Palo Alto College Mission Statement
Mission Statement: To inspire, empower, and educate our community for leadership and success.
Core Values: Students First; Respect for All; Community-Engaged; Collaboration; Can-Do Spirit; Data-Informed
Palo Alto College is dedicated to promoting a college-going culture for the community it serves by engaging and educating community members and creating access to teaching and learning resources.
- Increase success rates in existing community programs
- Increase access to teaching and learning resources for the community
- Promote the college-going culture in the community
Palo Alto College strives to maintain a culture that promotes professional growth, clear and transparent communication, and cross-college collaboration.
- Sustain an organizational culture that supports and encourages equitable professional growth in alignment with the College's mission
- Nourish and strengthen a culture of inclusiveness through clear and efficient communication
- Foster an environment of shared contribution and collaborative effort in which innovation is encouraged
Maximize Capacity to Serve
Palo Alto College is dedicated to maximizing existing resources, diversifying funding streams, establishing new partnerships, and enhancing our infrastructure to support the community.
- Develop a Palo Alto College budget model that is driven by a measurable, multi-year, planning process that includes a focus on enrollment, contact hours, and strategic fiscal stewardship
- Secure alternative funding sources to aid in supplementing institutional activities and supporting growth
- Develop and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships with industry, government, and non-profit sectors
- Strengthen infrastructure by applying strategic budgeting principles to fund technology priorities and innovations, and minimize facilities’ deferred maintenance costs
Palo Alto College is committed to empowering students to explore educational opportunities, identify career and transfer pathways, and discover high-wage, high-demand careers. Palo Alto College meets students where they are by providing tools and strategies to address students’ unique interests and to help them succeed academically and professionally.
- Increase student completion
- Increase opportunities for students to explore careers pathways
- Increase student transfer outcomes and improve workforce outcomes
- Close equity gaps across student sub-populations
- Increase student proficiency in learning outcomes
Palo Alto College: A Place of Educational Innovation
Palo Alto College was officially chartered in March 1983 by the Texas state legislature. Classes began in September 1985 with an attendance of 231 students dispersed in high schools and military installations. The administrative offices were located at Billy Mitchell Village, outside Kelly Air Force Base. Bexar County voters - through a bond issue - made possible the construction of a $13 million campus. The mission-style campus officially opened its doors in January 1987. Its physical outline is inspired by 18th century Spanish mission architecture, principally by Mission San José’s cupola, façade, and its granary’s distinctive cylindrical shape. Adorned tiles embedded in buildings throughout campus convey and reaffirm the spirit of Spanish Colonial architecture. In 1989, the college achieved full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which was most recently reaffirmed in June 2012.
Founded on the belief that education is the central element of improving lives, Palo Alto College continues to be an institution of high academic standards. It serves a growing student body with an increasingly diverse curriculum that features two-year course plans in the arts and sciences and many technical and workforce programs. Through Palo Alto College, students can earn certificates or complete the first two years of a four-year degree plan for transfer to a university. The college is continually receiving accolades from four-year universities commenting on the high caliber
Today, Palo Alto College strives to take into account cultural distinctions as well as contemporary academic needs. Palo Alto College continues to make a difference, always moving forward and always sharing its campus and its resources to improve San Antonio’s growing community.
Accreditations and Affiliations
Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees. With nearly 9,000 students, the College also offers short-term certificates and workforce continuing education classes. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4501 for questions about the accreditation of Palo Alto College. Palo Alto College’s Veterinary Technology Program is accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Palo Alto College’s Landscape and Horticultural Science Program is provisionally accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). Palo Alto College’s Cosmetology Program is accredited by the Texas Department of Licensure and Regulation (TDLR) its programs are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Palo Alto College is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Texas Community Colleges Teachers Association, and the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations.
In support of the mission of the Alamo Colleges, Palo Alto College offers instructional services, student services, learning resources, technology resources, extended services and community outreach.
Palo Alto College offers instructional programs in general education, occupational-technical education, developmental education, and continuing education. The general education program focuses on the development of competencies that are designed to assist individuals in leading productive and meaningful lives in a dynamic environment of social, technological, and cultural changes. Courses are designed to satisfy the requirements of the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, as well as the general education core of an occupational-technical program.
Developmental education at Palo Alto College is designed to provide the opportunity for the academic success of every student by preparing the student for college-level courses and for the successful fulfillment of the Texas Success Initiative.
Palo Alto College offers and continues to add a variety of Career and Technical Education Programs. These are identified as Associate of Applied Science degrees (AAS), Marketable Skills Certificates, and Certificates leading toward AAS degrees. These competency-based career and technical education programs consist of a coherent sequence of courses designed to prepare students for immediate employment in the designated career field. Career and technical education programs are developed in close cooperation with business and industry to satisfy a need for timely and effective career and technical education. Additionally, many career and technical programs at Palo Alto College are articulated with four-year college programs to provide students the opportunity for transfer and further their education.
The Corporate and Community Education division offers adult literacy education, workforce development courses, personal development courses, and courses for community service. Students gain or improve skills for employment and enhance their personal and professional lives. These courses support the College’s credit instructional programs to ensure quality and relevance of course content.
The George Ozuna Jr. Library at Palo Alto College - housed on the second floor of the Ozuna Library & Learning Center - is structured to provide both on-campus and off-campus access to library resources, information technologies, and instructional services necessary to support and supplement academic departments’ instruction curriculum. The Library’s resources include hardcopy books; print magazines, journals, and newspapers; as well as full-text articles via a variety of databases; e-books and streaming videos which can be accessed at all times from any computer on or off-campus.
Wireless access is available throughout the library and students also have the option of using public computers. Individual study spaces and social spaces for working in groups or socializing are available throughout the library. A current Alamo Colleges ID is required to borrow books/media, portable electronic devices, headphones, or study rooms.
The Ozuna Library also offers a “bookless” mobile service, the Library a la Carte, via an electronic utility cart. The Library a la Carte is driven by a librarian to the outdoor courtyard from where students can receive research assistance and instruction on accessing online full-text articles and using e-books and streaming videos. Students can also request resources from other libraries (interlibrary loan service) and apply for a TexShare card which grants borrowing privileges from other university libraries.
Students can also improve their information searching skills by completing the Library Research Certificate online modules offered throughout the year. Librarians are also available to assist with any research or informational questions during the library’s regular operating hours.
Aquatic Center/Gymnasium - Opened in 1992 as a joint venture with the City of San Antonio, this is a world-class facility designed to meet national championship standards. The Olympic-size stretch pool is open to the community for swim sessions and lessons; youngsters from area elementary schools take swimming lessons during the school year. It has hosted such major events as the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1993, NJCAA swimming championships, and U.S. Open swimming and diving events. The Gymnasium is used for physical education classes, large campus events, and recreational activities such as basketball and volleyball for students. A Fitness Center was added in August 2013 to provide additional wellness opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
Brazos Hall - This building, which opened in Fall 2009, is designed to increase the available space for teaching workforce programs that are critical to the success of future generations. Positioned next to Sabine Hall, where many training programs already are taught, the building provides space for the Biology, Physics, Geology, Government and History classrooms; computer labs, a Science Learning Center; and dedicated areas for Health care Training, Emergency Medical Technician, and Hazwoper instruction.
College Student Center - Located strategically along the main driving entrance to the campus and centrally among the main cluster of original buildings, the Student Center houses the Cafeteria, Bookstore, Student Conduct Office, S.H.A.R.E. Center, Student Life Office, Student Government Association Office, and Personal Counseling Center.
Concho Hall & Gallery - Located on the southern half of the main campus and next to the Pedernales Hall, Concho Hall & Gallery houses faculty offices and high-tech classrooms. Art studios for producing ceramics and metal projects are located in this building. “Gallery 100” also exhibits student, faculty and professional art-work.
Executive Offices - This building houses key administrative offices, including the President; Vice President of Academic Success; Vice President of College Services; Public Relations; and Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness, and the Alumni & Scholarship office.
Frio Hall - Located on the far northeast corner of the campus, this building has lecture classrooms and science labs, as well as the Science Learning Center.
Green House - Horticulture and Landscape students use the Green House for laboratory work. The current structure is located on the far southwest corner of the campus near the Aquatic Center.
Guadalupe Hall - Located between the Student Center and the San Marcos Hall, this facility houses classrooms, computer labs, and offices for faculty who teach Government, History and Economics.
Gutierrez Learning Labs - This building is located near the entrance to San Jacinto Hall and offers the Math Learning Center and the Writing Assistance Center, which provide tutoring in math and writing assistance.
Medina Hall - This building, located near the entrance to the two-story San Jacinto Hall, is dedicated to faculty offices and classrooms for Education, Student Development, Criminal Justice and Protective Services.
Nueces Hall - This building, located near the entrance to the two-story San Jacinto Hall, is dedicated to faculty offices and classrooms for mathematics, accounting, and houses the INRW Learning Center.
Ozuna Library & Learning Center - This two-story building is located in the center of campus and was renovated and rededicated in August 2013. The first floor of the building houses the Community Programs, Information Technology, Assessment & Testing Center, and the High School Programs (which includes Dual Credit, Early College High School, and TRiO Upward Bound & Talent Search) departments. The Ozuna Café, Children’s Library, and the Academic Learning Studio (a.k.a. computer lab) as well as classrooms and a large meeting space (Legacy Room) are also located on the first floor. The Ozuna Library encompasses the entire second floor of the building and it provides print and electronic resources as well as public computers and a variety of study and social spaces.
Palomino Center - Located along Villaret Boulevard, the building is the main center for student services. It houses the Vice President of Student Success, Welcome Center, Student Financial Aid, Business Office/Bursar, Admissions and Records, STEM Advising Center, Veterans Affairs and Disability Support Services.
Palomino Center Annex - Certified Advisors provide academic advising in this building, which is across from the Palomino Center, our one-stop student enrollment center. It houses the BOLD and SEED Advising Centers. All students enrolled at Palo Alto College are assigned a Certified Advisor. Certified Advisors provide students with a personalized pathway to success through academic and career advising.
Pedernales Hall - Located on the far southeast corner of the campus, this building has a lecture hall with theater-style seating; photography studio and darkroom; drawing, painting, design and digital studios; and high-tech classrooms and faculty offices.
Performing Arts Center - The 46,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center provides a much-needed cultural venue for the Southside. Located with easy access to Loop 410, it is home to the music, dance, drama and speech programs. It features a 400-seat theater available for community use, high-tech speech classrooms, dance studio, recording studio, recital hall, computer lab, “Black Box theatre,” costume shop, scene shop and faculty offices.
Ray Ellison Family Center - Located between the Student Center and the Ozuna Library & Academic Center, this building opened in 2001. It is named for the late home builder - Mr. Ray Ellison - who provided partial funding for the childcare center. Services are available for children of Alamo Colleges District students, faculty/staff, and community members.
Sabine Hall - Located next to the Ray Ellison Family Center on the main route into campus, Sabine Hall opened in Spring 2005. Classrooms and labs support degree programs like Oil & Gas, Computer Information Systems, Engineering, Industrial Technology, and more.
San Jacinto Hall - This two-story building doubled the number of classrooms on campus when it opened in 1991 as the first additional building to the original campus. It houses department offices for the English, Communications, and Foreign Languages, as well as classrooms and a Cosmetology Learning Studio located on the second floor.
San Marcos Hall - Business and Management classes are held in San Marcos Hall, which has lecture-style classrooms, some computer labs, and faculty offices for Agriculture, Business Management, Landscape & Horticultural Science, and Logistics & Supply Chain Management. It is located on the northwest corner of the main cluster of buildings.
Veterinary Technology Building - Opened in 2008, the Veterinary Technology building houses the only Veterinary Technology program of its kind in the region. It is on the west side of campus near the Ozuna Library and Learning Center and has classrooms including a fully equipped computer lab, an anatomy/physiology lab, a clinical pathology lab, a parasitology lab, an equine lab, a surgery room, surgery prep and technique/restraint areas, X-ray room, kennels, and an outdoor large animal facility.