Palomar College logo - Learning for Success

General Information about the College

A.                 Significant Facts and Numbers:

Palomar College is a public, two-year community college.  Founded in 1946, it is one of 108 colleges in the California Community Colleges system.  The main telephone number is (760) 744-1150. The Admissions Office extension is 2160.  The extension for maintenance, custodial, or grounds services problems and repairs is 2629.  The Associated Student Government (ASG) office extension is 2605.  Palomar’s identification code for transferring students is 4602.  For financial aid applications, the institutional code is 001260.  The College website address is

B.                 Locations and Facilities:

The Palomar College campus is located at 1140 W. Mission Road, San Marcos, CA 92069-1487, approximately 30 miles north of San Diego.  The 200-acre campus and its eight education centers serve a district covering 2,555 square miles, an area slightly larger than the state of Delaware.  The eight centers are located in Escondido, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, Fallbrook, Ramona, Pauma Valley, Borrego Springs, and on Camp Pendleton.  There are eight Native American reservations and 10 tribal governments within the Palomar Community College District.  In 1995, the College owned 68 buildings on its campus in San Marcos.  The entire infrastructore there was replaced in 1999-2000, providing new lines and conduits for electricity, natural gas, water, storm drains, sewage, and telecommunications.  In 2002-2003, plans were underway for a new science and technology classroom building and a remodeled Student Union on the San Marcos campus.

C.                 Employees:

The College employs more than 2,300 persons, including full-time and part-time staff.  In April of 2002, there were 845 permanent employees, 898 adjunct or part-time faculty members, 223 short-term employees, and 367 student employees, yielding a grand total of 2,333 employees.  Of 257 certificated employees in the fall of 1997, 257 had master’s degrees, 36 had doctorates, 24 were administrators, and 24 were department chairpersons.  The number of work days in each academic year for 10-month employees is 176; for 11-month employees, 194; and for 12-month employees, 228. 

D.                 Students:

Palomar College enrolls more than 30,000 full-time and part-time students in the fall and spring semesters and approximately 18,000 during the summer session.  At one point during the fall semester of 2002, there were 32,064 students enrolled, the all-time record.  The fall semester “census day” count was 25,780.  The full-time equivalent (FTE) total on that day was 14,187.  Approximately 25 percent of the registered students at Palomar are full-time students, taking at least 12 units.  Approximtely 60 percent are part-time students in credit classes, and approximately 15 percent are enrolled in non-credit classes. In the fall semester of 2002, there were more than 300 international students attending Palomar on F-1 student visas from 49 different countries.  Palomar requires international students to achieve a minimum score of 470 on the TOEFL (Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) test in order to be admitted.  Otherwise, anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible for admission.  Persons younger than 18 may enroll with special permission.  There were 2,241 high school students enrolled at Palomar College during the spring semester of 2001, and 1,717 in the 2001 summer session.  The average age of Palomar students is around 30, with many older and many younger students.  A majority of Palomar students are employed either part-time or full-time.  Students attend Palomar for various reasons: to earn an associate in arts degree or a certificate of achievement or proficiency; to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree; to acquire or upgrade skills; or to enjoy  personal enrichment classes for lifelong learning.  The College provides a “second chance” or those who did not complete a high school diploma or pursue higher education in the past.

E.                 Academic Divisions and Departments:

The five academic divisions at Palomar are: Arts and Languages; Human Arts and Sciences; Mathematics and the Natural and Health Sciences; Career and Technical Education; and Media, Business, and Community Services.  Instructional departments and programs within these divisions are: Administration of Justice; American Indian Studies; American Sign Language; Art; Behavioral Sciences; Business Education; Chemistry; Child Development; Communications; Computer Science and Information Systems; Cooperative Education; Counseling; Dental Assisting; Earth Sciences; Economics; Emergency Medical Education; English; English as a Second Language; Environmental Technology; Family and Consumer Sciences; Fire Technology; Foreign Languages; Graphic Communications; History; Journalism; Mathematics; Multicultural Studies; Nursing Education; Performing Arts; Physical Education; Physics and Engineering; Political Science; Public Safety; Psychology; Regional Occupational Programs; Reading Sciences; Special Education; Speech Communications; Trade and Industry; Water Technology; Welding; and Zoology. 

F.         Program Majors, Degrees, and Certificates:

Students may choose from 169 different associate degree and certificate programs at Palomar.  There are 87 programs in which students may receive an associate in arts degree and/or a certificate of achievement.  There are 28 additional programs in which only the associate in arts degree is offered.  There are 14 additional programs in which a certificate of achievement may be obtained, and another 40 programs in which certificates of proficiency may be obtained.  In the spring semester of 2002, there were 3,117 individual class sections offered. 

G.        Culture and Community:

Palomar College serves as a cultural hub in North San Diego County.  Its 399-seat Howard Brubeck Theatre is the scene of highly regarded dramatic, dance, and musical productions throughout the year.  The College’s Boehm Art Gallery, offering free art exhibitions, has gained a national reputation as a fine contemporary visual art space.  The College also offeres planetarium shows which are open to the public.  Community members, students, and staff members enjoy Palomar’s five-acre arboretum and and its fully-equipped wellness and fitness center.  The College’s athletic teams for men and women consistently win regional, state, and national recognition for excellence.

H.        Fees, Funding and Finances:

Residents of California are charged only $11 per unit to attend any of the state’s public community colleges.  The tuition for non-residents of California in 2001-2002 was $134 per unit.  According to the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC), state expenditures per full-time student in 2001-2002 were $4675 for community college students; $7,080 for K-12 students; $10,822 for California State University students; and $25,554 for University of California students.  The unrestricted, general fund budget in 2001-2002 was $89.1 million.  The restricted funds budget was $20.2 million.  The College generates over $100 million each year for the North San Diego County economy. 

I.         Athletics:

Palomar College has 19 athletic teams in 12 different sports.  These include both men’s and women’s teams in basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, swimming, water polo, and cross country.  The College also competes against other colleges in football, baseball, softball, golf, and wrestling.  Admission is free to all home athletic events held during the day.  Admission to evening competitions is also free for students with Palomar Identification Cards; $2 for other students with student identification; $2 for senior citizens 60 years of age or older; and $5 for the general public.

PDF Version of this Section of the Manual

Return to Graphics Standards Manual Index