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News & Events

Talking logistics of pizza with Ronnie Brannon

With a passion for logistics Brannon has given countless seminars he calls “Logistics of Pizza.” For the first time Brannon hosted his seminar to a group of area high school counselors at Palo Alto College. Read More >

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Talking logistics of pizza with Ronnie Brannon

With a passion for logistics Brannon has given countless seminars he calls “Logistics of Pizza.” For the first time Brannon hosted his seminar to a group of area high school counselors at Palo Alto College. Read More >

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500 plus PAC students set to cross stage

In the Student Annex Center at Palo Alto College, you can sense the excitement fill the air as students line up to pick up their graduation gowns for this year’s commencement ceremony. Read More >

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PAC Twins Awarded Scholarship

It began with a phone call when Adriana Weaver received the news that would change the course of her life. Read More >

Student of the Month, May 2015

Student of the Month - May 2015

Johnny Lopez has been named Palo Alto College's Student of the Month for May 2015. Read More >

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Hort program blooms future entrepreneurs

Students enrolled in the Horticulture program at PAC appreciate nature and the opportunity to begin their own business. Read More >

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High school sophomores attend first college course

For many high school students, attending college only happens after graduation. But for students enrolled in the S.T.E.M Early College High School program, the first day of college happened their sophomore year of high school. Read More >

Cosmetology New Program

Cosmetology now offered at Palo Alto College

Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges, will launch an accredited Cosmetology program beginning on March 23. Read More >

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Curriculum prepares students to care for animals

A love for animals is the reason why students are willing to undergo a rigorous curriculum at Palo Alto College in order to become a Licensed Veterinarian Technician. Read More >

Palo Alto embraces Puente program for student development

Palo Alto College’s recent partnership with the Puente Project was featured in a story written by Marissa Villa in the Dec. 5 issue of Conexión. Click here to read the story on mySA.com or read it below:


Palo Alto embraces program for student development


By Marissa Villa

A project that began 30 years ago in California and encourages underrepresented students, including Latinos, to pursue more rigorous coursework while being mentored by community leaders, has made its way to Texas this year with Palo Alto College as one of the newest members of the project.

The Puente Program combines writing, mentoring and counseling to form a learning community for students who qualify.

A little more than 50 students at Palo Alto College who scored below college level reading and English on placement tests, and who probably would have been in remedial courses, are instead in a learning community that stresses accelerated writing instruction. Students in the program have to commit to one year.

Professors in the program work together to assure their curricula complement each other.

The curriculum is culturally relevant to ensure students can connect with their coursework, says Yolanda Reyna, assistant professor and chair of counseling and student development.

“This lets them know there are Latino writers,” Reyna says, “also to let them know that their culture and background is relevant.”

Reyna works with professors Daniel Rodriguez and Rafael Castillo on curricula while Diane Lerma, also a reading instructor, focuses on the mentoring aspect of the project.

Part of the counseling is a student development class all students in Puente are required to take.

“We call ourselves ‘the Puente familia,'” Reyna says, adding that she's noticed students have taken ownership of the program. “I would say it's going well; I've noticed with this class attendance is really good ... students hold each other accountable.”

Mentors, who were hand-picked from the community and within Palo Alto faculty and staff, were paired with students who have similar interests. Students spend at least 18 hours over the course of two semesters with their mentors.

Additionally, counselors are available to students, which is something Reyna says has shown to improve students' academic performance.

“We're going to be following them until they graduate,” Reyna says, to ensure they continue their college education.

mvilla@express-news.net

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