Higher Education Centers

Higher Education Center at National City

880 National City Boulevard
National City, CA 91950
(619) 216-6665

Established in 1998, the Higher Education Center at National City (HEC, NC) was built in a collaborative effort with the City of National City and the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) to serve the educational needs of the residents of National City and its surrounding communities. The Center is located at 880 National City Boulevard, which is approximately 10 miles from the Chula Vista campus. This state-of-the-art facility includes 15 “smart” classrooms, 20-station computer lab, biology lab, medical assistant lab, yoga and step aerobics lab, bookstore, library, health services center, career/transfer center, one-stop Student Services Center, Family Resource Center, and 22-chair Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The Center’s faculty and staff members are committed to serve the academic needs of a diverse student population seeking personal enrichment, professional development, technical certification, and university transfer courses, by offering a wide spectrum of credit and noncredit offerings designed to prepare them for numerous educational and career opportunities. General class offerings include full-semester, late-start and fast-track courses available in the day and evening. In addition, the Center offers a number of signature programs including the Dental Hygiene Program, Medical Laboratory Technician Program, and Medical Office Professional Program.

The nationally acclaimed Dental Hygiene Program houses a 22-chair state-of-the-art clinic where students offer free dental hygiene services to the community. Since the program’s inception in 2000, more than 400 students have graduated and passed rigorous State and National Dental Hygiene Board examinations. Most are employed as registered dental hygienists in San Diego County.

The Medical Laboratory Technician Program (established in 2009) is one of the only two nationally accredited programs in the state of California. Students are prepared for success on two national certification examinations and subsequent state licensure, followed by fulfilling careers in medical laboratory science.

In 2010, the Medical Office Professions Program relocated to the National City Higher Education Center from the Chula Vista campus. The program prepares students to enter the medical assisting profession as clinical medical assistants, administrative medical assistants, or billing and coding specialists. Students practice techniques and procedures in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. Upon program completion, students are able to apply for medical assistant certification.

Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa

8100 Gigantic Street
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 216-6750

Opening its doors in fall 2007 and expanding its facilities to include a Public Safety Training Center in 2021, the Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa is only minutes away from the United States/Mexico International Border.  The Center seeks to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to students in the area of healthcare and public safety, as well as to provide our local and international communities with well-educated citizens and a strong workforce. 

Specifically, the Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa offers lecture and hands-on training in nine public safety and health services programs that are unique to this location, as well as general education courses for students seeking an associate degree in one of these public safety/health career fields. The Center's signature programs include the Police AcademyNursing (including CNA, LVN, ADN, ST, CST and ORN programs), Fire Science TechnologyParamedic, Emergency Medical Technician, and Environmental Hazardous Materials Technology.

To help students achieve success in their courses and future careers, the Center also provides the necessary student support services on-site.  Students have access to admissions and records services, counseling, tutoring, financial aid, and disability support services. Furthermore, the state-of-the-art facility houses a library, food pantry, health services center, student center, conference center, fitness center, and science and computer labs.

Higher Education Center at San Ysidro

460 W. San Ysidro Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92713
(619) 216-6790

Academic excellence, learning, growth, and student success typify the educational program at the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro (HEC, SY).

First established in 1988, the HEC, SY is located only minutes away from the U.S.-Mexico International Border. Rebuilt and reopened in 2009, the state-of-the-art 18,000 sq. ft. building has more classrooms and improved facilities to serve more than 2,000 students and the surrounding community.  The HEC, SY continues to reflect a full-service philosophy, providing quality instruction and student services in one convenient location.

The HEC, SY’s instructional program proudly offers  courses for students wishing to pursue an associate degree, complete general education requirements for transfer, develop occupational skills for employment, or undertake personal development courses. Examples of courses offered include Art, Child Development, Communication, Computer Literacy, English, English as a Second Language, Interpretation and Translation, Mathematics, Reading, and Social Sciences. Courses are offered via a flexible schedule, including day and evening classes, in a full-semester or fast-track format. In support of students’ academic achievement, the HEC, SY offers a variety of student services including, but not limited to, admissions, counseling, EOPS, financial aid, health services, disability support services, and tutoring. Additionally, the Center features a student center, food pantry, library, and open computer lab.

Higher Education Center at San Ysidro Living Memorial

Located at the front of the Center is the San Ysidro Memorial, which honors the memory of the 21 victims of the 1984 tragedy on the McDonalds restaurant site. Southwestern College officials worked with civic leaders to solicit contributions for the construction of the memorial. The San Ysidro Memorial was dedicated in December 1990, and today the memorial continues to serve as a tribute and a promise to enhance the lives of the people of San Ysidro and its neighboring communities through education.