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Superintendent/President Message

October 30, 2012

Student Voices More Important Than Ever

As we head into the home stretch for the November election, the fate of Proposition 30 may depend on strong voter turnout for the age group of 18-29. Pollsters show this group supporting the measure by a 62.5% margin. This is the group that is potentially most impacted by budget cuts to education. Please read more about the poll here.

I appreciate all the efforts students and faculty have made to register members of our Southwestern College community to vote. As we near Election Day, I encourage everyone to make an informed vote.

Southwestern’s Economic Impact  

Southwestern College—through its students, faculty, staff and college operations—is an economic stimulus for the San Diego County region. In a time of diminishing economic resources, college operations alone generate $74.8 million in the region. Totalling all benefits to students, society, and taxpayers, the average added income due to Southwestern College is more than $500 MILLION per year. 

This is one of the findings from the economic impact report Southwestern College commissioned earlier this year. The report quantified rates of return from the student perspective, social perspective and taxpayer perspective.

While community colleges in general, and Southwestern College in particular, offer students a quality education at a reasonable price, the report showed that for every $1 a student invests in his or her education at Southwestern College, their lifetime income increases $5.40. That translates to an average rate of return of 16.3% for students with all costs (fees, books, and foregone wages) recovered in 9.3 years. That’s a greater return than the average 7% on stocks and bonds.

The higher earnings of Southwestern College graduates also mean they are less likely to be a drain on society, creating $6.1 million savings annually associated with improved health, reduced crime and reduced welfare and employment.

Southwestern College is also a sound investment for taxpayers. State and local governments allocated approximately $86.6 million in support to Southwestern in fiscal year 2010-11, according to the report. For every dollar of this support, taxpayers are realizing a cumulative return of $2.20 over the course of students’ careers through higher tax receipts and avoided costs. That’s a 7.5% return—again, better than investing in stocks and bonds.

See the full report here.

Victor Castillo - CITD Director; David Mayagoitia - President, DEITAC; Melinda Nish - Superintendent/President, Southwestern Community College District; Jose Antonio Gonzalez - President, COMCE Baja California Norte; Norma Hernandez - President, Southwestern Community College District Governing Board; Flavio Olivieri - Executive Director, DEITAC
In this photo (from left): Victor Castillo - CITD Director; David Mayagoitia - President, DEITAC; Melinda Nish - Superintendent/President, Southwestern Community College District; Jose Antonio Gonzalez - President, COMCE Baja California Norte; Norma Hernandez - President, Southwestern Community College District Governing Board; Flavio Olivieri - Executive Director, DEITAC

Strategic alliance unveiled

Our economic reach will now be felt internationally. Earlier this month, Southwestern College formalized an agreement with the Mexican Council for Foreign Trade of Baja California (COMCE). Through our Center for International Trade Development (CITD), entrepreneurs in Tijuana will now be able to participate in CITD’s seminars and services to build businesses that succeed on both sides of the border.

Our strategic alliance was unveiled at Tijuana Innovadora—the 11-day conference and expo that highlighted innovations in education, industry, creativity and the humanities in Baja California.

We often feel the effects of gloom and doom. Our economic impact shows that we continue to be a beacon for those in the community seeking higher education.

More Economic Opportunities

Getting Technical logoMore than 150 people have already registered for the Getting Technical: Critical Conversations about Today’s and Tomorrow’s Workforce being held on campus on Nov. 1 from 7:30 – 10:45 a.m. in the Student Union East.

If you know of any of your industry partners who would be interested, please have them sign up today by going to www.swccd.edu/gettingtechnical and clicking on “Reserve your seat now” at the top of the page.