Getting to Know Southwestern College

Southwestern College History

The Southwestern Community College District, located south of San Diego and extending to the U.S.-Mexico border, is one of 72 community college districts in the California Community College system. It serves as the primary source of public higher education for approximately 400,000 residents of the South San Diego County area including the communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro and Sunnyside.

The College began offering classes to 1,657 students in 1961, with temporary quarters at Chula Vista High School. Groundbreaking for the present 156-acre Chula Vista campus was held in 1963; by September 1964, initial construction was completed and classes were being held at the new campus on the corner of Otay Lakes Road and H Street in Chula Vista.

In 1988, Southwestern College established its Higher Education Center at San Ysidro on the memorial site of the McDonalds tragedy. The College again expanded its off-campus locations in 1998 by establishing the Higher Education Center at National City. A new Higher Educational Center at Otay Mesa opened its doors in 2007 as a regional center for educational training and development. In 2009, a new state-of-the-art facility replaced the previous San Ysidro site to serve its students and the community.

In addition to its centers, Southwestern College also provides off-campus classes at several extension sites throughout the District and operates an Aquatic Center in Coronado in conjunction with the California Department of Boating and Waterways and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Current enrollment—at all locations—exceeds 20,000 students. More than a half-million students have attended Southwestern College since its inception.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has continuously accredited SWC. The College offers a comprehensive curriculum, preparing students for transfer to four-year colleges or universities and for jobs and career advancement.

Commitment to Diversity (BP 7100)

The College District is committed to employing qualified administrators, faculty, and staff members who are dedicated to student success. The Governing Board recognizes that diversity in the academic environment fosters cultural awareness, promotes mutual understanding and respect, and provides suitable role models for all students. The Board is committed to hiring and staff development processes that support the goals of equal opportunity and diversity, and provide equal consideration for all qualified candidates. (See also, 3420 BP & AP – Equal Employment Opportunity.)

Prohibition of Harassment (BP3430)

References:  Title II Sections 10500 et seq.;Education Code Sections 212.5, 44100, 66252, 66281.5; Government Code Sections 12940 and 12950.1; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 42 U.S. Code Annotated Section 2000e; Administrative Procedure No. 3430 – (AP) Prohibition of Harassment Administrative Procedure No. 3435 – (AP) Discrimination & Harassment Complaints and Investigations; Board Policy & Administrative Procedure No. 3540 – (BP/AP) Sexual and Other Assaults on Campus; 

 All forms of harassment are contrary to basic standards of conduct between individuals and are prohibited by state and federal law, as well as this policy, and will not be tolerated. Southwestern Community College District (College District) is committed to providing an academic and work environment that respects the dignity of all individuals and groups. The College District shall be free of sexual harassment and all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation including acts of sexual violence. It shall be free of other unlawful harassment, including that which is based on any of the following statuses: race, religious creed, color, national origin ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation of any person, or military and veteran status, or because they are perceived to have one or more of the foregoing characteristics.

The College District seeks to foster an environment in which all employees, students, unpaid interns, and volunteers feel free to report incidents of harassment without fear of retaliation or reprisal. Therefore, the College District also strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for filing a complaint of harassment or for participating in a harassment investigation. Such conduct is illegal and constitutes a violation of this policy.  All allegations of retaliation will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated. If the College District determines that retaliation has occurred, it will take all reasonable steps within its power to stop such conduct. Individuals who engage in retaliatory conduct are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

Any student, employee, unpaid intern, or volunteer who believes that they have been harassed or retaliated against in violation of this policy should immediately report such incidents by following the procedures described in AP 3435. Supervisors are mandated to report all incidents of harassment and retaliation that come to their attention to the Vice President for Human Resources. The College District will, consistent with recommendations to the Statewide Association of Community Colleges (SWACC) Memorandum of Coverage (MOC), provide written notice to The Authority within thirty (30 days) of incidents involving molestation, sexual assault, and abuse. The notice shall contain particulars including names and addresses of the injured, unless the injured person requested anonymity as provided by relevant state and federal statutes and regulations.

This policy applies to all aspects of the academic environment, including but not limited to classroom conditions, grades, academic standing, employment opportunities, scholarships, recommendations, disciplinary actions, and participation in any community college activity. In addition, this policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, placement, promotion, disciplinary action, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, training opportunities and compensation. 

To this end the Superintendent/President shall ensure that the institution undertakes education and training activities to counter discrimination and to prevent, minimize and/or eliminate any hostile environment that impairs access to equal education opportunity or impacts the terms and conditions of employment.

The Superintendent/President shall establish procedures that define harassment on campus. The Superintendent/President shall further establish procedures for employees, students, unpaid interns, volunteers, and other members of the campus community that provide for investigation and resolution of complaints regarding harassment and discrimination, and procedures for students to resolve complaints of harassment and discrimination. All participants are protected from retaliatory acts by the College District, its employees, students, and agents. 

This policy and related written procedures (including the procedure for making complaints) shall be widely published and publicized to administrators, faculty, staff, students, unpaid interns, and volunteers, particularly when they are new to the institution. They shall be available for students, employees, unpaid interns, and volunteers in all administrative offices, and shall be posted on the College District’s website.

Employees who violate the policy and procedures may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.  Students who violate this policy and related procedures may be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including expulsion.  Unpaid interns who violate this policy and related procedures may be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination from their internship or other unpaid work experience program.