Graduation, Certificates, and Degrees Requirements

Graduation Certification

Students must submit an online Graduation Petition in order to be evaluated for graduation. They must meet the requirements to complete an associate degree or Certificate of Achievement in order to be eligible to receive a diploma.

Posted Degrees

The posting of an associate degree or Certificate of Achievement to a student’s record is considered a permanent part of the student’s academic record and cannot be rescinded, removed or modified.

Definitions

Continuous Enrollment: The completion of a course during at least one semester in a calendar year excluding summer session. Completing a course is defined as receiving a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, Pass (P), or No Pass (NP). Receiving a grade of “W” will not satisfy the requirements for completing a course.

Catalog Rights: When continuous enrollment is maintained, students may elect the general education and graduation requirements in effect at the time of entrance to Southwestern College, or any catalog year thereafter.

Major: For a local degree the requirements for the major will be determined by either the catalog in effect during the semester in which the student declared or changed a major or any subsequent catalog provided the student maintains continuous enrollment. For an ADT the student must complete the courses identified for the ADT major.

Southwestern College Graduation Requirements

Southwestern College provides lower-division educational programs of study that prepare students for transfer to senior institutions and/or career and technical programs that lead to employment or career advancement. Students identify a program of study in a Student Education Plan and upon completion of program requirements may petition to graduate with the certificate and/or degree (BP & AP 4100 – Graduation Requirements for Degrees and Certificates).

The College believes that a comprehensive education introduces the student to the fundamentals of human experience and knowledge in the context of a global society. Such experience provides a common base of learning for all students and seeks to meet the needs of a student body diverse in social, cultural, and educational backgrounds. It also serves to develop creativity and critical thinking skills essential to the attainment of personal goals and to the ability of the individual to make a positive contribution to society.

Proficiency Requirements

Part of the calculation used in the Southwestern College Assessment process to determine satisfaction of the proficiency requirement is high school grade point average. A student, however, may petition to substitute the college grade point average for the high school grade point average. The student must have completed a minimum of 24 degree units at Southwestern College, have completed those units within the past seven years, and be in good standing with the College. The student must submit a student petition to the Assessment Center to be considered for this substitution.

A student who has received a college degree from an accredited U.S. institution will not be required to meet proficiency requirements for graduation.

Mathematics Proficiency—The Southwestern College mathematics proficiency requirement can be satisfied in any one of the following ways:

  • Satisfactory completion (grade of “C” or better or “Pass”) of MATH 60 or higher-numbered mathematics course.
  • Satisfactory completion (minimum of 3 semester units with a grade of “C” or better) of a transferable statistics course in any discipline (e.g. PSYC 270/SOC 270 at Southwestern College). As appropriate consultation will occur with Southwestern College discipline faculty.
  • Satisfactory performance on the Southwestern College Math Assessment; i.e., results that indicate eligibility for MATH 70 (Intermediate Algebra II), or a higher numbered mathematics course.

Reading Proficiency—The Southwestern College reading proficiency requirement is met by satisfactory performance on the Southwestern College Reading Assessment. The requirement may also be met by satisfactory completion (grade of “C” or better or “Pass”) of one of the following:

COLLEGE READING
READING AND COMPOSITION FOR NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH OCCUPATIONS
COLLEGE COMPOSITION: READING AND WRITING ANALYTICALLY
HONORS COLLEGE COMPOSITION: READING AND WRITING ANALYTICALLY

Writing Proficiency—The Southwestern College English Writing proficiency requirement satisfactory completion (grade of “C” or better or “Pass”) in the following:

READING AND COMPOSITION FOR NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH OCCUPATIONS
COLLEGE COMPOSITION: READING AND WRITING ANALYTICALLY
HONORS COLLEGE COMPOSITION: READING AND WRITING ANALYTICALLY

NOTE: Proficiency requirements may also be met by satisfactory scores on specified Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) eExams.

General Education Requirements

The purpose of general education is to enhance learning and to add breadth to the college experience in order to compliment the specialization in the major. The general education curriculum thus provides coherence to undergraduate education, affording the student the opportunity to develop an integrated overview of the diverse fields of human knowledge.

Per Title 5 55063, students must complete a minimum of 18 semester units of general education to satisfy the associate degree requirements.

Southwestern College is committed to providing general education encompassing Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Language and Rationality which are consistent with the Title 5 areas for General Education.

General Educational PatternsThere are three General Education patterns available at Southwestern College. Each is based upon legal requirements and the educational philosophy of the college faculty.

A student may meet the general education requirements for an associate degree by completing one of the following general education patterns:

  • Southwestern College Associate Degree General Education Requirements
  • California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth Requirements
  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

The Southwestern College Associate Degree General Education Requirements meets the minimum 18 unit Title 5 General Education requirement for an associate degree awarded by Southwestern College. A minimum of 60 total units should include general education courses, degree/program course requirements and elective courses to earn an associate degree.

The California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth Requirements is a 41-42 unit pattern designed for the student planning to transfer to the California State University (CSU) system. Southwestern College will certify coursework completed at another California community college or any institution that participates in certifying general education coursework to the CSU, including a CSU campus other than the one to which the student is transferring, only if the courses are on the approved CSU general education list at the college where they were completed. Such a course will be certified in the general education breadth area that is shown on the official certification list for the institution at which it was taken.

The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a 38 to 41 unit general education pattern which meets all lower-division general education requirements at most California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) campuses. Completion of the IGETC is not a requirement for admission to a CSU or UC, nor will its completion guarantee admission to a CSU or UC campus. Each course for this pattern must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Multiple Degrees

Students who qualify may receive additional associate degrees provided the designated degree to be earned will represent a change in major from the degree or degrees previously earned. A student who has already earned a bachelor’s or higher degree may qualify for an associate degree providing that the designated major is different from the bachelor’s or higher
degree.

For each additional degree, the student must complete all requirements for the new major with a minimum of 18 new units. The additional units must include a minimum of 12 units in the major. In addition, the student must meet all graduation requirements enforced at the time of declaration of a new major.

ADT Exemption: Students who have previously been awarded an Associate Degree and wish to receive an ADT will be exempt from the additional unit requirement of 18 new units and 12 units in the major. Students who wish to pursue a second ADT in a new major will also be exempt from the additional unit requirement of 18 units and 12 units in the major. Students must complete all required courses for the ADT and submit a graduation petition for the new degree. Upon approval, the additional ADT will be posted to the student’s academic record.

A student who has earned an ADT and returns to earn an additional AA/AS (non-ADT) degree must have a 12 unit difference in the major and the additional 18 unit requirement.