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GB News: From the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board

President's Message

Governing Board President Tim NaderWe recently announced the reaffirmation of our accreditation status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), meaning our College District was taken off probation.

In its letter and report, the ACCJC described how the College District has made “many recent improvements to institutional practices to resolve accreditation deficiencies.” Southwestern College has been an accredited institution of higher learning since 1964.

Superintendent/President Search

Board Vice President Norma HernandezWorking together, a team of Board members, students, faculty, staff and administrators have been managing the College District’s selection process for a permanent Superintendent/President. Summarizing their progress, Board Vice President Norma L. Hernandez said: "September is going to be a busy time for us."

You can review the tentative selection timeline here.

No Fees for Local High School Students

With a State-mandated fee increase of $10/unit for Fall 2011 and the possibility of a second for Spring 2012, the Board wants to keep Southwestern College affordable for the next generation of learners and leaders. The Board approved an exemption to registration fees (enrollment, health, Student Center and Student Activities) for Sweetwater Union High School District students enrolled in College Bound classes, allowing students to enhance their high school education by earning college credit.

The exemption runs from July 14, 2011 to July 31, 2013.

Continued Improvements to Prop R

Proposition R graphOn Monday, July 11, the Board continued its dialogue on Proposition R at a second special meeting. Its goal is to operate the College District’s bond program with greater transparency, keeping the public informed about expenditures, contracts and construction timelines.

The Board discussed ways to keep all of Prop R’s current projects on budget and looked at the phasing schedule for future construction, including renovations to Mayan Hall, the College District’s performing arts complex, and improvements to the Higher Education Center at National City.

During the regular meeting on July 13, the Board approved new bylaws for the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee and appointed four new community members to four-year terms:

  • Joe David Casillas, Senior Citizens Organization (and Veteran)
  • Thomas Davis, Support Organization for SWC (and Veteran)
  • Matt Kriz, Taxpayer Organization
  • Nicholas J. Segura Jr., Community Member at Large

Policy Briefs

In addition to its regular business, the Board approved policies on the following items:

The Board also adopted procedures dealing with the College District’s Code of Ethics.

New Funding for Puente

A Puente program student at  CommencementPuente was founded in 1981 to increase the number of Mexican-American/Latino students who transfer to four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders.

Administered statewide by the University of California Office of the President, Puente has expanded to high schools and community colleges across California, including Southwestern College.

The Board approved $10,000 in new funding for Puente from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

Additionally, UC’s Regents will provide Southwestern College with mentor support funds of $1,500.

Celebrating 50 Years in Art

Professor Raul Espinoza's painting As the College District’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue, so do the expressions of good will.

During the Board's July meeting, Professor Raul Espinoza presented the College District with a commemorative painting depicting a corner of its main campus in Chula Vista. Espinoza called the corner his 'muse.'

Commending Nick Aguilar

Former Trustee Nick Aguilar is thanked by Board President Tim Nader and Interim Superintendent/President Denise Whittaker.
Board President Tim Nader and Interim Superintendent/President Denise Whittaker honor departing Trustee Nick Aguilar.
Following his departure from the Board, Trustee Nick Aguilar was honored for his dedication and record of contributions.

"I am hopeful for Southwestern College. It's a first-rate community college," Aguilar said.

In 2008, Aguilar was elected to the Southwestern College Governing Board after previously serving on the Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Trustees and San Diego County Board of Education. Aguilar received the College District’s 2011 Honorary Degree for his contributions to the institution, South Bay and country. He served in Vietnam as a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in 1967 and 1968 and was awarded the Purple Heart medal after being wounded in the right arm in a firefight.

Aguilar was recently the subject of a documentary film.


  Produced by the Office of Communications, Community and Government Relations
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