by Photo Southwestern College

California’s higher education leadership, elected officials, corporate sponsors, civic and business leaders will recognize Southwestern College on Nov. 16 at a Campaign for College Opportunity’s Champions of Higher Education Virtual Celebration. 

Up to 400 attendees are anticipated in attendance to recognize Southwestern College (SWC) as an “Excellence in Transfer” destination for Black and Latinx students. The Campaign for College Opportunity is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring equal opportunity and access to success in college and names SWC as Equity Champion of Higher Education. 

According to the nonprofit, SWC shows intent to ensure Black and Latinx students clear pathways and are guaranteed transfer opportunities to California State University (CSU)  through their achievement and work of equity.

“This is a moment of tremendous pride for Southwestern College and a reminder that our efforts to deliver high quality, inclusive education for every student is working,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Mark Sanchez . “We will continue to excel in the delivery of our mission so that every student has the opportunity to transform their lives through education. This includes the development of new and innovative programs and services to meet the needs of our community.” He added.

As an effort to provide community college students a direct Pathway to a CSU, The Associate Degree for Transfer was created in 2010 with guaranteed admissions to a CSU campus and completion of an associate degree. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Associate Degrees for Transfer composed 48 percent of all associate degrees awarded at SWC.

In their report, “Chutes or Ladders? Strengthening California Community College Transfer So More Students Earn the Degrees They Seek,” the nonprofit acknowledges the role of Community colleges in California as their students play a role in strengthening the economy and social mobility of residents statewide.

According to the report, Students who earned an ADT completed their degrees with 6.5 fewer credits than students who earned traditional associate degrees. The nonprofit estimates approximately $10.4 million in community college tuition fees were saved by students who earned ADTs in 2019-2020. 

The nonprofit highlighted the need to increase numbers of ADTs awarded to create seamless pathways to bachelor’s degrees and to help meet Californa’s workforce demand. Southwestern college currently offers 28 ADT pathways that align with bachelors degree programs in the CSU system, and there are 2,887 ADT pathways throughout California. 

“This designation acknowledges the equity-focused work that Southwestern College has been engaged in at all levels over the years, from dual enrollment-access, comprehensively designed student support programs-services and excellence in teaching and learning in the classroom,” Sanchez said. 

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