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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Southwestern College Emergency Notification system, Blackboard Connect?
How does the Blackboard Connect system obtain student and staff contact information?
How do I update my contact information if it is not correct?
Does Blackboard Connect share the school's information with anyone?
How does the Blackboard Connect for Higher Education notification service work?
What is multi-modal communication? Are text messages alone sufficient?
What will the text message look like on my phone?
Am I required to receive emergency and safety texts on my phone?
How has the Blackboard Connect system been used?
How can the Blackboard Connect service reach thousands in minutes?


What is the Southwestern College Emergency Notification system, Blackboard Connect?
The Southwestern College Emergency Notification system is a way for the college to send voice, email, and text messages to you during an emergency or provide you with other time-sensitive and critical information. The College utilizes a service called Blackboard Connect.

How does the Blackboard Connect system obtain student and staff contact information?
If you are a student or an employee, the phone and email information in WebAdvisor is used to populate the Blackboard Connect database. To ensure the accuracy of the contact information, it is important that the information in WebAdvisor is up to date. Blackboard Connect provides an encrypted, online process to securely import Southwestern College's existing data into the College account in a secure and reliable manner.

Does Blackboard Connect share the school's information with anyone?
No. Blackboard Connect does not sell, lease, share, or rent personally identifiable information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) to any companies or persons outside of Blackboard Connect or their service providers.

How does the Blackboard Connect for Higher Education notification service work?
The Blackboard Connect service combines the power of the Internet with the pervasiveness of the telephone. This service helps the College reach out to students and staff via:

  • Voice messages to home phones and cell phones
  • Text messages to cell phones, PDAs and other text-based devices
  • Written messages to e-mail accounts
  • Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired

The emergency text message will display on your cell phone this way: SWCEMERGENCY or SWCSAFETY or short codes 23177 or 63079. The phone number will display as 619-216-6733, if you would like to store it in your phone contacts.

We are required to inform you that you may opt out of receiving emergency messages via text message. In light of such high-profile college campus emergencies, such as MIT, Virginia Tech and Lone Star College, we strongly encourage that you NOT opt out of these emergency alerts.

What is multi-modal communication? Are text messages alone sufficient?
With the Blackboard Connect service, campus officials can reach the campus community members in their own voice on landlines, cell phones, via e-mail, text messages on cell phones, PDAs/other text-receiving devices, and TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.

During a time-sensitive situation, multi-modal communication is critical as it is a more comprehensive way to reach people in the environment they may be in at the moment an issue arises. Communication is sent simultaneously to all available contact points for each person.

What will the text message look like on my phone?
The emergency text message will display on your cell phone as SWCEMERGENCY or SWCSAFETY (depending upon the circumstance). The emergency phone number will display as 619-216-6733, if you would like to store it in your phone contacts.

Am I required to receive emergency and safety texts on my phone?
We are required to inform you that you may opt out of receiving emergency messages via text message. However, in light of such high-profile college campus emergencies such as Santa Monica Community College, Virginia Tech and closing of the campus during the wildfires, we strongly recommend that you NOT opt out of these emergency text alerts.

How has the Blackboard Connect system been used?
The Blackboard Connect system has been used to communicate vital information when a critical situation has taken place. It is also used to issue alerts to campus members as outlined in the Clery Act. Eventually, Southwestern College will use the service for more routine communication, including communicating during the registration process and to alert students to important financial aid and/or payment deadlines.

How can the Blackboard Connect service reach thousands in minutes?
The company's mass notification engine supports the Blackboard Connect system. Blackboard Connect maintains access to tens of thousands of phone lines originating from multiple locations throughout the United States to ensure that its communications are delivered quickly and efficiently. Moreover, Blackboard Connect employs sophisticated call throttling logic to identify the proper schematics needed to deliver calls based upon whatever congestion the local telecommunications providers are experiencing at the moment calls are being attempted.

Ensure You Receive Emergency Notifications

Step-by-Step Instructions for WebAdvisor

Students can update their contact information in WebAdvisor by logging in and clicking on the Update your Email/Telephone Number/Address/Major under the User Account information section. Southwestern College faculty and staff can click on the Contact Information Change button under the Staff User Account section to update your telephone information (home, emergency and cell) and your email address(es).

Emergency Notification System Step 1

Emergency Notification System Step 2

Emergency Notification System Step 3

Emergency Notification System Step 4

Last updated: 2/13/2014 3:46:50 PM