Palomar’s Military Leadership program will continue to serve Marines at Quantico, while general education coursework is now available to Virginia residents online through Palomar, following authorization from the Commonwealth’s higher education council.

SAN MARCOS — Palomar College has received formal approval from the Commonwealth of Virginia to begin offering online classes there, the latest in a series of steps to expand Palomar’s new MIL program for active-duty students at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

The certification process was spearheaded by the staff who serve Palomar’s Military Leadership (MIL) program, which offers an associate’s degree and certificate to active-duty service members.

As an added result, students currently residing in Virginia and planning to transfer to a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) institution may now complete their lower-division general education online through Palomar College.

“We are always honored to be able to serve the higher education needs of our active-duty service members, and now to also be able to help students in Virginia prepare for their transfer to UC and CSU schools, only advances our mission further,” said Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, Superintendent/President of Palomar College.

With a formal letter in July, the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia authorized Palomar to provide online-only instruction within four degree and certificate programs:

Associate of Science in Military Leadership — 60 credit hours
Certificate, General Education Breadth (California State University) — 39 credit hours
Certificate, Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) — 37 credit hours
Certificate, Military Leadership — 18 credit hours
Due to this authorization, the MIL program, which began by serving active-duty Marines at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms, has expanded to include the Marine Corps bases in Quantico, Virginia and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The program was launched in partnership with the College of Enlisted Military Education, Marine Corps University.

Nichol Roe, Associate Dean for Workforce Development and Extended Studies at Palomar, said that lawmakers in Virginia recently changed the Commonwealth’s regulations regarding instruction provided by out-of-state institutions. As of July 1, 2022, such programs must have formal approval to enroll students in Virginia.

With a large population of Marines already engaged with Palomar at Marine Corps Base Quantico, the college applied for the required authorization in June.  The move also expanded the number of program offerings that Palomar will now be able to provide.

“Now we have state authorization to provide online education—through our MIL Leadership program, IGETC or CSU—to basically all residents of Virginia,” Roe said. “Any student in Virginia could do their General Education requirements for CSU and UC transfers online from Palomar College.”

The General Education Breadth certificate meets the lower-division requirements for the California State University (CSU) system, while the IGETC certificate satisfies both the CSU and the University of California requirements.

Tory Haynes, Palomar’s MIL Project Director, said the Marines currently enrolled or planning to enroll in the popular program this fall will not experience any changes.

“We’re still providing a high level of engagement and the same coursework for the students stationed at Quantico and Camp LeJeune who participate in our program,” said Haynes. “Because there’s such a large population of students in Virginia, we wanted to gain authorization to continue to be able to provide classes for them online.”