazing programs here for all students, and our focus is on engagement innovation and collaborative impact,” Blake said.
Following the opening, visiting students divided into several groups based on which program they came to see, then followed the organizers of the event to the respective classrooms. Although the Path to Palomar was initially targeted at gaining enrollment from older students, participants in the event ranged from teenagers to seniors.
One student who is hoping to soon be graduating from Escondido High School, 18-year-old Alexandra Tapia, attended the overview for the nursing program. This was her first time setting foot on campus, “I’m very impressed, I didn’t think so much of a community college. I really liked the set ups they had in the nursing department … it looks like a university,” said Tapia.
Another student who attended was 30-year-old Eric Ayclck, who is returning to Palomar after having taken a martial arts class back in 2012. “I’m in CNC machining, and I wanted to further my education,” Ayclck said. “I wanted to learn more about this machining and what Palomar had to offer. Since I’m here and had the tours, its amazing, just from five years ago there’s already been so much growth.”
After all of the tours were finished, the groups regathered back at the cafeteria. There, participants had the opportunity to meet with counselors and financial aid representatives from Palomar College. “They helped me a lot, the counselors were very helpful, all of the assistants,” as well, said 18-year-old Keydan Kecadian.
The event hosted students from the Poway, Escondido, Vista, Ramona, San Marcos and Palomar adult schools. Elizabeth O’Shea-West, principal from the Vista Adult School and one of the organizers for the event, was pleased with the turnout. “We were kind of planning about 150 to 200 [students], and I think we hit our mark.”
President Blake was also pleased with the amount of students that came to attend the event. “Once students come onto our campus they’re excited about it, and they go ‘whoa I can really go here,’ Blake said.
She continued, “When they look at the programs they go ‘Oh I want to be a part of this,’ because the buildings, the curriculum the faculty have put together, the demonstrations they do for them exemplify excellence and success, and so they want to be a part of that.”