Byline: Patricia Medina, Editor-in-Chief, Gardens Campus
Dr. Dennis P. Gallon, President of Palm Beach State College, held the annual President’s Forum at the North Campus in Palm Beach Gardens to address student concerns and meet the student body.
Rochelle Williams, vice-president of the Student Government Association, Gardens Campus, started the difficult questioning. “If student enrollment is down, then why are we working a fifth campus in Loxahatchee?”
Dr. Gallon began with the College’s need to fulfill the” State Board of Education’s mission to serve all residents of Palm Beach County” and that “growth was in the west. We cannot wait for the demand.”
As to student enrollment being down, President Gallon stated, “It is not down. When the economy is bad, enrollment goes up. In 2006,” he continued, “there was a double digit increase.”
When asked about the end of prep course, Dr. Gallon noted that the change came from Tallahassee, not the school. But, he said, the College is “working to create a curriculum to allow students to enroll and get the help they need.” The College is also creating a plan to strengthen student services.
One student addressed the out-of state tuition payments for students who are not able to prove residency in Florida. Dr. Gallon replied, “We do not have the authority to give students in state tuition who cannot meet the requirements.” He was hopeful that Congress would address the immigration issue with the bill now before it.
Dr. Gallon’s vision for the future is to continue to offer programs that meet the needs of the students as well as residents of Palm Beach County, but his real passion is completion. “My focus, with laser precision, is for the College to be known for getting students through to completion.”