Student Success and Support Program

Steps to Success

SSSP services are coordinated by the Dean of Counseling and Student Support Programs. The SSSP matriculation process starts with services you will receive before you attend your first class and will continue throughout your educational experience. The process can be considered your steps to success to ensure that you get started and stay on the right track.

The Seymour-Campbell Student Success Act of 2012 established the SSSP “to increase California community college student access and success by providing effective core matriculation services, including orientation, assessment and placement, counseling, and other educational planning services, and academic interventions” and follow-up services for at-risk students. The Act emphasized support for “entering students’ transition into college in order to provide a foundation for student achievement and successful completion of students’ educational goals, with priority placed on serving students who enroll to earn degrees, career technical certificates, transfer preparation, or career advancement.”

The purpose of the SSSP is to ensure that all students promptly define their educational and career goals, complete their courses, persist to the next academic term, and achieve their educational objectives in a timely manner. The goal is that students benefit from comprehensive and integrated delivery of services to increase retention and to provide students with a foundation of student success.

Student Success and Support program services are vital to students’ overall success and are designed to provide the environment to direct, focus, and nurture students, as well as to connect them to the college community. Five core services under SSSP are considered essential for student success: Orientation to college, Assessment and Placement services, Counseling and Advising services, Student Educational Planning, and follow-up services for at-risk students.

Southwestern College has created a comprehensive breadth of services to address the entire core services outlined in the SSSP program and is ready to serve students throughout their college experience. The Dean of Counseling and Student Support Programs is located in the Cesar E. Chavez Student Services Center and provides leadership to the Student Success and Support Program.

Southwestern College agrees to:

  • Evaluate your English, math, and reading skills.
  • Help you register for appropriate classes.
  • Provide you with an orientation, information on services available, and possible majors and/or careers.
  • Provide access to counselors and instruction.
  • Help you to develop a Student Educational Plan.
  • Monitor your progress and provide follow-up services.

You agree to:

  • Decide upon your major and goal or select a course of study.
  • Complete assessment and orientation.
  • Work with us to develop a Student Educational Plan by the time you have completed 15 units.
  • Attend and complete courses to make the best use of the time you spend at Southwestern College.

The College may suspend or terminate services to any student who fails to fulfill his/her responsibilities. However, the College may never suspend or terminate any service for which a student is otherwise entitled under any other provision of law. In addition, students may challenge any SSSP requirement or regulation using the petition process. Petitions are available in the Assessment Center or the Office of the Dean of Counseling and Student Support Programs.

SSSP Process

All non-exempt students are required to complete core services provided by SSSP. Those include: assessment and placement, orientation, counseling and advisement, and a Student Educational Plan. Completing these important first steps will also improve your Enrollment Priority date for registration. These steps are described more fully on the following pages.

New, returning, or transfer students who may be exempt from the SSSP process are students who:

  • Already have an associate or bachelor’s degree.
  • Are attending Southwestern for personal enrichment.
  • Are enrolled only in noncredit community education courses.
  • Are taking classes only to upgrade job skills.
  • Are enrolled in apprenticeship or other special vocational education programs.
  • Are concurrently enrolled in another college or university.

Exempt students are not required to participate in the SSSP process, but are encouraged to see a counselor at any time.

NOTE: For information about the Student Success Initiative, visit