With health and safety measures in place, the main campus and all education centers are open for face-to-face classes, while keeping a wide variety of courses online for distance learning opportunities.

SAN MARCOS (August 23, 2021) — The Fall semester kicked off at Palomar College on Monday, August 23, 2021, with thousands of students enrolled in traditional, in-person classes as well as online distance learning options that remain widely available.

Nearly a year and a half after the spring 2020 semester was entirely transitioned to an online format and employees moved to remote work, the San Marcos campus and education centers in Fallbrook, Escondido, and Rancho Bernardo, came alive again following a careful repopulation plan governed by the college’s health team.

“It is an honor to welcome many of our students back to campus, and we look forward to seeing our students succeed in a learning environment that has been redesigned for increased safety, after such a long hiatus from in-person instruction,” said Palomar College Superintendent/President Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey. “The health and safety of all of our students, faculty and staff remains our top priority.”

Dr. Rivera-Lacey explained that administration and faculty began by identifying the courses that had not been offered recently due to the high level of difficulty in converting the courses to an online format—many of which were career technical education programs. The college also prioritized courses required for transfer and degree completion in deciding the course schedule.

Regarding health and safety measures, the college is now requiring all students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a facial covering while indoors on campus. Following the approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23, the college is also implementing the requirement for students and employees to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus, in keeping with the COVID-19 Employee and Student Vaccination and Immunization Plans.

To further extend the college’s track records of no COVID-19 outbreaks to date, all persons coming to campus or one of the education centers is asked to engage with a health pre-screening app before their arrival. Individuals can access the health questionnaire by downloading the MyPalomar app, via web form or by using a kiosk placed in high traffic areas.

“The start of the fall semester marks the 75th year that Palomar College has served the educational needs of students, and the employment needs of countless employers in our region,” said Dr. Rivera-Lacey. “The celebration will continue throughout the year and culminate at our 2022 commencement—with the hope of honoring our graduates at an in-person ceremony.”