Student Support Services and Resources - Palo Alto College (2024)

  • The Welcome Center
  • Student Advising Centers
  • High School Programs
  • Bookstore
  • Cafeteria
  • Child Care
  • Student AccessibilityServices (formerlyDisability Support Services)
  • Housing
  • Student Center
  • Student Life
  • Student Clubs and Organizations
  • Alamo Colleges Student Leadership Institute
  • Aquatic Center
  • S.H.A.R.E. Center
  • Testing Services
  • Library
  • Community Resources
  • Transfer Services
  • Career Services
  • Mental HealthCounseling
  • International Student Services
  • Tutoring Services
  • Special Programs
  • Veterans Affairs

The Welcome Center


The Welcome Center is the first stop in your journey to success. The staff is trained to help new students negotiate the maze of admissions, financial aid, and assessment. The Welcome Center also coordinates New Student Orientation, Discover PAC, College Connection, and campus tours. Services and programs offered for new students include:

  • Getting started with admissions and financial aid information
  • Online access to “ApplyTexas” admission form
  • Online access to AlamoENROLL modules
  • Guidance with completing FAFSA application online
  • Computer Lab to view or print unofficial transcripts, class schedules and tuition bills
  • Recruitment Events
  • Campus Tours
  • College Connection
  • New Student Orientation

Come by or call the Welcome Center at 210-486-3100 if you need assistance or information. The Center is located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 105A. The Welcome Center is your pathway to success!

Student Advising Centers


At Palo Alto College, academic advising and career advising builds a culture of integrated practices and shared responsibilities. Through collaborative teaching and learning, the advising process empowers our diverse student populations to explore and navigate their academic and career pathways. Palo Alto College has three Academic Advising Centers that are located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 106. The Business Opportunities Leadership Demand (BOLD) Occupations Advising Center, Service Education Empowerment Diversity (SEED) Advising Center, and the Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) Advising Center each provide academic advising support to new and currently enrolled students.

All students enrolled in courses at Palo Alto College are assigned a Certified Academic Advisor. The Certified Academic Advisor provides students with a personalized pathway to success through academic and career advising. Your assigned advisor will assist you with developing a degree plan, registering for courses, completing a financial aid appeal, exploring careers, and researching transfer opportunities.

Advising Centers provide students information on courses needed for a certificate, a two-year associate degree or courses required for transfer from Palo Alto College to other colleges/universities. The Advising Centers also host the annual New Student Convocation. New Student Convocation is designed to welcome, motivate, and engage new students to Palo Alto College.

Early Alert Program

Early Alert Intervention program is designed to promote student success and retention. This intervention program is initiated within the first 4 -8 weeks of a semester when faculty members identify students at risk of not passing their course.As the first level intervention, facultyencourages students to meet with them to discuss and address any academic concerns. An email generated by the faculty regarding the first intervention is sent directly to the students’ ACES email account. It is very important that students promptly respond to any Early Alert Intervention communication. As the second level intervention, students are contacted by their assigned Certified Advisor to assess issues that may negatively impact their academics as well as provide resources to help ensure the students’ best chance for success. Interventions resources may include tutoring, advising, study strategies, and referrals to college and community services.

High School Programs


Dual Credit

The Dual Credit Program allows eligible high school students to earn college credit for certain high school courses in which they are currently enrolled while completing their high school requirements. In order for students to participate in the program, the high schools must be approved to offer Dual Credit courses and students must be recommended by their high school counselor.

Early College High School

Early College High Schools are partnerships between school districts and colleges that are innovatively designed to blend high school and college education using a dual credit framework. The schools are designed for youth to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree (or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree). Beginning in Fall 2014, Palo Alto College partnered with three public school districts and one charter school, to begin enrolling high school freshman-level students in early college high schools. In the Fall of 2015, one additional public high school joined the partnership.Students participating in the program can compete their high school diploma while earning up to 60 semester credit hours toward an Associate’s degree by their high school graduation. All initiatives have been approved and designated by the Texas Education Agency and there is no cost to students enrolled in the program. Palo Alto College’s partnering school districts include the following: Edgewood ISD, Harlandale ISD, Poteet ISD, Somerset ISD, Somerset Academy Brooks, South San ISD, Southside ISD, Southwest ISD, and New Frontiers Charter School.

TRIO Talent Search

The TRIO Talent Search Program is designed to prepare high school students for college by supporting students’ academic success, providing advising and support for advance college credit opportunities like Advance Placement exams and Dual Credit courses, test preparation workshops, assistance in filling out the documents necessary to pursue their college careers, college visits, and exposure to cultural and recreational activities. For more than 50 years, Talent Search programs around the country have assisted students of exceptional caliber to succeed and attain a degree or certification at an institution of higher education. From academic & career counseling to providing tutorial support, Talent Search strives to ensure the highest quality assistance in advancing students toward post-secondary success.

The Palo Alto College TRIO Talent Search Program currently serves 500 students from Southwest HS. Talent Search is funded through the United States Department of Education.

TRIO Upward Bound

The TRIO Upward Bound Pre-College Program is a program designed to prepare high school students for college. Upward Bound offers instruction in five core areas including Literature, Composition, Math, Science and Foreign Language. Instruction in these areas is provided throughout the academic year and during a six-week summer component. In addition to instruction, students receive tutoring, advising, test preparation workshops, assistance in filling out documents necessary to pursue their college careers, and exposure to cultural and recreational activities.

The Palo Alto College TRIO Upward Bound Program currently services 75 students from Lytle, Jourdanton, Pleasanton, and Poteet high schools. Upward Bound is funded through the United States Department of Education.



The College bookstore operates as a service to students, faculty and staff. Textbooks, school and office supplies, and course-related materials are provided along with gift items, greeting cards, paperbacks and other items. The campus bookstoreis located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 162A. Operating hours are posted each semester.



The cafeteria is located in the Student Center. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are available to the campus community. Hours of operation are posted at the beginning of each semester. Special hours are followed during registration and holiday periods.

Child Care


The Ray Ellison Family Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the gold standard for early childhood programs across the country. NAEYC’s vision is that “all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.” To that end NAEYC standards are based on sound research as well as professional expertise to ensure that people recognize the value of early childhood education and its’ impact on a child’s life. The Ray Ellison Family Center shares NAEYC’s vision to enhance children’s well-being and potential. Our goal is to provide a quality early childhood education experience to all children of the Palo Alto College community while supporting family development and parent’s pursuit of a college education.

The Ray Ellison Family Center is comprised of four classrooms serving children ages 18 months to 5 years of age. The program features small group sizes in each classroom, low child/teacher ratios, innovative programming, the development of collaborative relationships with each family, and teaching staff that meet stringent educational qualifications. Flexible schedules and fees are available; limited financial assistance such as CCAMPIS may be available to eligible PAC students. Please visit the Ray Ellison Family Center website to learn more about the program’s mission statement, curriculum, and schedule:

The Ray Ellison Center is located between the Ozuna Libraryand the Student Center. To set up a tour or to obtain more information, please call the center at (210) 486-3500.

Student Support Services and Resources - Palo Alto College (1)

Student AccessibilityServices (formerly Disability Support Services)


This College is committed to ensuring that all programs, services and facilities are accessible to and provide equal opportunities for education to all students.

The Student AccessibilityServices (SAS) Office coordinates accommodations for PAC approved students with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination in the recruitment, admission or treatment of students. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states: “No otherwise qualified individual … shall solely by reason of … handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Guidelines to Establish Accommodations:
  • Students self-disclose and request accommodations through the SAS office.
  • After a student registers for classes they will request an intake appointment through the SASoffice.
  • The SASoffice will schedule an intake interview to discuss reasonable accommodations.
  • Documentation from external sources may include educational or medical records and must clearly state the disability(s).
  • Reasonable accommodations are discussed during the intake interview, and Letters of Accommodation are issued to the student and instructors via ACES email.
  • A Renewal of Services Form is required each semester the student seeks accommodations.
Accommodations to students may include but are not limited to:
  • Exam Accommodations
  • Reader and/or Scribe
  • Sign Language Interpreter Services
  • Adaptive Technology
  • Electronic Recording Devices
Informing Instructors of Accommodations

Faculty who need to be informed of a student’s approved accommodations will be emailed a letter from the SASoffice after the student intake interview or prior to the start of the semester. The Letter of Accommodations to the Instructor explains the accommodations needed for the student.

Continuation of Services

Approved accommodation services may be provided each semester if the approved eligible student informs the SAS office that services are needed for the current term. It is necessary for approved eligible students to complete a Renewal Request for SASform each semester.

The SAS officeapproves reasonable accommodations which will be adhered to by college staff, faculty and administration.

The Student AccessibilityServices office is located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 133A. For further information, call 210-486-3020.

Disabled Parking

Students of the AlamoColleges are required to display their County Tax Assessor Collector-issued disabled parking placard or have disabled parking license plates in order to park in spaces designated for persons with disabilities.

VIA Trans

Palo Alto College provides several convenient VIA Trans drop off and pick up locations. For a map or information, contact the Student Accessibility Services office at 210-486-3020, TTY 210-486-3022 or stop by the office at theRio Grande Building, Room 133A.



Palo Alto College is a commuter college, and no College dormitories are available. The College does not maintain lists of available housing. Housing is available within the area. Students assume sole responsibility for locating appropriate housing.

S.H.A.R.E. Center


The Student Health, Advocacy, Resource, and Engagement (S.H.A.R.E.) Center provides a variety of resources that can help students be successful in completing their courses and graduation from Palo Alto College. TheS.H.A.R.E. Center provides an onsite clothes closet, food pantry,mental healthcounseling, and social services. Assistance offered include emergency aid, grocery assistance, housing assistance, mental health counseling, and social services referrals.

We are located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 131. For more information, please call the S.H.A.R.E. Center at 210-486-3121 or come in to visit.

Student Center


The Palo Alto College Student Center offers opportunities for socializing and relaxation. A T.V. area is available for student viewing. The bookstore, cafeteria, Student Life Office, Student Conduct Office, Student Government Association Office, automatic teller machine (ATM), copy machine and vending machines are located in the Student Center and are accessible for student use.

Student Life


The Student Life Office provides a student friendly resource center at Palo Alto College, offering opportunities to become involved in campus life through participation in clubs, student organizations, student government, cultural activities, education, entertainment, games and hobbies, food classes, and arts and crafts activities. We welcome students to take part in these exciting co-curricular activities.

The following services and programs are among those provided by the Student Life Office:

  • Informational clearinghouse for all campus activities;
  • Advisem*nt on the formation of clubs/student organizations;
  • Promotion of student involvement in campus governance;
  • Development of interpersonal and leadership skills;
  • Scheduling and planning of special events on campus;
  • Budget advisem*nt for club funding;
  • Assistance in event planning;
  • Responsibility for on-campus posting;
  • Issues student ID cards;
  • Issues discount bus cards; and
  • Coordinates Student Activity Fee.

For more information, call 210-486-3125 or visit the Student Life website at

Student Clubs and Organizations


Palo Alto College students have the opportunity for membership in social, service, religious, special interest, political, professional, and honorary organizations. Guidance and direction are provided to these organizations by faculty and staff advisors. An official list of registered organizations is available in the Student Life Office. Recruitment activities are held at the beginning of each term to help new students get acquainted with the organizations.

For more information about joining a club or organization, please contact the Student Life office at 210-486-3125 or stop by the office in the Student Center, Room 101.

For more information, visit the Student Life Office website at

Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Government Association (SGA) consists of Palo Alto College students elected by the student body to promote beneficial understanding among the students, faculty and administration. The SGA ensures representation of students in the college governance structure and assists with the dissemination of information to the student body. SGA is also responsible for recommending student members to the Student Activities Fee Committee. Students interested in finding out more about SGA should call 210-486-3129 or visit the SGA Office located in the Student Center Room 127.

Alamo CollegesStudent Leadership Institute


“Empowering Today’s Students to be Tomorrow’s Leaders”

The Alamo Colleges’ Student Leadership Institute (SLI) is a district-wide program that provides leadership training. This yearlong commitment provides instruction in skills that enables the AlamoColleges’ representatives to lead a group or work in collaboration with other leaders to accomplish organizational objectives. Students are able to meet various successful community leaders, use lab models, consider case studies, and participate in field studieswhile drawing upon the expertise of those who have held leadership roles in all sectors of the community. Students selected to participate in the Alamo Colleges’ SLI receive scholarships.

For applications or further information, please contact the Student Life office at 210-486-3125 or call the Student Leadership Institute directly at 210-485-0790.

Aquatic Center


The Palo Alto College Aquatic Center was designed as a world-class aquatic facility. The connected swimming, warm-up, and diving pools; the competition-height spring boards, and the diving platforms meet national championship qualifications but you don’t have to be a world-class competitive swimmer to enjoy the Aquatic Center’s water facilities. It is open to the community for open swimming sessions several times a week and is used for college credit and continuing education classes as well as special lessons for children and adults. The Aquatic Center is fully accessible for physically challenged persons. Contact the Aquatic Center at 210-486-3800 for details and a current schedule.

Campus Recreation

Recreational activities and sports are coordinated through Campus Recreation. These recreational events are open to all current students, faculty, and staff. The program maintains open hours in the Gymnasium for recreational activities.

Recreational Activities and Sports programs include:

Intramural Activities

  • Basketball
  • Basketball Shooting Contest
  • Flag Football
  • Dodgeball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Recreational Activities

  • Sports & Outdoor Activities

For more information, call (210) 486-3800.

Fitness Center

The Fitness Center at Palo Alto College is committed to helping you achieve your goals to get fit for a healthy lifestyle. The Fitness Center is available to Alamo Colleges students, faculty, and staff with a valid and current Alamo Colleges ID. No initiation fees or contracts are needed to use the facility. Public memberships are not available.

Our facility includes:

  • Cardio equipment
  • Free weights
  • Weight machines
  • Locker rooms with individual lockers and showers
  • Full court basketball
  • Unlimited use during open hours

*Entrance into the Fitness Center allows access to the Aquatic Center and Gymnasium during specified times.For more information, call (210) 486-3800.

Testing Services


The Palo Alto College Testing Center offers a variety of testing programs to assist students with state test requirements, academic placement, and proctoring services.

The Testing Center offers the following services:

1) TSI Assessment (placement exam)

Procedure for placement exam: Individuals desiring to take a placement exam should complete a college application, submit transcript(s), and complete the AlamoEnroll modules. The student should pay for the exam at the Business Office then call the Testing Center to schedule for TSI.

2) College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Procedure for CLEP: Individuals desiring to take CLEP should register with College Board, pay the test fee, and print their ticket. The student will also need to pay administrative fees to Palo Alto College for the exam at the Business Office then call the Testing Center with their ticket number from College Board and receipt number for Palo Alto College administrative fees to schedule for CLEP.

3) Distance/Make-up Course Exams

Procedure for Distance/Make-Up: Currently enrolled students at any of the Alamo Colleges may take their online distance education exam or make-up exams for missed in-class test at the Testing Center. Students are encouraged to collaborate with their instructor then schedule their test in person or online. Distance/Make-up students will need their college student ID for testing.

4) Proctored Exams

Exams are proctored with overhead security cameras, Insight monitoring software, and staff on duty.

5) GED Testing - The Center collaborates with the Adult Learning Academy who provides this service at the Testing Center on certain days. Students are encouraged to contact the Academy for assistance with GED processes.

Please note that each candidate must present at least one valid photo identification to take any exam in the Testing Center. Testing Center staff monitor compliance with TSI standards, interpret placement scores/transcripts, and act as liaison among Admission and Records Services, Advising Centers, and Welcome Center. Testing facilities are located in the Ozuna Library and Learning Center, Room 143.



The Ozuna Library and Learning Center is an instructional component of Palo Alto College which provides 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 electronic databases; e-books and streaming videos which can be accessed at all times from any computer on or off-campus. Students seeking to improve their information searching skills have the option of working one-on-one with a librarian or completing self-paced Library Research Certificate online modules accessible throughout the year.

Community Resources


The goal of Community Resources is to identify the needs of students and determine the categories of community, institutional, and child care resources required to address those needs. Referrals are made to United Way agencies for financial assistance, utility relief programs, child care, domestic violence, and housing which may include the following: Child Care Delivery Service (CCDS), Catholic Charities, De Paul Family Center, Housing Authority of San Antonio, CARE LINK, City of San Antonio-Department of Community Initiatives and Family Violence Prevention Services. Students may be referred by faculty, staff, and/or self-referral. All inquiries are welcome. For assistance, come to the S.H.A.R.E. CenterOffice located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 131or call 210-486-3121or speak with your assigned Advisor.

Transfer Services


Transfer Services provides the educational road map for successful transfer from Palo Alto College to the four-year university. Transfer Services are provided by all Advising Centers on campus. Students can visit with their assigned Academic Advisor for assistance.

Services include:

  1. Recruiter Visitation Schedules with dates when university representatives visit to answer questions and provide admissions information;
  2. Transfer Fairs in the Fall and Spring semesters when up to 35 universities provide admissions information;
  3. Education Express field trip visits to four-year universities;
  4. Transfer-themed workshops providing insights for a successful transfer;
  5. Transfer Advising Guides providing information on courses to complete prior to transfer to the university. Some of the university Transfer Advising Guides include:
    • Our Lady of the Lake University
    • St. Mary’s University
    • Texas A&M University at College Station
    • Texas A&M University-San Antonio
    • Texas State University-San Marcos
    • University of Texas at Austin
    • University of Texas at San Antonio
    • University of the Incarnate Word
  6. University applications and catalogs with specific information on admissions deadlines and academic program descriptions;
  7. Transfer scholarship information for the four-year universities.

Career Services


The Career & Experiential Learning Team offers resources, events, and programs on-campus to further the educational and career goals of the students and alumni. Our navigators and staff can assist with:

  • Finding and preparing you for hands-on experiences related to your career path (e.g., employment, internships, volunteer work, etc.)
  • Guided Career Exploration Assessments
  • Developing personal and professional career readiness skills to help you succeed in your career path

Services provided during one-on-one appointment with a Certified Career Experience Navigator:

  1. Work-Study Career Development
  2. Resume & Cover Letter Review
  3. Career Exploration
  4. Internship Preparation

For more infomation,contact the Career & Experiential Learning Team at 210-486-3810 or stop bytheir office in the Rio Grande Building, Room 112A.

Mental Health Counseling


Mental Health Counselingprovides students with short term personal counseling and crisis intervention. Students are encouraged to speak with a counselor to develop strategies that will promote academic and personal success.

Professional counselors assist students in individual counseling with issues such as depression, domestic violence, academic problems, career indecision, relationships, mental health and other personal matters that may affect educational goals. Small group discussions, seminars and workshops are designed to enhance their ability to define and attain academic, career and personal goals.

In addition, counselors provide referrals to professionals, community agencies, and resources not available at PAC, when necessary. All counseling is confidential.

For more infomation,contact Mental Health Counseling Services at 210-486-3750or visit their office in the Rio Grande Building, Room 132A.

International Student Services


Palo Alto College hosts students from many regions of the world. These students represent countries such as Mexico, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Colombia, Japan, Thailand, Morocco, Brazil, Mongolia, and Nepal. All persons seeking admission holding non-permanent F-1 visas will be processed as International Students. The Designated School Official assists prospective international students with admission application and I-20 Application. The International Student Services Office is located in the Rio Grande Building, Room 105. For more information, call 210-486-3705.

Tutoring Services


Math Learning Center

The Math Learning Center provides free tutoring to all students enrolled in math and accounting courses at Palo Alto College. A math academic program specialist and tutors are available. Workshops for various math topicsas well as exam reviewsare offered. Computers and a printer are available. A limited number of graphing calculators are loaned out for the semester. Tutoring is offered on a drop-in basis and is first come, first served.The Math Learning Center is located in the Gutierrez Learning Labs, Room 106. For more information, call 210-486-3273.

Science Learning Center

The Science Learning Center provides free tutoring to all students enrolled in science courses at Palo Alto College. A science academic program specialist and tutors are available. Weekly question-and-answer workshops are offered, as are exam reviews. The center has a number of models and practice lab exams to assist students with their coursework. Computers and a printer are available. Tutoring is offered on a drop-in basis and is first come, first served.The Science Learning Center is located in Frio Hall, Room 111. For more information, call 210-486-3281.

Writing Assistance Center

The Writing Assistance Center provides free tutoring to all students enrolled at Palo Alto College. A writing academic program specialist and tutors are available. Students are provided assistance with writing assignments for any course. Help is offered at any stage of the writing processfrom brainstorming to final draft. Students may also receive help with other writing taskssuch as resumes, scholarship essays, and college entrance essays. Weekly question-and-answer workshops are offeredas are exam reviews. A variety of writing resources, including informative handouts, are also offered free of charge. Computers and a printer are available. Tutoring is offered on a drop-in basis and is first come, first served.The Writing Assistance Center is located in Gutierrez Learning Labs, Rooms 102 and 104. For more information, call 210-486-3257.

STEM Center (Science & Math)

The STEM Center is a centralized location at Palo Alto College for STEM programming and academic support services. The Center intregrates various resources and instructional support for students interested in the STEM fields. The STEM Center is locatedin Brazos Hall, Room 100. For more information, call 210-486-3945.

Special Programs

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Biomedical Science and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine

Palo Alto College is one of only a few community college in Texas with an agreement allowing its students to complete a prescribed degree plan and automatically be admitted to the Biomedical Science Program in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine at College Station. Students must meet general admission requirements for Texas A&M University, must maintain no less than a 3.6 GPA in courses taken at Palo Alto, be eligible for graduation from Palo Alto, and must not have made any grade below a “B” in all of the Common Body of Knowledge science and math course work. The transfer agreement took effect in Fall 2001. For a detailed degree plan, contact the STEM Advising Centerlocated in the Rio Grande Building, Room 106.

The Biomedical Science Program, the largest undergraduate major at Texas A&M University, is a pathway to careers such as medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, education, and many other related fields.

Veterans Affairs


The Office of Veteran Affairs offers assistance to students receiving educational assistance under one of the public laws for veterans and/or their dependents.Students utilizing Veteran Affairs benefits should contact theVeteran Affairs Office before registration to obtain information regarding enrollment and specific requirements for the institution to process certification of attendance. This also applies to the Hazlewood Exemptions.

New student veterans are required to declare a major and provide official transcripts from every institution attended, including appropriate military transcripts (Joint Services Transcript for the Army, Marine Corps and Navy, and CCAF for Air Force).

Students using VA benefits and the Hazlewood Exemptions must notify the Office of Veterans Affairs of any registration or program changes.

NOTE:You must notify the Office of Veteran Affairs each semester/term regarding courses in which you are enrolled.

The Office of Veterans Affairsis located in the Palomino Center, Room 116. For further information, call 210-486-3111.

In accordance with Title 38 U.S.C. 3679 (e)(1)A&B, this educational institution ensures that it will not prohibit attendance or impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursem*nt of a payment to be provided by the Secretary under chapter 31, 33, or 35 of this title.

Student Support Services and Resources - Palo Alto College (2024)


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