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Palomar College Learning For Success


Palomar College Guided Pathways

Spring Plenary – Thursday, January 23, 2020

“Explore the Possibilities” at this year’s Spring Plenary and register by January 17th!  Visit the following link for workshop and registration details: You will not want to miss the keynote speaker, Eugene Whitlock, J.D.  His unique blend of humor, neuroscience and data-driven analysis to help primarily administrators, faculty, staff and students at all levels of education in both the private and public sectors to create and sustain inclusive workplaces and classrooms.

Active Learning Leaders Conference – Saturday January 25th, 8:30am-3:30pm!

The 7th Annual Active Learning Leaders (ALL) Teaching Conference is scheduled for Saturday January 25th, 2020, at Palomar College’s new Rancho Bernardo Campus, specially equipped with active learning furniture in all of its classrooms.

This conference is hosted by the Active Learning Leaders (ALL), which is a group of faculty dedicated to increasing student engagement and success through the use of active learning strategies in their classrooms.  Follow the link for registration and program details at

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Dr. Mark Hudelson, Associate Professor, Art, submitted this comment on a recent Program Review and Planning report which supports Guided Pathways: “One of the questions we have is related to students' desired outcomes. We serve a wide variety of students in the Art Department: some are taking classes to transfer, some for our programs' degrees, some for workplace knowledge, and some for personal enrichment. Thus, why students are in our programs is an important variable. That students learn the material presented in our classes is known, since success rates are high. However, how we fine-tune our programs may shift as there are corresponding shifts in our students' needs and THEIR desired outcomes. Being able to gauge students' needs, as related to their educational goals, is an important metric. More than some other departments, we are able to engage with our students, especially in our studio classes where instructor/student ratios are lower and interaction is common. Through these engagements, we're able to learn a lot about our students' needs in ways that standardized assessments don't capture.”

Palomar Pathway “Wins” – January 2020

New Grant –  Strong Workforce Program (SWP) – Student Retention Faculty Institute

Exciting news from Career, Technical & Extended Education Division which received approval of a new grant that will help fund the SWP Student Retention Faculty Institute. The Institute supports the examination of student retention, persistence and completion in the region’s community colleges. The funding covers a two-year period, in which faculty will participate in two in-person learning events, a faculty project, and a research investment to support the work at each college. One such learning event will be sponsored by the San Diego-Imperial Regional Consortium – Rethinking the Student Experience for Retention and Success. The purpose of this event will be to inspire faculty to 1) think critically about their courses in terms of retention, persistence and success outcomes; 2) examine course data with researchers to better understand current outcomes; and 3) use that information to develop promising solutions in the classroom that improves outcomes. The kick off will be on February 28, 2020.

New Self-placement Process in ESL

This academic year 2019-2020, the ESL Department designed and began administering a new self-placement process.  As of Spring 2020 registration, ESL students are able to move through a guided self-placement process that helps them select the ESL course that will be best for their success.  Additionally, this Fall, the highest ESL levels, ESL 103 and 106, were approved for IGETC Humanities units, so students taking those courses now receive GE credit. The new placement process and the GE credit change in ESL shortens and clarifies the pathways for ESL students through ESL and into their career and academic pathways. Thank you Tracy Fung and Nimoli Madan for sharing!

Design and Manufacturing Technologies – developing a new partnership!

The hiring management team for the CAD Product Definition departments at Sandia National Laboratories California campus in the  San Francisco Bay Area visited Palomar College’s Drafting Technology Department in December. The 3D modeling and electrical CAD products at Sandia Labs support the US Nuclear Stockpile Modernization programs and Nuclear Deterrence Mission Space. The purpose for their visit was to investigate and negotiate potential internships and employment opportunities for students in the Electrical CAD (E-CAD) and Mechanical CAD (M-CAD) programs at Sandia Labs. The team  met with only three community colleges in California based on course and AS degree availability in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Layout and Creo software. They were very impressed with the proposed Fall 2020 rollout of new drafting courses, certificates, and AS degrees at Palomar College. Sandia Labs intends to participate in the Spring 2020 Career Fair at Palomar College to introduce themselves to students and share information about Sandia Labs with potential hires.

Faculty from both Palomar College and CSUSM continue linking efforts

Step 3: Stay on the Path

Thursday, Nov. 14, 40 STEM faculty and staff from CSUSM and Palomar College met for the STEM Communities of Practice meeting, held at CSUSM's Faculty Center.  At this meeting both college faculty members from Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Physics, Engineering, Counseling, and Chemistry met to discuss course alignment, pedagogy, and strategies for creating a “soft landing” for students transferring from Palomar College to CSUSM in STEM.  Sponsored by the jointly held Title V/STEM Grant, this is the 4th meeting held between the two institutions.  The next meeting will tentatively be held at Palomar College  on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Palomar College and CSUSM collaborate for Student Success!

Help Students Choose and Enter their Pathway

Step 2: Enter the Path

Monday, Nov. 4, 35 students from Palomar’s Puente and Umoja programs attended a STEM Information session, along with Karmi Minor-Flores (UMOJA Counselor) and Michael Lundell (English Professor for Puente).  This event was hosted by faculty and staff from both Palomar College and CSUSM, with support by the Title V/STEM grant. This collaboration continues to grow, and participants look forward to more joint work to help students be better prepared to succeed.  

The day’s activities included the students having pizza, receiving swag (staplers and pencils provided by Student Equity), and listening to presentations by:

  1. Dr. Richard Armenta, Assistant Professor in Kinesiology with a focus on Health Science and Public Health.
  2. Joshua Love, Math Center Tutor and Palomar Math Club President.
  3. Roberto Leon-Baxin, former Palomar College STEM Center tutor and SI leader, now majoring in Biochemistry at CSUSM and President of the student chapter of the American Chemical Society at CSUSM.

 The students then toured the Math Center and the STEM Center, and finished up with a drone demonstration by Mark Bealo. 

GP Student Ambassadors – Who are they? (continued)

Gregory Mendoza

Hello, My name is Gregory Mendoza. I am a student at Palomar College, a Peer Mentor for Student Success and Engagement Department and a GP Student Ambassador.  I was born in San Diego and raised by a single mother. I am the first generation in my family to attend college. I was formerly incarcerated and education has been a life changer and opportunities that I never thought would be possible have been opened, because I decided to pursue a degree and be part of change in my community.  I plan to transfer to Cal State San Marcos and continue my higher education. Guided Pathways has given me an idea of how I will get to my goals and what classes I need to complete to transfer and continue my academic journey

Kory Nokes

My name is Kory Nokes and I am a Student Ambassador for Palomar Pathways.  My educational journey has been far from conventional. I tried college after high school but did not have much success.  I was not in a good place in my life at the time and did not have my priorities in order. I made some bad decisions and was in trouble with the law. My education unfortunately took a back seat to a negative lifestyle. My path to education began while I was incarcerated.  I was able to change my life and earn my Associates of Science in Business while incarcerated. Education continues to open doors for me and I know now that there is nothing I cannot do. I know today that I have the power to create my ideal destiny by taking advantage of the choices and opportunities that are presented in front of me.  I work as a Peer Mentor at Palomar College and will be transferring to Cal State San Marcos next fall. I am a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and have been nominated to be the 2020 commencement speaker. What I like about Palomar Pathways is that I have a voice. I have the opportunity to help make the educational experience better for all students.  I am honored to be a part of this great team.

Palomar Pathway “Wins” – December 2019

Italian Online – Zero Cost Program!  

Beginning Fall 2020, the World Languages department will offer an online Italian program with zero cost materials and no on-campus meetings. Each Italian course – ITAL 101, 102, 201, and 202 – will be offered sequentially, online, and in eight-weeks during one academic year. All course materials will be provided free of charge by the course instructor. Each course includes flexible weekly deadlines so assignments can be submitted around the student’s schedule. Thank you Scott Nelson for highlighting this exciting program option!  See flyer for more information: click here.

Cooperative Education at Vista Detention Facility (VDF)!

 Palomar College will be the first in the state to offer a cooperative education program at a California jail!  This 2020 Spring Semester, incarcerated individuals at the Vista Detention Facility (VDF) will be able to receive student credit for jobs they have while at VDF.  Cooperative Education will also offer workshops to help incarcerated students transfer their skills to resumes which will facilitate in their transition out of jail.  This is exciting news! Thank you Suzanne Sebring for sharing.

NNN-MATCH Conference Update

On Friday, September 20, 2019 and Saturday, September 21, 2019, Palomar College hosted its first National Numeracy Network (NNN) Conference!  Faculty from Palomar College, San Diego City College, and USD attended the two-day event, representing many disciplines including Math, Philosophy, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), English as a Second Language, and Biology.  Organizers Luis Guerrero and Shelbi Mayo, Palomar College Mathematics faculty, worked with the NNN to pull together this important workshop.

Conference participants attended sessions on how the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) lens can be applied across many topics, truly expanding Math Across The Curriculum Holistically.  Three speakers from NNN presented on the following topics: 

  • QR and Social Justice
  • Data Literacy #s for the Professions
  • Statistical Literacy as Rhetoric 
  • Rhetorical Numbers: Using Quantitative Evidence in Writing and Argumentation 
  • Data Visualization: Charts and graphs for Consumers and Producers 
  • Analyzing Numbers in the News
  • Spreadsheets for Quantitative Reasoning: An Excel-lent Way to Engage Your Students with Math 

If you missed any of these great sessions, the Conference slideshows and handouts are available on the MATCH website:

For more on the National Numeracy Network, see: