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Palomar College Learning For Success


Palomar College Guided Pathways

Category: November 2019

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:

Meta Major Card Swap Feedback and COCI Analysis

In Spring 2019, 51 teams of three to eight faculty, staff, administrators participated in a card swap activity to cluster Palomar College’s academic programs into commonly shared themes or “Meta Majors.”  The office of Institutional Research and Planning (IR&P) then analyzed the data reporting that seven Meta Major groups/clusters emerged.  Below is a list of the seven Meta Major clusters from the Palomar card swap analysis.

*A survey requesting your input will be sent out soon!  We look forward to your thoughts.  Until then, you are welcome to email the GP team at: 

These seven Meta Majors, as determined through the Card Swap analysis, were then presented to several College committees and at three Professional Development workshops to collect feedback. Along with the presentations, faculty, staff, and administrators had the opportunity to provide feedback using an online survey.  

Following the feedback on the initial seven Meta Majors from the card swap activity, an analysis of our COCI (Chancellor’s Office Curriculum Inventory) data was provided from Palomar’s IR&P group.  The IR&P Group was able to use the data in the Curriculum Inventory to conduct an analysis of our degrees based on common course overlap, meaning degrees that have common course paths.

It is important to understand the difference between the Card Swap activity and the COCI analysis.  The Card Swap activity was about our perceptions of how programs should be clustered, whereas the COCI analysis used data on courses in our programs to common courses within programs.  The Card Swap was our subjective perspective and the COCI data was an objective data driven analysis of common courses. Both of these methods are very valuable and allow us to better understand how our employees and students believe programs are clustered while ensuring that students in a Meta Major can “swirl” hopefully without losing credits.  “Swirling” here refers to a students who might decide to switch their program of study within a Meta Major. We want to make sure students who “swirl” within a Meta Major are hopefully taking courses that could be used in both paths.

The Following is the data from the Card Swap Analysis, Feedback on the Card Swap Analysis, the initial COCI results, and the final suggested clusters based on all of the information obtained

Feedback from the Meta Major Review Workshop and Committee:

  • We should consider looking at what our area K-12 schools are doing and align them.
  • We need to figure out what tools will we use to help students identify which Meta Major they are interested in.
    -    Possibly use Holland Codes, also referred to as RIASEC (used heavily through Vista Unified School District also used in the MyPath Career Coach)
    1.   About MyPath Career Coach 
    2.  My Path
  • Possibly align RIASEC codes to our Meta Majors (Example: Mt. Sac or Saddleback)
  • It was suggested that we pull out only the student feedback on the Card Swap activity to better understand the student perspective.  
  • After looking for the Meta Majors at several other colleges it was noted how it took over 5 clicks at several colleges to find their Meta Majors which makes it difficult for students to find.  Students should be able to get to the mapper page within only a couple clicks from the main page; they shouldn’t have to search for it. Where we choose to locate the mapper will be important for ease of use for our students. 
  • There was a suggestion to try to track how students are using the Pathway Mapper, and there were questions asked about whether there is any data that we can pull from the Program Mapper tool currently in implementation.-
    -    Answer:  We can include a Google Analytics code to track page use/views.

Card Swap Feedback Form Responses:


  • 61 people provided feedback using the feedback form.  We had participation from all employee groups:
  • 49.2%= Full-Time Faculty
  • 13.1%= Part-Time Faculty
  • 26.2%= Classified Staff
  • 11.5%= AA, CAST, Student

Business Cluster Feedback

  • 77.2% liked the name “Business” for this cluster, but several would like to see a more catchy student-centered name.  A common suggested name was “Business and Economics”.
  • 83.3% agreed with the list of programs in this cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision to the program included removing legal studies and economics.

Health and Public Safety Cluster Feedback

  • 94.8% liked the name "Health & Public Safety."  
  • 89.8% agreed with the programs in the cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision includes adding child development and psychology and removing nursing, administration of justice, and fire.

Humanities and Social Science Cluster Feedback

  • 82.8% liked the name "Humanities & Social Sciences." Other suggestions included adding Education, naming it “Human Society and Culture,” and naming it solely “Social Science.”
  • 79.7 agreed with the programs in the cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision included adding Economics, English, Library Technologies, Legal Studies, AJ, and ASL, and removing Child Development, Psychology, Humanities, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Languages Cluster

  • 77.2% like the name "Languages." Other names to consider were “Applied Communication,” “Languages and Communication,” “Written and Spoken Languages,” and “Languages and Humanities.”
  • 85% agree with the programs in this cluster.
  • Suggested revisions to this cluster included adding Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies, American Indian Studies, and Journalism, and removing Speech, English, and ESL.

Trade and Industry Cluster

  • 94.8% like the name "Trade & Industry."  Other names to consider are “Industry and Trade Technologies” or “Mechanics, Welders, and More!”.
  • 95% agree with the programs in the cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision included adding Architecture and Drafting and removing Library Technologies.

Arts and Media Cluster

  • 93% like the name "Arts & Media." Other names to consider are “Arts and Digital Media” or “Arts, Media, and Design.”
  • 89.6% agree with the programs in the cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision included adding Communication and Library Technologies, and removing Architecture and Drafting, Graphic Communications, and Journalism.

STEM Cluster

  • 85.7% like the name "STEM."  Other names to consider are to spell out STEM as “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” or just “Science and Technology”.
  • 91.4% agree with the programs in this cluster.
  • Suggestions for revision included adding architecture and Drafting and removing Computer Science, Math, and Geography.

Naming Meta Majors at Palomar

  • When asked what we should call our Meta Majors, 53.5% voted for Academic and Career Pathways, which is the same name used by MiraCosta.  The next names with top votes were Palomar Pathways at 25% and Areas of Interest at 20%.
*All results can be viewed here:


The COCI analysis focused on common courses within degrees.  The cluster analysis of our COCI data suggests 12 Meta Majors.  Below is a look at the COCI results.

Please note, the COCI Analysis used our degrees and not Programs as was used in our Card Swap.

*In the tables below you will see codes next to the names, the table to the left references those codes.

Outcome: Combining the findings from the Card Swap, Feedback, & COCI

Below you will see 7 Meta Majors that were designed by reviewing the Card Swap Data, the Feedback on the Card Swap data, and the programs with common courses as suggested by the COCI analysis:

Combined 7 COCI Clusters Table.2019.11.15


Palomar Pathway “Wins” – November 2019


The Program Completion Academy met on October 18 with 24 faculty and counselors attending.  Several disciplines shared successful models of offering accelerated program schedules to support student completion, including programs in Religious Studies, Child Development, and Diesel Technology.  Program development worksheets for the academic year 2020-2021 are now available on the Program Completion webpage.  Included on this webpage are listings of institutional student support services that will enhance student program completion.  The Program Completion webpage is also accessible from the Guided Pathways website.   

GP Student Ambassadors – who are they? (continue)

Veronica Cristellon

I’m Veronica Cristellon and I am an international student here at Palomar College. I was born in Italy and I started my degree this semester. I moved to California to study art because I think that the United States is the land of opportunities in which I could realize my dream: writing and illustrating children’s books. So I choose Palomar College as my first step for building my future. I am really enjoying this experience in college. Everything is new, from the classes to the language. Studying in a new system and in a college, not in your own language can be challenging sometimes. But I love what I am studying and can see that my path is going in the direction I chose. That is why I decided to join Guided Pathways. I truly believe that college can help students find their dream and reach their goals in their careers and lives. This can be achieved if the College works together with the students to build a better educational environment, by sharing ideas and suggestions. For this reason, for me, it is important to be a student ambassador because I feel that everyone can help to improve the College, starting with the students. It is important to share ideas to create a united, powerful and joyful environment, for students and the College.

Crystal Figueroa

Hi. My name is Crystal Figueroa and I’m a student ambassador with Guided Pathways who is majoring in Computer Science and Engineering. I was born in Hawaii but grew up in San Diego County. Growing up, my mom was a single parent and we were very poor. We were even homeless for some time. As a previously impoverished individual, one of my biggest goals is to help find ways to keep college as affordable as possible. Not just for low-income families, but for everyone. Guided Pathways has given me an opportunity to help make it easier, and more affordable, for everyone to reach their goals.

ECE & MATCH Activity – Starting them young

Picture of classroom setting with Preschool children working with faculty.

Donut picture with play dough on table


Early Childhood Education & Math Across the Curriculum Holistically

MATCH teamed up with the ECE lab on September 13th, 2019 to introduce Palomar’s youngest learners to higher mathematics. MATCH coordinators Shelbi Mayo and Luis Guerrero had Palomar faculty and volunteers explain topology with hands on activities. Math faculty Gina Sanders and Tracy Johnston had some of their Concepts of Elementary Mathematics students and Math Club students help the young learners work with tessellations, fractals, mobius strips and converting coffee cups into donuts. The children learned interesting math concepts like self-similarity, tillings of planes, single-sided surfaces and topological equivalences. Posters connecting patterns to nature and how they can be woven into art and design were also presented. You may have seen their work in the Library which displayed the math and art work through November 5th.