By Mario A. Cortez
After seven long weeks of winter break, Southwestern College, South Bay’s higher learning institution, will resume classes when the 2016 Spring semester kicks off on Monday, February 1st.
This semester, Southwestern College’s 16,000 students can look forward to advancing their educational and career goals with greater class offerings. The college will offer 2,045 classes, a 10% increase from last semester, spread over its main campus in Chula Vista and satellite campuses located throughout the South Bay area as well as online.
The student success programs that southwestern college is proud to offer will be expanded to better serve its student population. Counseling staff has increased with the addition of eight counselors to provide greater access to students with questions about planning their career or educational goals.
As is usual, the campus will be offering workshops at its Transfer Center inside the Cesar Chavez building located in the heart of its main Chula Vista campus. At these workshops students can come in and get help on their applications for either the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) systems.
“Every application cycle we offer workshops here at the transfer center to help out with CSU and UC applications and well be offering even more workshops [next semester] to help with UC application updates and supplementals to help students who chose to study in an institution in that system” stated Norma Cazares, Head Counselor of Southwestern’s Counseling & Student Support Programs department, in an earlier interview with La Prensa San Diego.
Students seeking a transfer, can also look forward to the Transfer Center’s Transfer Tuesday program which aims to help students move on to public universities and local private universities such as the University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) and Alliant University.
In an effort to promote a healthy environment to study, Southwestern College will be adopting measures to become a tobacco free campus. This measure includes banning all tobacco products as well as the use of electronic cigarettes and vape devices on campus. Designated smoking areas will no longer be recognized as an approved place to smoke on campus. Smokers who break this new student policy may be cited by campus police.
In academic matters, two new programs will be begin activities to aid students success.
This semester the college is also rolling out its First Year Experience program to put high school students on the path to success upon their arrival to higher education. This program involves registering in a personal development program which covers the needs of new students who do not have previous college coursework. Students will receive tools for success such as using priority registration, two year plans and a dedicated counselor within the program and many more resources designed to prevent dropping out and boost chances for student success.
This semester also marks the beginning of the new Weekend College program. The program aimed at covering general education requirements for the two year Associate’s Degree will provide classes covering English, psychology, art, communications and astronomy on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sunday nights. Through these eclectic time slots, people with full time jobs and high school students can take college level class work without interrupting their weekday responsibilities.
In an effort to promote a clean and healthy environment to study and work in, Southwestern College will be adopting measures to become a tobacco free campus starting this coming Monday. This measure includes banning all tobacco products as well as the use of electronic cigarettes and vape devices. Designated smoking areas will no longer be recognized as an approved place to smoke on campus. Smokers who break this new student policy may be cited by campus police.
This semester also marks the start of construction work on the long vacant lot on the corner of East H Street and Otay Lakes Road on the northeast end of campus.
The state of the art Wellness & Aquatics Complex, which will take the place of the currently used facilities, will feature upgraded locker rooms, training equipment and classrooms. The new arena designed for the center will be able to host up to 2,500 seated guests for the Jaguars’ basketball match ups and other events.
The aquatic facilities at the new structure include two 50 meter pools; one designed with measures and specifications that meet the needs of competitive aquatic sports and a second pool featuring variable depth designed to be used for classes and recreational purposes. A third 25 meter pool, designed for fitness programs, will also be housed at this future center.
These are just a few of the many new things going on around Southwestern College during the 2016 spring semester.