Palomar College Learning For Success

Languages and Literature Division

Welcome to the Languages & Literature Division at Palomar College

Best of Division 2014-15

Languages & Literature Division
2014-2015 Accomplishments and Highlights

Division Office

We welcome STAR Tutoring Center to our division as of July 1, 2015! STAR stands for Students Taking Academic Responsibility.

English as a Second Language
Student Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. We awarded 15 ABED certificates in Fall 2014.
  2. We awarded 92 Non-Credit Certificates of Completion in 2014, up from 75 awarded in 2013.
  3. Over 50% of LEAPstart YEAR 3 students have earned an ENGLISH 100 recommendation.
  4. This spring, 114 students completed the Student Peer Mentor Program at Palomar: 47 in San Marcos, 43 in Escondido, and 24 in Fallbrook.   It has been observed that students who take part in the Peer Mentor Program usually complete the semester. Thus, this program plays a major role in increasing student retention in non-credit programs.

ESL Department/Discipline Highlights

  1. We added 8-week and 12-week classes to our class schedule in San Marcos. This is in keeping with our goal to increase access to education. Students who come in after the semester starts will be able to take an ESL class.
  2. We also started on-going placement testing for students taking ESL classes. This enables new students to access our 8-week and 12-week late start classes.
  3. We developed an accelerated curriculum for our top four ESL classes.
  4. Carmelino Cruz, Noncredit Matriculation Assistant, successfully completed his Master’s in Higher Education Leadership at the University of San Diego in August 2014.
  5. FT and PT faculty and staff continue to show their passion for all things ESL as they distribute flyers with course and program information throughout our district.

ESL Faculty Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. Angela Webster attended the National Family Literacy Summit Conference during Spring Break and gave a presentation on Minimal Pairs, Sight Words and Short Sentences that low-literate adults could use to foster reading with their pre-school children. In April, Angela Webster attended the National On Course Conference and also had the honor and pleasure to represent Palomar College in a presentation of Student Peer Mentors Across Disciplines with Sheri Cully as a co-presenter.
  2. Kevin Staff started a blog at He’s gradually going to link it to most of his earlier blogs with the San Diego Reader. The entry on LBJ is the best example of how he hopes to include unusual photos, videos, and links to other websites and blogs in a series of short “history lessons,” written from a very personal perspective. He’s also developed the face book page for CATESOL San Diego into a fairly interesting source of news and entertainment about the chapter’s events.
  3. Suzanne Woodward published a book titled “Conversation Activities that Really Get Students Talking.” Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, IN, 2014. It is available at on-line book sellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble (including an e-book version). It can also be accessed through her website:
  4. Several faculty in our department are in college-wide leadership positions. Marty Furch is the SLO coordinator, Colleen Bixler is the PFF Grievance Officer, and Lawrence Lawson is the Faculty Resource Coordinator. His charges include leading Learning Communities and the Village Mentoring Program and serving as co-chair of the Basic Skills Committee; he is a Faculty Senator as well.
  5. Colleen Bixler retired this semester after serving the college and our students for 26 years as a full-time faculty member and 5 years as an adjunct.
  6. Lawrence Lawson is also spearheading an effort together with Math Professor Cindy Anfinson to put together a basic skills toolkit for all instructors on campus.

Reading Services Department
Department/Discipline Highlights

  1. The Reading Center successfully relocated to the Humanities Building in May 2014 and opened for the summer semester with over 70 student carrels, an increase of 25% in the number of workstations previously available.
  2. Using PRP, SPPF, and BSI funding, the Reading Center was able to replace 50% of the outdated programs which would not run on the new operating system. Working closely with IS, we now have programs which are all fully functional.
  3. The Reading Services library for use in the Reading Center has increased its multicultural offerings by over 500 novels.
  4. All SLOs were assessed in fall or spring, and criteria were met or exceeded as demonstrated by assessment results.
  5. The Reading Services in-reach program was expanded from presentations in English 10 classes only to include English 50 classes as well.

Reading Student Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. Reading Services tutor Jacalyn Reyes, former student in Reading Services and transfer student to CSUSM, was nominated for Palomar College Tutor of the Year.
  2. Sandra Linde, former student in Reading Services, successfully transferred to CSUSM and has returned to the Reading Center to work as an hourly tutor.
  3. Jedidia Martinez matriculated from Palomar College to CSUSM and has returned as an hourly tutor in 1415.

Reading Faculty Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. Erin Feld was awarded Tenure in Spring 2015.
  2. Three full-time faculty members—Melinda Carrillo, Carla Thomson, and Erin Feld—served on over 15 committees and workgroups, including such important committees as the Stem II Grant, Student Equity, Curriculum, Basic Skills, LOC Council, and Faculty Senate.
  3. Erin Feld and Melinda Carrillo offered a very successful PD workshop in the fall to aid content-area instructors in presenting reading for success strategies in their classroom for struggling students.
  4. Working through the Stem II Grant, Erin Feld and Melinda Carrillo presented four student workshops throughout the school year assisting students in reading for math and reading science textbooks.

Reading Staff Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. Leah Lampro (ISA III) and Darla Mulder (ADA) retired after lengthy careers at Palomar College. Leah worked here for 30 years, while Darla was here for 14 years. We miss them already! We are thankful for all that they have given us through the years.
  2. Estela Gibson (ISA II) and Julie Anguiano (ISA I) continue to provide significant support to our students and faculty in the Reading Services Department. We are very thankful to them for their continued service.

English & Humanities Department

Palomar’s talent continues to make itself known to the wider community. Rocco Versaci’s memoir That Hidden Road was named Best Unpublished Memoir by the San Diego Book Awards for 2015. Andrea Bell’s memoir Touched was a finalist for the same category for 2014. Congratulations to you both!

Palomar’s literary magazine Bravura 2015 has made its debut. Stop by the department to pick up your copy! In late May, Carlton Smith and Rocco Versaci hosted their annual Bravura celebration, honoring student writers with awards and the opportunity to read and display their work to an audience of peers, families, and Palomar College attendees. Former Dean of Languages & Literature Steve McDonald read from his collection of poetry.

Leanne Maunu and William Darymple were finalists for the 2014-2015 Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The department said goodbye to three long-time faculty and one long-time classified staff member. Charlie Ingham taught at Palomar for 24 years, Gary Zacharias for 25 years, and Bruce Orton for 33 years. John Goldsworthy retired just short of his 26th year of service to our college. We wish them well as they explore retirement and life away from Palomar.

As we bid them a fond farewell, we welcome two new faculty members: Clare Rolens and Adam Meehan. We’re excited to have them both on board!

Speech & ASL Department

The Speech and Debate Team celebrated yet another winning season with over 90 trophies individually won, as well as ten sweepstakes trophies including 1st Place sweepstakes at the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University and 1st Place at the Sunset Cliffs Classic at Point Loma Nazarene University. The culmination of the season resulted in a 3rd place sweepstakes placing in the Community College Division at the National Parliamentary Debate Tournament in Kansas City, as well as fourth place at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Cleveland. In addition, the team is transferring six students on to San Diego State University, California State University Long Beach, California State University San Luis Obispo, and University of California, San Diego.

ASL professors attended Palomar’s World Languages Open House (see below) and were excited by the opportunity to connect with ASL instructors from high schools and other colleges.

The Speech Department saw the retirement of faculty member Bruce Bishop after 28 years of service to Palomar. In addition, they saw the retirement of ADA Debbi Brewer after 12 years of service to the SPCHASL Department, the ASL Lab, and the Speech Team. They will be missed.

Speech completed the hiring process for a Speech Faculty and Assistant Director of Forensics Position in April and is proud to announce the hiring of Marquesa Whearty as the newest member of our discipline. We look forward to her warm personality and expertise in helping run a large speech team.

World Languages Department
Department/Discipline Highlights

  1. In Spring 2015, WL hosted a very successful “World Languages Open House” for high school language teachers with 50 attendees. This was sponsored by a SPPF grant. We also invited ASL Department faculty and ASL high school instructors to join us. This event was a great outreach opportunity and a way to connect with our K-12 colleagues. They were very appreciative of the chance to gather together and share ideas among one another as well. They do not have other events or opportunities to do this. They are very much hoping we will do this again.
  2. In Fall 2014, WL hosted the second annual “World Languages Symposium” sponsored by NCHEA with 60 attendees. This is an annual professional development activity for languages faculty from MiraCosta, CSUSM and Palomar. Year 1 was held at CSUSM, Year 2 at Palomar, and Year 3 will be held at MiraCosta. Part of the day is for FT faculty to discuss curriculum alignment and transfer; the rest of the day is workshops for FT and PT faculty in L2 pedagogy and instruction.

WL Student Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. We have hired and trained several of our very own Palomar students to work as peer tutors in the World Languages Resource Center. These are students who have completed their language coursework in our department and are now able to help other students. Our new tutoring program in the WLRC is wonderful, and these students are making it happen!
  2. We have peer tutors in Chinese, German, Spanish, French, and Japanese!

WL Faculty Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. We are happy to announce that Dr. Masako Ikenushi has received her tenure. Also, she finally had the opportunity to attend a professional conference in Japan this summer with the help of travel funds received from IPC.
  2. We are happy to welcome our new FT faculty in German, Prof. Beatrice Manneh, to our department.

WL Staff Accomplishments/Recognition

  1. Judith Marquez is our only staff member left in World Languages. We are so lucky to have her!! She is currently working OOC and has stepped up and filled in each time our vacancies warrant. In addition to her own job, she trains, oversees and manages the growing number of temporary employees who have been hired (about 12-14 student- and short-term employees) in the WLRC.
  2. Our ISA III, Ms. Hoi Doan, resigned in December 2014 to pursue a graduate degree. We miss her!! Her position is still vacant.
  3. Our ADA, Ms. Abby Corona, has accepted an ADA position in Physics and Chemistry. We miss her, too!! Her position is still vacant.

Teaching & Learning Center (TLC)

The TLCs at San Marcos and Escondido continue to buzz with students, staff, and tutors working to support the success of our students. The TLC on the main campus is home to the Summer Bridge and FYE programs as well as the Village Mentoring Program and Learning Communities.

The centers are run by a magnificent group of faculty and staff. Debra Avila supervises both the San Marcos and Escondido centers and has worked tirelessly between both centers to cover vacancies while still ensuring early evening hours for our students. She is joined by Math Professor Cindy Anfinson and staff members Dalia Lopez, Jeanna Pina-Bayaca, Rosalinda Tovar, and Anel Gonzales (who has just transferred to Trade & Industry) in putting together our FYE and SB programs. ESL Professor Larry Lawson has been spearheading learning communities, our Village Mentoring Program, and the Faculty Resource Center. Calvin Lew and our newest addition, Mario Martinez (Tutorial Specialist), handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the TLC in Escondido. We are fortunate to be supported by counselors, a myriad of financial aid and enrollment specialists, and hourly and student employees, each of whom adds to the welcoming atmosphere of our TLCS.

The TLC on the San Marcos campus opened its doors in January 2014. Prior to the opening of the TLC, the lack of a central location led to students having difficulties finding TLC staff members and receiving program support. Having one central location for our programs and staff including FYE counselors has helped FYE students come in to get the assistance they need.

On average, 1,800 students visit the TLC on the San Marcos campus each semester with an average of 12,000 visits.

Spring 2015:       12,300 visits                       1,820 unique visitors
Fall 2014:             12,828 visits                       1,830 unique visitors

Since the opening of the TLC Escondido in Fall 2009, an average of 1404 students per semester visit the TLC Escondido (Fall 2009-Feb 2013). For Fall 2014, there were 5180 visits made by 945 students. For Spring 2015, there were 4,438 visits made to the TLC Escondido by 883 students.

In an effort to increase awareness about the services and resources offered at the TLC Escondido, our staff and tutors conduct class presentations at the beginning of each semester. For Spring 2015, we conducted a total of 101 class presentations at the Escondido Center.

Village Mentoring

The Village Mentoring program launched Fall 2014. The goal of the Village Mentoring Program is to have participation from members of all constituency groups at Palomar College — students, faculty (FT & PT), staff (FT & PT), and administrators serving as mentors for our students. There were a total of 13 volunteers comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and 2 former FYE students who served as mentors for 2014-15. We are working to increase the level of participation on the part of both students and employees as a part of our equity work as well.

At the start of Fall 2014, 23 FYE students signed up to participate in the Village Mentoring Program and were matched to mentors. Fourteen (14) students completed the program successfully in 2014-15.

91% of our mentored FYE students from Fall 2014 enrolled in Spring 2015 classes.

We have increased the efficiency and productivity of our application process for both FYE and Summer Bridge by moving the application to eServices. The Summer Bridge application was moved to eServices in Feb 2014. The FYE application was moved to eServices in March 2015. Moving the application to PeopleSoft has allowed students to locate the application via their Student Center portal more easily and has minimized our need to request additional data from the student (since most of the data we need is stored in PeopleSoft and accessible via customized queries).

FYE Accomplishments

  • The cohort for FYE 2014-15 had 191 students. 90% returned to Palomar in Spring 2015 (171 students).
  • The cohort for FYE 2014-15 had 65% return in Fall 2015.
  • FYE Counselors facilitated a total of 885 counseling appointments for Fall 2014 & Spring 2015.

Summer Bridge Accomplishments for 2014

  • Write On: 61% placed higher (23 students showed up the first day, and 23 students completed the Write On program).
  • ESL JAM: 39% of those who finished the SB program placed higher.
  • Math JAM: 67% of those who took the final assessment placed higher.
  • Cindy Anfinson will be working on the Summer Bridge 2015 report, so we’ll eventually have updated information on how our students did this summer. At present, we do know that 61% of our ESL students placed higher in both ESL 55 and ESL 101 Jam.

TLC Workshops

  • The TLC has offered a wide array of workshops to support student success at Palomar College. Workshop topics have included time management, reading strategies, math success while reducing anxiety, hands-on financial aid workshops, study skills, transfer basics, managing stress and test anxiety, library resources, learning styles, motivation and goal setting, and financial planning. (We are working together with others on campus to develop a single searchable, sortable database that allows students to see and schedule (and for us to track) themselves into any workshop offered on campus.
  • 224 students attended at least one workshop organized by the TLC San Marcos for Fall 2014 (unduplicated count).
  • 241 students attended at least one workshop organized by the TLC San Marcos for Spring 2015 (unduplicated count).
  • The attendance rate for workshops for 2014-15 has been pretty consistent for both semesters:

Attendance rate: 75%
No Show rate: 25%


  • The Foundation Office has worked closely with the TLC to submit grant proposals in support of our TLC programs. A total of $7,500 has been granted to us this year, with a few more proposals pending.

In Memoriam

This past spring, we lost two of our PT faculty members: Kristine Coombe, PT faculty member of the ESL Department for more than 25 years, and Manuel Cortes, PT faculty member of the WL Department since 2007 and one-time Palomar College ESL student. We are so very thankful to them for having chosen to devote their lives to the education of our community.

Palomar College - Learning for Success

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