Southwestern College has always played an instrumental role in South County, providing educational opportunities to people of all ages for the last 59 years. The college offers so much more than education, as you may have seen during the pandemic.
The college hosted community food distribution events–even a pet food distribution event. Southwestern also hosted vaccination clinics, drive-through student support services and online access to mental health support.
As we re-emerge from COVID restrictions, the Governing Board and I are taking intentional steps to become an even stronger partner with our community. We are launching a series of outreach opportunities where we can visit with you, your business or organization. We are also offering more opportunities for you to come back to one of our campuses.
One way to become involved is to become a member of our Community Engagement Committee. While our Governing Board is still working on the details to solicit formal membership to the committee, our trustees have a clear vision of what they want the committee to achieve.
The Community Engagement Committee will be critical in strengthening the college’s efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion. The committee will serve as an advisory council to the Governing Board and college leadership on what is important to our region and its residents. Committee members will also serve as ambassadors for the college, helping spread the word of the many programs and services Southwestern College offers. That way, when committee members hear about potential new programs, they’ll have an understanding of what the college currently offers and gaps they can share with college leadership.
Another area of outreach Southwestern College can strengthen is with our neighbors in Tijuana. In the four months I have been serving as president, dozens of students have stopped by my office–even when we’ve been closed. Many of them are Spanish speakers, and I always ask them how they heard about Southwestern College and its programs.
The answer is often the same. They had a family member who attended Southwestern, or they heard about the college through word-of-mouth. These one-to-one discussions among family are great advertising, but we know we’re missing hundreds more.
That is why we are developing a new position titled Director of Bi-National and International Programs. A top priority for this person will be to visit Tijuana high schools, universities and businesses to develop strong relationships and a pipeline for students to attend Southwestern College. We are also expecting this person to be a strong fundraiser to help support international students’ needs outside the classroom.
Southwestern College has always hosted international students, but this is an area that can grow as a way to help the college achieve its mission and supplement the district’s budget.
We are also exploring the possibility of offering Tijuana residents in-state tuition, as they do with border districts in Texas.
There is so much to explore at Southwestern College, and so many services designed to help students succeed. You’ll be seeing more of those services through the summer as part of our comprehensive marketing campaigns. You’ll even see our television ads during the Summer Olympics.
Through English and Spanish advertising efforts, we are hoping to bring additional awareness to our community and encourage students to re-engage and re-enroll.
No matter where you are on the education spectrum, Southwestern College can support your vision for completing your college, career and personal goals.