Monthly Archives: July 2019

PUC’s Teaching & Learning Center Prides Itself on Student Success

Starting college can be challenging, but at Pacific Union College, we have great resources in place to help students succeed, because student success is our priority. The Teaching & Learning Center was created for that very reason. It offers free group tutoring in over 25 different subjects, ranging from business to languages to science. If you’re struggling with a class but a tutoring option isn’t available, talk with the helpful TLC staff and they can set you up with a small group or an individual tutor. There’s even a writing lab available to students who would like input and direction on writing papers, which is awesome! The TLC staff will also work with students who have disabilities to offer extra individualized support and accommodations.

Recently some of our amazing students, both past and present, shared just how impactful having the TLC resources and staff was to their educational wellbeing. These comments were so meaningful to us, we wanted to share! 

“Aww, I loved the TLC!!! It helped me in a lot of ways by keeping me organized as a student, and having people look over my papers, also by the many tutoring sessions it offered for classes I was in! I also had the pleasure of working there. ♡ One thing Nancy would do was set up a testing place, time, and reader for students that really needed a separate quiet space to test. The TLC provided students with the tools they needed to succeed and it was and still is a great asset to PUC’s campus. Miss everyone there! ♡” — Brittney Foldvary 

“The TLC is a gem on campus, I have used their writing labs, and numerous tutors they schedule. Nancy Jacobo is an amazing mentor and I could not have finished my undergrad and graduate degree without her guidance and support! They were also very accommodating and helpful to me during exams.” — Justin Napod 

“The TLC is an excellent resource to receive assistance in any area that the students may need. Pairing students with qualified tutors on specific areas to strengthen them and help them achieve academic success!” — Gabriel Barraza

“The TLC is a must-visit. Any student currently attending PUC, please do yourself a favor and check out all the resources it has to offer. The TLC offers accommodations and learning resources that aid you, depending on your learning style/needs. You are given guidance with compassion and genuine care from all the staff. I was fortunate to see this firsthand as a student worker for four years during my collegiate time at PUC. Don’t miss this gem on top of the hill. Take advantage! Your grades and stress levels will thank you! 😏” — Laura Marina 

“From a student-athlete perspective, the TLC was very resourceful and helped me tremendously! From tutoring programs to working front desk, I was equipped for success. Nancy Jacobo was the sweetest lady in the office and came to every single one of my soccer games! 🙌🏾🙏🏾” — Bila N Kintaudi

“Yesss!!! Plain and simple, I wouldn’t have graduated from college if the TLC wasn’t there to help me along. They helped me with my scheduling, they helped me get tested, and they helped me find all of the accommodations that would help me succeed! I’m super grateful for this place and their great staff!” — David Hernandez 

“As a resident physician now training across the country in Boston, I can truly say the TLC helped me get where I am today. My experience with the TLC is quite larger than most; from being a tutee my first and second year, tutoring my last two years, and lastly working the front desk for three years. I have seen success stories walk out of the TLC door for four years straight and I am glad there was a location at PUC specifically made to help students better themselves!” — Daniel Amponsah


Academic Spotlight: Pre-Professional Programs

An education at Pacific Union College prepares students well, especially for a variety of pre-professional programs. PUC offers a large variety of pre-professional programs that allow students to either obtain a four year degree or fulfill the necessary prerequisites to transfer to a bachelor’s program at another healthcare-specific institution. 

For years, PUC has maintained a medical and dental school acceptance rate well above the national average. Students have had uniquely high acceptance rates to top-notch medical and dental schools like Loma Linda University, well above the national average. Many PUC alumni have also continued on to graduate from some of the nation’s most prestigious graduate schools, including Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. 

Programs offered:

  • Pre-Art Therapy
  • Pre-Dental Hygiene, B.S., for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Dentistry, D.D.S., for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Professional Curriculum: Law
  • Pre-Medicine for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Professional Curriculum: Optometry
  • Pre-Pharmacy for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Public Health for Admission to Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine for Admission to UC Davis

A Faculty’s Perspective

“PUC has a strong reputation for its pre-medicine and pre-dentistry programs because of the very high acceptance rates our students have. Our students are consistently accepted to dental and medical programs, with medical school acceptance rates in the top 10 percent of the nation. Students are well prepared through science courses in the pre-med and pre-dent programs, and they generally perform well on the MCAT and DAT.” – Dr. Marie Pak, faculty

Fast Facts 

  1. The active student-led Pre-Professional Club offers networking, help on professional school applications, mock admissions interviews, tips on the best classes to pair for a successful degree, and more. Club officers arrange for speakers, workshops, and other regular events to help students learn more about pursuing careers in the healthcare field. Read “Life is About Balance: PUC’s Pre-Professional Club Provides Meaningful Connections” to learn more. 
  2. PUC also offers an A.S. in health sciences that is a great fit for students going on to pursue programs like dental hygiene, clinical lab science, and speech pathology at other institutions. 
  3. For years, PUC has maintained a medical and dental school acceptance rate well above the national average. The five-year average dental school acceptance rate at PUC is 65 percent, and for medical school, this goes up to 68 percent. The national average is around 33 percent.
  4. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.

What You Can Do

For students interested in the healthcare field, there are a host of possibilities available to them. From art therapy to medicine to optometry, students can find the career that best suits their goals and aspirations.

  • Art therapy
  • Dental hygiene
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Medicine 
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy 
  • Public health
  • Veterinary medicine

Learn more about PUC’s pre-professional programs at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you! 

Academic Spotlight: Mathematics

The department of mathematics at PUC prides itself on not only helping students develop problem-solving skills based on mathematical reasoning but also promoting communication and teamwork. Students are well prepared for graduate studies in mathematics and related areas, such as statistics and physics, which can lead to mathematics-related careers in medicine, government, and business. This focus will allow for research as well as teaching in higher education. Graduate study opportunities can lead to specialties in actuarial science, operations research, and applied statistics. 

As one of the smaller departments on campus, students find themselves nurtured by caring professors frequently on a one-on-one basis. Not only is this beneficial for learning complex equations and concepts, but it also often results in academic success; students graduating from the department of mathematics at PUC scored at the 99th percentile of all college and university psychology departments administering the MFT exam in 2018.  

Programs offered:

  • B.S. in Mathematics
  • B.S. in Biomathematics

A Faculty’s Perspective

“Math teaches me to be clear with myself about starting assumptions and reasoning structures; it helps me to understand that some topics can best be understood from new and different points of view; and it helps to give me a perspective on just how much I don’t know about God’s wonderful creation and the ways that we attempt to make sense of it through our reasoning. I feel fortunate to work in a learning community that is always willing and eager to engage in conversation on virtually any topic and just as willing to accept the Holy Spirit’s influence on those conversations.” –  Dr. Steve Waters, professor of mathematics

Fast Facts 

  1. Mathematicians are of high value throughout government and industry to help teams make sense of data, design new products, create forecasts, and work on anything involving pattern recognition and analysis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for mathematicians and statisticians in 2018 was approximately $88,190 per year. Overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow rapidly, at about 33 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations.
  2. The math program at PUC has a very favorable student-to-teacher ratio in the upper division. These advanced courses usually have from 3-5 students. This makes it very convenient for students and professors to work closely together; the professor knows the students very well and there are abundant opportunities for individual help and student teamwork.
  3. Students graduating from the department of mathematics at PUC scored at the 99th percentile of all college and university psychology departments administering the MFT exam in 2018. 
  4. Math students are frequently hired as tutors and readers to work for the department at PUC. This provides great work experience as well as solidifying the knowledge gained in coursework.

 What You Can Do With This Major

You might be surprised by all the different career paths open to someone with a degree in mathematics. 

  • Actuary science
  • Astronomy
  • Climate study
  • Economist
  • Engineering
  • Genetic research
  • Insurance and investment
  • International banking
  • Market researcher
  • Medicine/dentistry
  • National security
  • Robotics
  • Sports consultant
  • Statistician 
  • Teaching

Learn more about the department of mathematics at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s math programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you! 

An Argentinian Preschool Birthday Party

By Adrienne Weiss

A disclaimer is necessary before you risk reading this article. I have an extreme tendency to become very enthusiastic about learning, this ailment is generally known as being a nerd. I love learning, genuinely enjoy sitting down with my textbook, and spending an afternoon studying is something I make time for. My phone is full of podcasts about science innovations, the history of language, psychology, and philosophy, and most of all, I become very animated talking about pedagogy and educational styles. Yet despite my unusual affinity for the (often grueling) acquisition of information and collecting of new experiences, there were parts of jumping into a year of Adventist Colleges Abroad in Argentina that were uncomfortable, even for me.

Indulge me in a thought experiment. Imagine you walk into a room where a preschool birthday party is in full force. Thirty small children in sparkly pink dresses and sneakers that light up when they run are squealing with glee. Each has three balloons they are attempting to keep in the air and enthusiastically and uncoordinatedly batting towards your face with ecstatic peals of laughter. This sensation is what I encountered walking into my great aunt’s house when I understood just enough Spanish I could no longer simply let it wash over me, and it rather had the dizzying effect of being pummeled with balloons.

On this side of the family, English is at such a level when a grandchild says, “Hello, nice to meet you,” the superb use of English is applauded by the entire crowded room of relatives. Upon entering this virtual preschool party, I was kindly offered a beige-colored smoothie that was nearly chewable and by the end of that evening, I knew everyone I met was related to me, yet it took me months to figure out how.

(Half of the aunts and uncles, and a third of the cousins are represented in these pictures.)

When asked, “How was your year in Argentina?” I have my answer ready: “Wonderful, I’m glad I went.” But how can nine months of experience be summarized in one word? There are two statements that better explain the result of a year as an exchange student and I cannot take credit for either statement. The first made me laugh: my dad’s friend declared I have “this new thing” in my brain. Spanish, an entire language, really is “a new thing.” It’s a tool that can be used in a large number of disciplines and I managed to put it into my brain in the space of nine months. The second statement is I have become what might be called “bicultural.” I have learned and integrated sufficiently that I will never be in one place without missing the other, or the people who live there.

Choosing to spend a year in the ACA Argentina program had many motivators for me: I wished to learn Spanish, I hoped for a year to step back from my fast-paced science major, and I saw the unique opportunity to get to know the family on my father’s side and understand their culture. Arriving in Argentina I had less of a culture shock than I had anticipated. My Argentinian and Uruguayan grandparents had traveled down a couple weeks before me to visit family and prepare to introduce me to their siblings who live there and get me settled in “la Villa,” the 95-percent-Adventist community surrounding “Universidad Adventista del Plata,” where ACA students attend school alongside the Argentinian students. 

My grandmother has two brothers who live within walking distance from my dormitory and the first week my grandparents took me to large family gatherings at each house, starting with Tío Roberto’s. As I had predicted, Spanish was tossed around the table and I watched it go flying by, feeling like I was at a tennis match. I quickly learned the art of the Argentinian kiss greeting, and a small vocabulary of niceties to pair with a smile when they offered unidentified food items. After a couple of hours at Tío Roberto’s house with two of his children and six of his grandchildren, I went back to my dorm room and took a long nap. This was only the first family gathering. The next one was the preschool party experience when I finally realized I had placed myself outside of my comfort zone and was about to learn in a way that was going to be a challenge even to a professed nerd.

I have also learned that often experiential learning is just as valuable as spending quality time with my textbooks. Trips to Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, and Chile taught me more about people, friendships, language, currency, planning, decision-making, and reminded me I am an adult more than four entire years of college with my nose in textbooks.

(My group of adventurers at Valparaiso in Chile and a view from “pan de Azucar” overlooking Rio De Janeiro.)

ACA helped me grow academically more than I expected. While learning a new language it is almost possible to feel the neural connections forming. I tired my friends with discussions about how I mixed up my languages and how fascinating this phenomenon was from a psychological perspective. Looking back at this year, I firmly believe I have grown, matured, and expanded my brain at least as much as studying organic chemistry for a year if not more.

The metacognition of learning a language fascinated me the entire year. I was constantly analyzing what parts of language my brain adopted easily and why, which words came to mind, or even noting moments when I was seeking a word and could not find it in either English or Spanish. I will encourage anyone I can to take a year abroad if only for the neuropathways that are created through learning a new language, with the bonus of seeing the world and making friends from across different continents. I believe regardless of which major I may be studying, the process of learning a new language will help me in learning all my other topics, and I hope to maintain my friendships from five continents.

With a little less time spent wrestling with numbers, I have allowed myself to observe creation with an eye toward the beauty and not just the organization of our world. Spring quarter, which in Argentina is actually fall, I was given the opportunity to participate in an internship working with the ESL teacher and helping students find opportunities to speak to real-live English-speakers. Our class began at 7 a.m., and we assistants watched the sunrise while walking to class. After observing a particularly vibrant orange, I commented to one of the ESL students how incredibly beautiful the bright sky was. He turned to me and replied, “Really? You mean you don’t have sunrises where you come from?” I realized it wasn’t beauty I lacked in my hometown, but an appreciation of my surroundings which I have gained this year with a conscious effort towards appreciating and soaking in the world around me, not just textbook facts.

(I will never stop missing Argentinian sunsets and sunrises. I would often delay my run until I could be sure to watch the sunset on my return trip.)

I believe only someone from outside of a culture can really view its beauty with fresh eyes. I hope having this new split perspective, I can maintain the ability to step fully into one culture or the other in order to observe American culture with Argentinian eyes, and Argentinian culture with American eyes, and avoid the jaded perspective of taking my culture for granted. Because if I learned anything this year it is that people, language, and all cultures really are beautiful.

Flex Your Creativity at PUC

Finding balance in life is essential, particularly during your college years at PUC. Taking time from your rigorous studies to grab a bite to eat with friends in the Campus Center, take a walk through the PUC forest, play a round of basketball in the gym, or tap into the creative part of your brain is a crucial part of your success. Lucky for you, PUC offers incredible options for all your balancing needs, especially when it comes time to flex your creative muscles. 

Whether you plan on graduating with an art degree or it’s just a hobby, there are tons of options from classes to take, groups to join, and workspaces to become immersed in. 

Out of the many courses offered in the department of visual arts, Typography might not be at the top of your list, but you never know what might spark your interest! Check out academic dean Milbert Mariano’s impressive 30 Typeface project.

Get your hands dirty behind the pottery wheel. PUC offers a ceramics lecture/lab combo course where you create special hand-built and wheel-thrown pieces!

Drawing and painting are fantastic stress relieving activities and the fine arts program offers the perfect outlet. There are plenty of classes to choose from and if you just want to use some studio space, I bet that can be arranged.

Hone your craft in the Fisher Hall studio space. This refurbished warehouse is the perfect place to work on all your art projects collaboratively or solo!

Are you the next Spielberg? PUC’s film program has incredible opportunities for those who long to be in front of and behind the camera. With state of the art equipment, yearly trips to SONscreen, and their own film festival in town, PUC film students really encompass creativity.

Let the music soothe your soul. Art isn’t just drawing and painting! Join one of PUC’s many band and choral ensembles or you can sign up to take private lessons in guitar, voice, or violin, to name just a few.

There are literally countless ways to express your creativity and we think PUC is the pretty perfect place to do it. Once you’re a Pioneer, there’s no stopping you!

Academic Spotlight: Pre-Professional Allied Health

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare but aren’t sure yet what you want to specialize in, take a look at PUC’s pre-professional allied health programs!

Programs offered:

  • Pre-Cardiac Electrophysiology Technology (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Communication Sciences (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Cytotechnology (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Diagnostic Medical Sonography, B.S., for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Health Information Administration, B.S., for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Medical Radiography (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Nuclear Medicine (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Nutrition & Dietetics (B.S. or M.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Orthotics & Prosthetics (M.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Pathologists’ Assistant (M.H.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physical Therapist Assistant (A.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Physician Assistant (M.P.A.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Radiation Sciences (B.S.) for Loma Linda University
  • Pre-Respiratory Care (B.S.) for Loma Linda University

A Faculty’s Perspective

Professor Vicki Saunders is an assistant professor of nutrition and also coordinates the two-year health sciences degree program at PUC. We sat down with her to talk about pre-professional programs and what advice she would give to a student interested in pursuing a career in allied health.

Read “What Exactly is Allied Health? Professor Saunders Tells It All.” now!

Fast Facts

  1. Students who choose to study a pre-allied health program at PUC can also work towards earning an A.S. in health sciences, which is a way they can complete prerequisites for their designated program and also graduate with a diploma.
  2. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.

What You Can Do

There’s a wide variety of places pre-professional allied health programs can take you! Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • Cytotechnology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Nutrition & dietetics
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Physical therapy
  • Public health
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Veterinary medicine

Learn more about PUC’s pre-professional allied health programs at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!