Name: Juan Flores
Transferred: UC Berkeley
I decided to attend Palomar College because a friend of mine had enrolled in the school. My friend however, never had the opportunity to attend because he passed away a few weeks before school started. I was part of EOPS. This program helped me with books, bus pass and a school id voucher. Besides the monetary contribution this program allowed me to enroll in classes sooner than others and I was able to meet an awesome counselor who directed me into higher education.
My professors were amazing, I remember all of them. The ones that stood out the most were Dr. Yanez and Dr. Mendoza who were advisers for a school organization (club) I was a part of. I was able to establish a relationship with these wonderful and woke professors. I was able to confide in both professors and be myself around them without feeling out of place or like I did not belong at school.
Some of the most useful classes I took where Social Problems, Art 100, and Chicano studies 100, 101 and 102. Social problems in particular was about real life struggles that some people are oblivious to. As a person of color I wanted to know about my history in a person of colors perspective which is why I took chicano studies. It helped me understand and see society from a different perspective including myself. At Palomar college I was able to finish most of my prerequisites to attend/apply to a UC school. Palomar college was extremely supportive in my vision and provided resources that allowed me to further my knowledge and education.
What furthered my experience as a student was to join organizations that allowed me to meet people. I was part of MEChA and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). For MEChA we worked on the Latinx Ceremony which celebrates the achievement of Latinx in higher education. For the PTK organization we began to develop the foundation for a food pantry. Being in these organizations helped me acquire skills that I use today. For example, I have experience organizing events and leading discussion to further one’s agenda.
I had a mentor while at Palomar college who is now a professor at Cal State San Marcos. I believe that having a mentor helps guide you in the right direction and can help you network with other people. If I could do It all over again, I would had applied for more scholarships outside of school. I would have been more outgoing and establish relationships with more professors. My advice is take your time in school and establish relationships with students, faculty and staff. Be involved with at least one active organization/club and build your network. Ask for help and don’t be afraid to be “wrong”.
Name: Nedy Velazquez
Major: Political Science
I chose Palomar College because it was my avenue to continue on to higher education. I didn’t have the means to attend a 4-year university straight out of high school, but I knew that education was still an option for me. I liked that Palomar was not too far from home, which meant I could focus more on my studies. I also loved that the Palomar College in San Marcos was significantly larger than the one in Escondido because I really wanted to feel like I was getting the college experience. I was part of EOP&S for my two years at Palomar. This was a really helpful resource for me because help was always readily available. Whether I needed help with course selection, tutoring, or counseling appointments, EOP&S was there as my support system. Textbook assistance was also a major incentive for me to apply. This perk alleviate financial stress for myself and my family.
Throughout my educational journey I developed a close relationship with Professor Bowman. Because he teaches my major, it was easy to connect with him. It was through his help that I became an online intern for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee based in Washington D.C. Later, he gave me great advice on which Political Science courses to take once I knew that UCSD was the right university for me.
The most useful classes I took were my major course classes, but I also found GEOG 100 to be really useful. I was always really interested in learning about Earth, but I never had the chance to take geology classes until college. To this day, I can still recall Professor Jain’s lecture on Eucalyptus trees and their effect on the environment.
Palomar’s curriculum is very similar to the one at UCSD. I felt prepared to transfer to a competitive 4-year because they really do a good job at making their tests university level. Transitioning wasn’t too hard for me because I kind of knew what to expect. The Associated Student helped me grow as a person. I learned about leadership and made many friendships. I had the privilege to travel to Sacramento and Washington D.C. to advocate for community college students. I realized that no matter how small or large of a contribution you make, it will have an impact on society. This inspired me to be a voice for the collective and to speak up about important issues. Although I’m no longer at Palomar, my ASG family and I are still close.
If I could go back and change a few things, I’d change my involvement with school my first year. I was accustomed to being heavily involved in high school. At college, I felt really lonely and absolutely lost. I’d take classes, and go straight home. The transition was not easy for me. I also wish I had attended football games. As a former cheerleader, I felt deprived of the Friday Night Lights, only to realize that Palomar College actually has a football team.
Sherry Titus (Director of Student Affairs) was my mentor. She always encouraged me to apply for scholarships, and to speak up, but most importantly, to believe in myself. My first instinct was always to doubt myself and my abilities, but she always pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I’m certain that if I didn’t have a mentor, community college would have been much different.
All I can say to current Palomar students is to be proud to be a Comet. Don’t get discouraged by others’ perceptions of community college; it’s okay to take an alternate route to success, just keep at it! Be thankful that you have the opportunity to attend college, and work hard to achieve your goals. Don’t expect opportunities to come flying at you, because that will not happen.
It’s not easy to take the first step, but once you’ve done it, navigating the rest will be easy.Find a group of people who strive for success and want to be the best version of themselves. You can help motivate each other when times get stressful!
Name: Belinda Aguirre
Major: Chicana/o Studies
I chose Palomar College because it was affordable and located near where I lived. I also knew a lot of people who had chosen to go to Palomar and they all had good things to say about the school I developed close relationships with a few professors whom I still speak to to this day. While I was at Palomar these professors were very supportive of my educational goals. They would offer advice and encourage me to transfer to a four year university. They also wrote strong letters of recommendation for me when I applied to scholarships, schools, or jobs. I highly recommend establishing relationships with professors because it can be a lot more difficult to develop relationships with professors after transferring.
The most useful classes I took at Palomar were probably the English classes because they helped me prepare to write at a college level. After transferring, I was expected to write a whole lot more than I ever did at Palomar but I was thankful that I was able to improve my academic writing skills through the English classes I took. Palomar helped me learn how to seek resources and develop leadership skills. I was involved in MEChA, which contributed to my growth because it was there that I learned leadership, responsibility, and advocacy skills.
I did not have a peer mentor while I was at Palomar but I think that if I had had one my experience would have definitely been a lot better. I would have had more direction when beginning Palomar in terms of knowing what classes to take and professors to choose or knowing about resources on campus.
If I could do it all over again, I would probably have gotten involved on campus a lot earlier than I did. I waited a couple semesters before going to club meetings and campus events because I was too shy and was scared of showing up to these events on my own. After finally getting involved, I realized that I should have done so earlier because it improved my experience dramatically
An advice I would give to a current s student at Palomar would be to get involved on campus! There are so many clubs and organizations on campus that students miss out on because they simply go to Palomar for classes and then leave. Getting involved definitely helped me have a much more exciting Palomar experience and meet many amazing individuals who are doing amazing things today.
Name: Francisco Fernandez
Major: Molecular Biology
I attended Palomar College because it was convenient for me since it was close by, it’s also a very nice looking campus and financially friendly. Additionally, when I came to ask about the school everybody was nice and willing to help. I liked Palomar right away. After starting Palomar, I became involved in the Bridge Program which helps underrepresented students in the science major transfer to a four year university and pursue a career in the STEM field.
The professors at Palomar are amazing. They understand that many students work and they are extremely patient about it. They are always willing to help and because the classes tend to be smaller in size compared to a four year university, they are always available for office hours. I was fortunate to develop mentee relationships with some professors. Even though I transferred, I am still in contact and keep asking them for advice.
Classes like chemistry 110, 115 or bio 200 helped me to develop the right work ethic to succeed in any school. Writing classes helped me a lot as well. Before attending Palomar, I did not know how to properly write a paragraph, now I can write decent papers thanks to those classes. Palomar is good at introducing students to financial aid, scholarships, and opportunities. Even though I transferred to a four year university, most of the things that I learned at Palomar College still apply here (i.e FAFSA application).
Palomar also helped me to remove the fear I had to ask questions. I remember being really scared of presenting in front of people. But in many classes presenting is highly encouraged and little by little I became a better presenter. The math lab was another resource that helped me a lot, and thanks to it I was able to succeed in my math classes.
If I could do it all over again, I would not do anything different. Palomar was the right place for me.
I do believe that having a mentor is the most beneficial thing a student can do. Thanks to the mentors I had, I was able to transfer and pursue a higher education.
A recommendation I can give to current Palomar students is to simply ask! Simple as that. There is no such thing as a dumb question and Palomar College is the perfect place to learn and develop the skills you will need. As you advance in your career, having a knowledgeable person in your field that is willing to give you good advice becomes valuable.
Name: Jack Boyle
Major: Radiological Sciences
Transferred: California Baptist University
I chose Palomar because it was close to home and super affordable but overall because of its developed science courses.
My professors were all very supportive and showed genuine interest in my success. They all contributed to my success at Palomar in many ways and helped shape my career. I developed a close relationship with Professor Carey Carpenter, Jim Gilardi, Jon Panish, and Carl Hoeger all from the EMT-B department.
Currently I’m active in the STEM center and some of the classes that benefited me the most were EMT-B, ZOO 200 & 203, MICR 200, and CHEM 110/115 Lecture & Lab. With these classes, I feel like Palomar prepared me mentally and academically for the college I transferred to.
I had a mentor at Palomar who helped me better manage my time and develop skills that made me a successful learner. Some advice I can give to a current students is to ask! The teachers all want you to succeed and many will go out of their way to help. It is important to take initiative and do your part to be successful. Use everything that Palomar has to offer to help you with your studies.