History of the College
has a history rich in tradition and educational achievements. On
January 15, 1946, registered voters in the Vista Unified School
District, the Fallbrook Union School District, and the Escondido
Union High School District voted 714 to 417 in favor of establishing
a “junior college” in the North San Diego County area. Under state
law, the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools appointed five
persons as members of the first Governing Board for the new college.
The Governing Board hired the first college president in 1946, Dr.
Daniel C. McNaughton, supported by a director, a dean of students,
and nine faculty members. Located on the Vista High School campus,
Palomar College opened its classroom doors on September 23, 1946,
with exactly 100 students enrolled in classes in science,
mathematics, music, art, social sciences, commerce, English,
physical education, and foreign languages.
College is a public, two-year community college serving a large
student body of diverse ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles.
The District’s 200-acre main campus is located at 1140 West
Mission Road in San Marcos. The San Marcos campus, Education Center in
Escondido, and four additional sites serve a District covering
2,555-square-miles ranging from urban to agricultural areas of North
San Diego County.
The four education
sites are located in Camp Pendleton, Fallbrook, Pauma Valley, and at
Mt. Carmel High School.
The Escondido Center is located on eight acres owned by the District,
and the proposed North Education Center will be located on an 82-acre
property in Fallbrook. In
June 2010, the District purchased approximately 27 acres of land in
Rancho Bernardo, that includes a large building and associated parking
structure. This property
is the future site of a center to serve the southern portion of the
constitutes a single-college district, and it is the largest single
community college district in San Diego County.
Palomar College borders seven other community college
districts: South Orange County, Mt. San Jacinto, Desert, Imperial
Valley, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, San Diego, and Mira Costa.
College has five academic divisions: (1) Arts, Media, Business, and
Computer Science; (2) Career, Technical, and Extended Education; (3)
Languages and Literature; (4) Mathematics and the Natural and Health
Sciences; and (5) Social and Behavioral Sciences. The college offers
more than 300 credit degree and certificate programs within those five
divisions and noncredit courses. At Palomar, students have the
opportunity to participate in a vibrant college life that includes
free art and cinema series, 34 academic and social campus
organizations, 21 competitive intercollegiate sports teams for men and
women, and dozens of music, theatre, and dance performances.
In the November
2006 General Election, voters approved an educational facilities
improvement measure (Proposition M), which provides the majority of
the funding for the College’s $1 billion construction and remodel
plan. The first major step in the implementation of this plan was
realized with the completion of the Natural Sciences Building, which
opened for the Fall 2007 semester. This is an exciting time for
students, faculty, staff, and administration at Palomar College. The
vision in the Master Plan 2022
has moved to reality as the planning, design, and construction of
several instructional and support facilities take shape.
Master Plan 2022 is
transitioning Palomar College into its next generation as an
outstanding institution in higher education committed to the learning
success of its students and responsive to the changing needs of its