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More students, fewer full-time faculty

By Lillian Ross
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-lrossWith the recent retirements of many Palo Alto College faculty, students are worried that there may not be sufficient course offerings in the upcoming semesters. 

Dr. Stacey Johnson, vice president of Academic Affairs, said the recent SACS’ (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) team noted, “The number of full-time faculty and staff are adequate to support the mission of the institution.”

Alamo Colleges is under a hiring freeze that prevents hiring without great need. While student enrollment is increasing at a steady rate with each passing semester, more and more faculty members are beginning to retire. We now have 111 full-time and 208 part-time faculty members for an estimated 9,300 students here at PAC.

In this year, we will have eleven full-time faculty move on including Anthony Pierulla, Dorothy Ulcak, Lawrence Rodriguez, William Krant, Steven Mardock, Cecilia Gonzales, Theresa Dorel, Jeff Middlebrook, Irene Scharf, James Stovall and Therese Palacios. Some are not retiring but moving on to other opportunities. Dr. Ana M. "Cha" Guzman, president of Palo Alto College, is left with the difficult task of deciding which departments have the greatest need for hiring new faculty.

As for class offerings and sizes, students here at PAC have seen a decline in the number of classes being offered. The reason behind this trend is more students are being registered into fewer classes, causing some classes to be dropped for low enrollment.

Palo Alto College offered 1,414 sections with an average of 21.8 students per section in fall 2009; 1,378 sections with an average of 24.1 per section in fall 2010; and 1,167 sections with an average of 25 students per section in fall 2011. 

The Counseling Center will see Anthony Pierulla and Dorothy Ulcak retire at the end of this fall semester. In the spring, the office will have four full-time and three part-time counselor available for more than 9,000 students. Each of the counselors will teach seven SDEV classes in the spring semester, and they are members of various campus and district committees. 

According to Dr. Robert Garza, dean of Student Affairs, Student Services is poised to take up the slack by helping with student advising and teaching some of the student development classes. 

The Office of Student Engagement and Retention, The Welcome Advising Center and The Center for Academic Transition are also available to assist students. Advisers in these offices welcome students throughout the year. They offer services like helping out with job applications, resumes, class advising and graduation. 

"Increased numbers of advisers throughout Student Services will accommodate student needs for advisement,” said Garza.

In crisis situations, PAC has implemented the SOBI (Strategies of Behavioral Intervention) Program to assist any student or faculty member with life-threatening emergencies. SOBI is a group comprised of faculty and staff who are prepared to be first responders to an extreme emergency, like the Virginia Tech shooting. If you have an emergency to report please call (210) 222-0911.

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Returning adult students seek brighter future

By Paul Ramos
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-pramos-ra-andrea 
Andrea Dillard reciting her monologue. 

With the unpredictable economy, many adults have decided to return to school to broaden their education and get a better paying job.

“If I could tell any student who is 18 starting college fresh from high school, I would tell them not to take school for granted,” said Andrea Dillard, a sophomore Theater major. “At 25, I don’t take anything for granted when it comes to school.”

Dillard, a returning adult student, said she loves how everyone at Palo Alto is extremely different, but at the same time everyone talks to everyone. Dillard also said that she is excited to graduate from Palo Alto, and she has enjoyed her journey.

For most retuning students who don’t fit the just-out-of-high-school profile, they not only go to school, but many are married, have kids and work. Adult students, who have taken a break from school, value their time.

“When I was younger, I didn’t spend my time wisely. I wouldn’t do my homework; I wouldn’t take school seriously. Now I’m 30, and I make sure I do everything that is due, and turn everything in on time,” said Yvette Deleon, a sophomore Social Work major.

The difference between college students who are fresh out of high school and adult college students who have returned to school after taking several years off is that many returning adult students know that time is precious and should not be wasted.

At the age of 56, History Major Norberto Flores, realizes that his perception of life is no longer the same as it was when he was 16. After working low paying jobs, Flores wanted to know if school was an option. First he had to give it a try.

“Nothing is impossible,” said Flores, who is more than halfway through his associate’s degree. “At any age, determination is enough to go not only into college but to a university.”

1211-pramos-ra-norberto 
Norberto Flores picks up the recycling around the campus. 

All students who want to be successful in college should understand that time management is key.

For adults who want to go back to college, they should consider comparing degree plans and class times that will work around their busy schedules, and they should put more thought into what they want to study so they waste no time.

“I came to realize that learning is a lifelong journey and that sometimes one must go to a place of higher learning in order to continue their journey,” said Laurie Baird, a Business major.

The most difficult part for Baird is the time it takes to register for classes, talking with the counselors, getting her books and reading the books. Studying is fundamental to success in class, said Baird.

“I would say that going back to college has done more than I ever imagined. It has empowered me,” said Baird. “It is not embarrassing. Be smart. Take a step. Reach out, Pick a class and start.

   

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Palo Alto celebrates twelfth anniversary with Northern Iowa

By Nicole Henry
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-nhenry 
Samantha Torres, NVC, English major, and Steven Sanchez, PAC, Communications major enjoying Iowa's snow. 

The Bridge Scholarship Program started out as the brainchild of a San Antonio native who wanted to bring students to the University of Northern Iowa.

Over the past 12 years, the program has sent more than 250 Palo Alto students to UNI and now includes all Alamo Colleges.

Roland Carrillo was a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and St. Mary’s University. He was working as a financial aid director for the Alamo Colleges when he applied for the job of financial aid director at UNI. Carrillo was surprised when he was offered the job. He packed up his family and moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa.

His right hand-woman in this project was Juanita Wright, now the scholarship coordinator at UNI. The same as the founders of this scholarship, students who accept this opportunity must make sacrifices and changes. However, students who go to UNI find that the positive outweighs the negative.

“Becoming published twice before the age of 21, joining the speech team and traveling all over the United States and making it to finals. Also, participating in the on campus comedy club performing standup” are a few of the reasons Mallorie DeHoyos, a Palo Alto and UNI graduate, is happy she rose to the challenge.

The scholarship covers a student’s housing and tuition. The student is responsible for paying their meal plan, books and personal needs, which may be paid for with other scholarships or work-study. To qualify for the scholarship, a student must complete an Associate of Arts degree in any field, have an overall 2.5 grade point average and demonstrate financial need.

Going to UNI seems like a huge leap for someone who has spent all or most of their life in Texas, but the chance to go somewhere new and experience a new perspective on life could be invaluable.

“Being at UNI, I’ve learned that I’m capable of so much more that I used to think. I mean, I never thought I’d leave Texas and now I’m going to school 1,000 miles away. It’s made me realize that I’m capable of learning and experiencing those things if I work hard enough,” said Palo Alto graduate and current UNI student Steven Sanchez.

Part of the scholarship process is a visit to UNI that takes place in the spring. UNI will pay for the candidate’s airfare, their hotel and most of their meals while they are there. While students are visiting UNI, they will have an opportunity to tour the campus and talk to other students from Palo Alto College who have gone to UNI. They will also be interviewed for the scholarship.

On November 10 and 11, a meeting was held for those students interested in making the move to Cedar Falls. A representative came to talk to prospective students about the school and the scholarship. During the meeting, students were able to talk with current students through Skype. Alumni of Palo Alto and UNI also spoke to students about their experience.

“My thoughts were confirmed,” said Freshman Psychology Major Ruby Barron. “This is the path that God has put me on. I feel like this is really what I want to do.”

Questions about UNI or the Bridge Scholarship Program may be directed to Charley Garcia in the Center for Academic Transitions or by email at cgarcia4@alamo.edu.
 

   

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Military planes occupy airspace over Palo Alto

By Andrew Martinez
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-amartinez 
An aviation student uses a flight simulator. 

It is an early weekday morning on the South Side of San Antonio and classrooms at Palo Alto are starting to fill. Suddenly, a loud noise rips through the sky.

This is an almost everyday occurrence for students on campus. Military planes are a common sight because of the proximity of Lackland Air Force Base. Both large cargo planes and small fighter jets can be seen flying overhead throughout the day.

“I don’t really notice them too much,” said Frank Payette, a Communication major and Air Force veteran. “It’s kind of like if you have a dog and it’s always barking. After a while, you don’t notice it.”

Lackland, also known as “The Gateway to the Air Force,” is home for those entering the Air Force, Air Force Reserves and the National Guard. Lackland, along with Randolph Air Force Base and Fort Sam Houston, is part of Joint Base San Antonio, which formed after the nationwide Base Realignment and Closure.

Residents of the northeast side of town near Randolph AFB also experience the sights and sounds of Air Force training. According to the Lackland website, the base develops flight plans to reduce flights over the more populated areas of the city. This leaves the South Side of the city with most of the flyovers.

“They have flyovers on Thursdays and Fridays for basic training graduations,” said Airman Key, Security Forces United States Air Force. “They try to make it more extravagant, so you might notice it more.”

The aircraft fly from Lackland and the Kelly Annex, part of the former Kelly Air Force Base.

The plane most often sighted near campus is the C-5A Galaxy, used by the 433rd Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve. The C-5A is among the largest aircraft in the world and is the largest in the Air Force. It is primarily a cargo plane used in military missions around the world.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Texas Air National Guard also flies out of Lackland. The 149th Fighter Wing uses this fighter jet. As a safety precaution, it is only flown over the least populated areas of town.


“Only officers can fly,” said Key. This is another precautionary measure taken by the Air Force.

Lackland and Randolph also host air shows. On October 29 and 30, Randolph presented the United States Navy Blue Angels, among other fighting wings. These shows are open to the public and give civilians an opportunity to see the aircraft and their capabilities.

It is not only military aircraft that populate South Side’s skies. Helicopters and small single-engine craft from Stinson Municipal Airport are frequently seen flying over Loop 410 near PAC. Known to many as Stinson Field, the small airport is the second oldest general airport still in use in the United States after College Park Airport located in College Park, Maryland. It is home to flight schools, a helicopter tour and an aviation museum.

Stinson Airport is also the location of the Palo Alto Aviation Technology Program. The Aviation Technology Program, which many students do not know about, has been in existence since 1988.

“Nobody knows about it,” said John Aken, lead instructor of Aviation Technology. The classes are relatively small and more personal. “I’d like them to know we’re here,” said Aken.

Three programs, Professional Pilot, Aviation Management and Air Traffic Control, are offered. The Professional Pilot associate’s degree program provides students the opportunity to find careers flying multiple types of aircraft ranging from air carriers to single-engine planes. In addition to being a licensed pilot, students can also become certified flight instructors upon completion of the program.

“The flying is sexy and everybody wants to do it,” said Aken, “but the money is where the management is.” Two current students are already employed by airlines while they are completing their degrees.

The Aviation Management program prepares students for management positions within airports and flight schools, and other aviation departments. There are several positions in management ranging from assistant manager of an airport to managing the fuel supply department.

The Air Traffic Control program readies students for the entrance exam for the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Academy, located in Oklahoma City, Okla. Once the test has been taken, the government decides who is accepted into the academy.

“Anybody can be in aviation,” said Aken. He says determination is the most important factor in completing the program. “When you get through with this two-year program, you can go out and get a job.”

For more information on the Aviation Technology Program, contact John Aken at jaken1@alamo.edu.


 
 

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Sex education in schools still a taboo subject

By Jesse Alvarez

Pulse Staff Reporter 

 

1211-jalvarezAccording to sanantonio.gov, teens between the ages of 10 to 19 gave birth to 3,800 children in 2008. In a national average Texas has a 63.4 per 1000 teen pregnancy birth rate making Texas, the third highest teen pregnancy state in the country. Texas law states that school districts may cover sex education, but they are not required.  Sex education is controversial but the question remains whether or not sex education should be taught in schools.

Parents might conclude that with their children being informed at school about safe sex, it is possible for their children to believe that it’s okay to have sex with multiple people, because they are taught how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

Former Palo Alto student Isaiah Gamboa had a sex education class during seventh grade. Asked if taking the course helped him, he said, “Yes, but it made me more curious about sex.”

Not only will teens want to experience sex, but they will also be very curious to know what it’s like to actually have sex.

Parents may argue that sex education shouldn’t be taught to their children because they believe it’s their job to teach their kids. Some parents don’t even give their child the “sex talk,” or when they do, it’s too late.

Maria Cristiano, mother of two, got pregnant at the age of 15. She said that during school she never had a sex education class and she was never educated by her parents. When asked why she had sex at a young age, she said that she had heard about sex and that she and her boyfriend just wanted to try it.

“Sex education should be a mandatory course that should be taken during junior high or high school,” said UTSA student Joaquin Vela, who said he was never educated about sex by his parents or school.

“I had heard about condoms but didn’t know what they were used for, ” said Vela. He mentioned that he and his girlfriend were having sex without protection for a long time. Luckily for him, he learned more about safe sex by researching it on the Internet, and he immediately began to practice it.

When teens don’t know how to practice safe sex, the risk of catching an STD or getting someone pregnant increases. “Healthy Futures of Texas” is a non-profit organization that works to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancies. They advocate abstinence as a teen’s healthiest choice, but they also promote the use of contraceptives for sexually active teens. Their “Me Now Baby Later” campaign helps teens avoid early parenthood so that they can complete their education and discover what their talents are.

“We don’t want unplanned pregnancies. We want every family prepared to be healthy,” said administrative assistant Debbie Curtis.

For more information on teen pregnancy, visit http://www.healthyfuturestx.org/

 

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President Obama and Republican candidates battle for top office

By Hilda Valdez

Pulse Staff Reporter 

1211-hvaldezAs President Barack Obama’s first term comes to an end, the beginning of the 2012 campaign season is underway. Candidates vying for their opportunity to serve the people of the United States are beaming across television sets throughout the country.

Each candidate is diligently working to attract prospective voters to his or her campaign. One group of people who politicians are hoping to attract is the 18-29 year old set. During the 2008 presidential election, this group was a vital and enthusiastic part of the process. However, it is uncertain if young voters will take an active role in the 2012 election. 

“I know some of the people running against Obama, because of my Economics class...but there are other things are going on,” said Briana Casias, a sophomore Accounting major.

Sara Rivas, a sophomore Bio-Medical Science major, also has not been following the election coverage very closely. “Not much. I’ve caught a few things, but not really. I should be though,” she said.

Although some students acknowledged that they are not following the election yet, others have chosen not to participate.

“Never been into politics,” said Orlando Ramirez, sophomore Aviation Management major. “It’s too much banter. Too much back and forth.”

Young voters encounter many factors that can keep them from participating in elections. It can be as simple as life being too busy and not having time to pay attention to politics, it can be as complicated as young people not having an understanding about the political process. No matter the factor, young people can be encouraged to become engaged in the process.

“One thing that will help [young people] become voters is to participate in a campaign. Get involved, be a part of the political process,” said Antonio Villanueva, assistant professor of Psychology

The presidential election is about a year away. Numerous primaries and caucuses will take place before the general election. Currently, ten Republican contenders are vying for the Grand Old Party (GOP) nomination. They are Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer and Rick Santorum.

Each of the Republican candidates along with the Democratic incumbent, President Obama, is working diligently to attract voters to their campaigns. Most candidates are not relying on traditional media outlets to reach voters. All of the top contenders have websites that provide voters with information about his/her political platform. In addition to conventional websites, many of the candidates are present on Facebook and Twitter. 

The Internet is also filled with bipartisan websites that provide curious voters with general and in-depth information about all aspects of the election. Rock the Vote, www.rockthevote.org, is a site that provides young voters with information that ranges from registering to vote to how to find their voting location. Votesmart.org is another bipartisan website that provides first-time and seasoned Texas voters with a wealth of information about elections occurring in the state.

No matter how the 2012 elections turn out, the road to the finale will be one filled with excitement, possibly drama and maybe even some turmoil. The privilege of electing a president only happens every four years, but decisions that can affect a lifetime of issues are made during that time. 

“It’s really important because of things like Social Security…we need to put our opinion in,” said Rivas. “But it’s just one of those things where there are so many other cool things going on, that my generation is not really focused on [the election], but we need to.”

Eligible voters in Bexar County can contact the Elections Administrator to fill out a voter registration application in person. For other options to complete an application, you may visit www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml. You may register to vote up until 30 days prior to the November 6, 2012, election. 

  


Bicycling gains popularity in San Antonio

By Laura de Leon
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-ldeleon 
Noe Ruiz, a Fine Arts sophomore, cruises around campus on his bike. 

The San Antonio area is beginning to develop as a place where bike riders can feel free to roam around the Alamo City. Bicycling is not only a fun hobby, but it also provides exercise and a gas-free form of transportation.

Some Palo Alto college students, faculty and staff take advantage of the benefits of riding. Ivana Kruzic, a Psychology sophomore, said she likes to ride her bike downtown and on the River Walk.

“I ride to clear my mind and enjoy the scenery,” Kruzic said.

As trails are being developed and motorists are learning to share the road with bicyclist, more people are riding their bikes around town. For first-time riders, parks and trails are a great place to start. They provide guided routes that allow a rider to choose how long and how far they want to go.

Brackenridge Park, located in central San Antonio, is one place to get comfortable on a bike. The park provides a scenic route with guided trails that circulate around and easy access to benches, restrooms and water. Bike World has a bike rental location at the Pearl Brewery that is less than two miles from Brackenridge Park. Renting a bike can allow you to learn how to ride.

San Antonio has many routes that are bike friendly and take a rider into woody areas and sometimes the streets. The San Antonio Missions have a bike trail that links the historic sites together. This 16-mile bike ride provides a memorable adventure.

Bicycling is also a very efficient way to get a workout. Taking in the view as you ride allows you to forget that you are actually exercising. As you ride, your body burns excess calories, sheds body fat and helps build a strong heart. If bicycling becomes your hobby, your body will also benefit.

“I ride for fun and also to get back into shape,” said Melissa Perez, a Biology sophomore. Perez said she likes to ride at Heritage Park and plans to explore Schnabel Park, where she can build her endurance.

As gas prices rise and fossil fuels contribute to climate change, people are looking for alternative forms of transportation. Bicycling is an environmentally friendly transportation. By not using gasoline to get around, you will save money. Plus, you can sometimes get to your destination faster than if you drive. The City of San Antonio is working to create a bike friendly city through its addition of bike lanes.

If bicycling is a hobby, your transportation or your fitness routine, finding the right bike and parts can help create a comfortable ride. Local bike shops can help you get started and help you become a knowledgeable rider.

Talking with the employees can help you determine what type of bike will work best for you. Blue Star Bike Shop, in the King William District, sells a variety of bikes for all experience levels.

Jimmy Hover, a bicycle specialist at Blue Star Bike Shop, said, “Determine your goals and then choose from a slow, medium or fast bike.”

Hover said the new trend in San Antonio is single-speed bikes, also called city bikes, which are simple bikes with one fixed gear. They are easy to ride.

“Don’t be afraid to get out with the cars,” Hover said.

He explained that bikes are legal road vehicles and are a fun alternative transportation. When riding a bike, always wear a helmet for safety.

San Antonio B-cycle offers a bike share program that allows riders to purchase daily, weekly or annual membership that allow you to borrow a bike for 30-minute cycles. The bike must be returned every 30 minutes or swapped at any of the 14 convenient locations around San Antonio. The B-cycle website, sanantonio.bcycle.com, has more information on rates and routes.

On November 13, 2011, the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon held its first bike tour that covered nearly 22 miles of the marathon course. This event revealed how the San Antonio bicycle scene is expanding and bringing out more cyclists.

The City of San Antonio’s bicycle and pedestrian program, San Antonio Bikes, works to raise awareness for bicycle travel and safety. Their website, sanantonio.gov/oep/sabikes, provides information about all the bicycle opportunities the city has. You may download maps, safety information and times for local organized rides.

 

  


 

Palo Alto helps serve the community

By Destiny Castaneda 
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-dcastaneda 
Dawn Ohlhausen works in the Student Engagement and Retention office 

Many people in today’s society end up growing up in poverty, and it is not their fault. Everyone is born into different circumstances, and some are just less fortunate than others. Most of the time there is nothing that they can do about it, but there is something others can do.

For years Palo Alto College has organized many activities, events and projects to help serve people in need. Students, faculty and staff have come together to serve our community. One way that students have been able to give back to the community is through HUMA 2323: World Cultures. Students who take this course have to complete three hours of Service-Learning by the end of the semester.

Humanities Professor Karen Marcotte organizes a Service-Learning experience at Haven for Hope. The City of San Antonio has been trying to help homeless people get off the streets. In early 2010, Haven for Hope was established to provide housing and programming for more than 900 men, women and children. The issues that these people face include hunger, homelessness and mental illness. Students who participate in this project help serve food in the kitchen.

Marcotte believes that participating in this project is an “eye-opening experience."

“It makes the students appreciate what they have, even if they do not have much themselves. I have never had a student tell me they were sorry they went. Students from the past have actually called saying they want to go back,” said Marcotte.

Palo Alto College also hosts a few giving back projects during the holiday season. Carmen Velasquez, director of Student Engagement and Retention, partnered with the college’s Future Educators of America Club to help benefit St. Bonaventure by collecting canned goods and other non-perishable items in a food drive.

“I think it is very important that our students understand the concept of giving back and helping those who are less fortunate,” said Velasquez.

Staff Council President Anita Soliz, along with staff council and faculty, put together Thanksgiving baskets for the campus support staff. Faculty and staff donated canned foods and other non-perishable items to include in the baskets. About 60 baskets were made and were handed out on November 17.

“Every year we like to show our appreciation to our support staff and this is a good way to do it,” Soliz said.

Every year, Palo Alto College coordinates the Little Palomino Tree project. Students on financial aid and have children 10 years or younger are able to sign them up to receive a gift for Christmas. Faculty, staff and students are able to pick up a card and purchase a gift for that child. On November 30, there was a tree lighting ceremony at the Student Annex took place to give out gifts to the children, who were able to meet their gift giver as well as old St. Nick himself.

Students, faculty and staff at Palo Alto know the importance of giving back to the community. To find out how you can be of service over this holiday break, visit www.volunteermatch.org or search “San Antonio volunteer opportunities” to see what you can find.

 

  

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Study abroad opens students' eyes to the bigger world

 By Richard Diaz, Jr.
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-rdiaz

The Alamo Colleges are offering an opportunity for students to visit some of the most unique countries of the world while earning college credit through six study abroad programs this summer.

“Many students consider it to be a life-changing experience,” said Mark Hogensen, a professor of Art at Palo Alto College. Hogensen said it is an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance some students may not get again. “Some people say they can’t afford to go on a trip like this, but really they can’t afford not to go.”

Hogensen will be leading a group of students through Spain during the Summer I semester along with co-leader, Dr. Alba De Leon, for an Art Appreciation class and a Drawing II or III class. “We’ll be visiting Madrid, Barcelona and other small towns,” said Hogensen.

De Leon, professor of Art and the campus’ International Education Liaison will teach the Art Appreciation course. She has already led a previous study abroad trip, and she said that studying abroad is an awakening experience for most students.

“There is no way you can step out of this country and not gain something,” said De Leon. She also said that the study abroad trips not only provide a different and unique setting for the learning experience, but also provide a cultural experience that the students will keep for the rest of their lives.

The Alamo Colleges’ faculty-led study abroad opportunities for the 2012 summer semester include China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain. Prices are between $4,100 and

“There is a scholarship available through Alamo Colleges, which, if you are awarded, could receive up to $1,500. Students may use financial aid and student loans, if interested,” said Maria Rivera, International Programs assistant for the Alamo Colleges.

Rivera also said that The Alamo Colleges participate in study abroad programs every summer, and there is even a program that lasts throughout the Fall and Spring semesters for those students interested in studying abroad for a longer time period.

“There is not one program better than the other at the five colleges. They are all great,” said Rivera. “They are each unique. Each one has different courses that are offered and give students different options and credits.”

Students must complete an application that to be accepted in any one of the Study Abroad trips, and space is limited to 10 to15 students.

For more information, contact Rivera by phone at (210) 485-0084 or by email at dst-studyabroad@alamo.edu.

 
 

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Tasty cuisine for your belly routine

By Michael Melgosa
Pulse Staff Reporter
 

1211-mmelgosaWhen someone is just finishing his or her day at Palo Alto College, they usually like traveling to places with their friends. All around Palo Alto College, multiple food establishments await discovery.

“I’ve been to a place called Bernard’s Creole Kitchen,” said Karen Garcia, a sophomore Criminal Justice major. “The food there is delicious, and the names of the food are pretty funny, like one dish is called “Ain’t Ya Momma Meatloaf.”

There’s a nice atmosphere within the restaurant. They have live jazz musicians perform from time to time. I thought it was neat,” said Garcia.

Located off Interstate 35 South at 8019 S Panam Expressway, Bernard’s serves fresh Cajun cuisine food at prices from $7 to a little over $14. Bernard’s hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Another place to dine is a Mexican restaurant just north of Palo Alto College. Taqueira Mexico, at 7167 Somerset Road, was once a dance hall until its conversion into a bright, open and festive eatery.

“Unlike Panchito’s or Don Pedro’s or Mi Tierra, this place has its own vibe,” said Carlos Medina, a freshman Liberal Arts major.

“It is a real authentic ‘mom and pop’ place with such reasonable prices,” he said.

Taqueira Mexico has food from $3.25 to entrees costing up to $10. Hours are from 6 in the morning to 1 in the afternoon.

On the outskirts of the Southside leading to the east is Tai Sun Chinese Restaurant at 1234 Southwest Military Drive. It’s a local restaurant decorated with Asian accents.

“I think it’s one of the best Chinese restaurants in San Antonio,” said Karla Gonzales, a freshman Kinesiology major. “They have excellent service, I would say.”

The Tai Sun Chinese is just five minutes away. Prices on the food range from $4.50 to $10.50.

A trip worth looking into is a unique burger joint 10 minutes away from Palo Alto College called Monster Burger. Going towards Poteet, you can catch this establishment at 22795 State Highway 16 South.

“I love this place. I tend to stop here on my way home from Palo Alto,” said Royce Alvarez, a sophomore Criminology major. “The burgers are so good, and I love how each burger is named after a monster, like my favorite, the Dracula burger.”

“I love to cook,” said Juan Trevino, the owner of Monster Burger. “I wanted to realize my dream by making my own restaurant and I wanted to stand out, where else are you going to find a Chupacabra burger?”

Prices of their food ranges from 99 cent burgers to their signature Big Foot Burger at $10.50. Their hours are 11 to 10 and on weekend’s 11 to 2 in the morning.

Palo Alto College is surrounded by great eateries. They are worth looking into if you want to kill time after class or to change your daily cuisine.

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