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 & Discrimination (BP 3430)

Southwestern Community College District is committed to providing an academic and workplace environment which demonstrates respect for the dignity of all individuals, free from exclusion and prejudice, whether purposeful or inadvertent. The College District expressly prohibits and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

The College District shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, national origin, religion, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability or veteran status in admission, employment or access to programs and activities. (BP & AP 3430 – Prohibition of Harassment & Discrimination)

Questions about the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, and student grievances should be directed to the Dean of Student Services at (619) 482-6369. Title IX inquiries regarding gender equity, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, should be directed to the Title IX Administrator at (619) 482-6529. Inquiries regarding unlawful discrimination should be directed to the Human Resources Compliance Coordinator at (619) 482-6529.