Step 6: Planning your Education and Exploring Career Pathways

The Counseling Center

After you have applied for admission to the college, stop by the Counseling Center, at all locations, to schedule an individual appointment with a college counselor. The Counseling Center schedules appointments on a weekly and daily basis.  Counselors assistance is also available for students through orientation sessions, walk-in services, and online counseling..

Before you are scheduled for a counseling appointment, you will be asked to complete the Student Services Needs Assessment process in the Counseling Center. Here you will be asked a series of questions that will help  provide you with targeted assistance. You may be asked to attend a workshop to learn more about careers and educational goals.

Counseling Appointments

During your individual appointment, counselors will assist you in developing a Student Educational Plan, exploring career options, and discussing personal issues and challenges you may encounter. All students are recommended to meet with counselors at least once per academic year to keep informed of program and general education changes, and to ensure timely completion of goals. Be sure to come to your appointment well-prepared:

  • Have a list of questions ready for your counselor
  • Arrive on time for your appointment
  • Have paper and pencil ready to take notes during your appointment.

This is a very important step in planning your future college and career success.

Additional Student Services are located at most Center locations and at the Cesar E. Chavez Student Services Building at the Chula Vista campus.

Online Student Educational Planning

(BP & AP 4210 - Distance Education)

Southwestern College is proud to offer an online opportunity for student planning. Students can access the new Self-Service Student Planning Module online. Visit the College website,, WebAdvisor under the Academic Planning and Introduction to Student Planning link for more information.

You can plan your college education online, electronically send your educational plan to a college counselor for review, and receive an approval or a recommendation from a college counselor online. The module allows you to access suggested sample plans, select courses based on your Southwestern College Assessment results, and link to WebAdvisor Registration once you have planned your semester successfully. You can even access your plan by a mobile smart phone.

Students can also save their plans and access it later as goals change. Southwestern College recommends you revisit this site each semester to stay updated on any program requirement changes, and to continually plan your education with the assistance of a college counselor.

Students who have acquired college units from other colleges and universities, will need to submit official transcripts for  a formal evaluation prior to utilizing the online planning tool. Students will need to schedule an in-person counseling appointment to develop a Student Educational Plan to apply these earned credits. 

Choosing a Major or Course of Study

Many students enter college feeling doubts about choosing a career pathway. Most students will select a major based on fields they may have been exposed to; i.e. teaching professions, nursing and health fields, etc. These are great fields and many, many more exist.

Visit the Career Center to learn more about your options. The Career Center will provide you with an array of assessment tools you can utilize to help you determine your interests, personality traits, and career pathways that may be best suited for you.  You can meet with a Career Counselor to discuss options and develop a plan for success. The Career Center also provides many workshops designed to assist you in selecting your career pathway.

Visit the SWC Career Center online at the college website,, under the Student Services directory. A host of assessment tools, exploration tools, and relevant information is provided online.

Remember, SSSP requires non-exempt students to identify a college major/course of study by the time you have earned 15 college units, so take advantage of these great services.