The better Southwestern is, the better our entire region is.

Everyone has been touched by community college whether they are aware of it or not.
Have you needed medical attention? The paramedic, dental technician or nurse likely received their education at a community college. Had your car repaired? The mechanic likely studied at a community college. Enjoyed a musical or theater performance? The actors, singers, and dancers likely started their training at a community college. Spent any time at all in Chula Vista? The mayor went to community college!

As the only establishment of higher learning in the south region of San Diego County, Southwestern Community College is a vital pillar within the community and a key institution focused on educating, training, and providing opportunities to our local workforce and future generations. It is not an overstatement to say that the better Southwestern is, the better our entire region is.

Some of the difficulties that institutions like Southwestern face are due to the many misconceptions surrounding community colleges, one of the most prevalent of these being that they are totally free to students thanks to state funding. While it is true that for qualifying students’ enrollment fees are waived, the total amount of waived fees is roughly $1,288.00 (for full-time students) which is only a small portion of the $15,364.00 that the state of California estimates students living at home will need in order to be successful. For students living on their own, this number climbs to nearly $30,000.00 (conservative for San Diego County).

With a student population where roughly 80% have some level of elevated need or financial insecurity, the need for additional support and resources is high, but the good news is that there is so much that can be done to help prepare our students and strengthen our community.

In a groundbreaking move, Southwestern College recently forgave $3.5 million in outstanding tuition and enrollment fee debt and is currently working on the development of student housing opportunities. The College’s Foundation also oversees a variety of scholarship opportunities as well as the donor-funded Cares Emergency Grant Program, which provides students with one-time monetary support to overcome an unexpected hardship and help them remain enrolled.

It is through the larger community that Southwestern College and the Southwestern College Foundation have found the magic and synergy that truly creates student success. Students originally living in their cars have moved on to 4-year universities, students that were previously incarcerated have found meaning and direction through their studies, and nearly all Southwestern’s students have found the inspiration to exceed their own expectations thanks to the additional support given by their community.

If you are interested in being that source of inspiration and the key ingredient in Southwestern College student success, you are invited to visit www.swccd.edu/foundation where you can learn how to get involved and join the Southwestern College Family.

The better Southwestern is, the better our entire region is, and you have the opportunity to be part of that success.