It has already been a year since Palomar College was forced to do remote learning due to the pandemic, and many students have mentioned how distance education is hard and stressful and that they usually tend to get advice or help from a counselor.
New students and those who have been at Palomar College for more than a year have many different questions that they can only get answered by a counselor. However, because of the the pandemic, the services the Counseling Department provides have changed and students had the opportunity to talk about their personal experiences.
Jack O’Brien, 20, a Palomar College baseball player who plans on transferring to Hawaii Pacific University in the Fall of 2021, said that he worked with an athletic counselor on his transfer.
O’Brien mentioned that the counselor was very helpful with getting all his graduation paperwork and credits ready. However, it was frustrating having to schedule an appointment via Zoom two weeks in advance and only having one session to get all of his questions answered.
“I do think having more opportunities for Webinars where counselors can walk students through the graduation and transfer process can help students from feeling they are going through it alone,” he said.
Salvador Colorado, 19, who is a first-year student at Palomar College, claims that his experience with counselor Cynthia Cordova went well.
“I really expected less from it, like when I was in high school, but Profe [Professor] Cordova is very knowledgeable and she helped me understand every step to fitting into college and plan my academic future,” he said.
However, second-year student Emily Page, 19, said her experience with the Counseling Department has not been the best.
Page explained that since she is completing an Associate in Science for transfer in Film, she was not really familiar with the program so she had to rely on a counselor each semester.
She added that she had been with with two different counselors who suggested different plans.
“I had different classes added or different information on how I was behind or how I needed something more to be able to transfer correctly with the right credits,” Page said.
Meanwhile, the Counseling Department Chair, Dr. Glyn Bongolan, explained that the department extended its 45-minute appointments with counselors to one hour, so students have more time to ask questions.
Bonglan mentioned that the department has been more active with “Call Campaigns” for students by contacting them and checking in to see if they need help from a counselor.
She said, “We also incorporated Webinars, where any student can come and ask questions at anytime.”
Bonglan added that the Counseling Department has been working on its home page to make it better and easier to navigate for those who are not familiar with the department. She said, “This is one of our newest projects.”