Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)

Southwestern College  is immensely proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Southwestern College is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). We are a reflection of our students, their cultures, their values, and life experiences. We provide services and resources to support the success of Latinx students.

To qualify as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), an educational institution must serve a population of 25% or more Latino students and be designated as an eligible institution under Title III and Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

SWC is proud to be a designated  Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the United States Department of Education. The purpose of HSI is to expand educational opportunities and improve the academic attainment of Hispanic and low-income students, focusing on educational equity. SWC is committed to providing our Latinx Students with academic programs, extracurricular experiences, events, and student services that celebrate their cultural wealth. 

Supporting Latinx  Students at SWC

Binational/Fronterizo Commencement Ceremony in Tijuana

For the first time this year, Southwestern College is pleased to celebrate our class of 2023 with a ceremony in Tijuana, Mexico, at Preparatoria Federal Lazaro Cardenas (PFLC).

For questions about the Binational/Fronterizo Commencement Ceremony in Tijuana, please contact Joel Pilco, jpilco@swccd.edu 

SWC Dreamer Center

The SWC Dreamer Center serves as a central point to provide access to a full spectrum of program, services, and resources for undocumented students and their families. We welcome all students of all backgrounds.

We are working Remotely. For immediate assistance please email: agarcia4@swccd.edu or leave a voicemail at (619) 482-6435.

For updates connect with us on social media: 

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


  • Admissions (Instate tuition, AB540 affidavit)
  • Financial Aid CA Dream Act Application
  • CA Promise Grant Application
  • On Campus Resource Referrals
  • Scholarships
  • Online Events and Workshops
  • Free Legal Immigration Services by Jewish Family Service: Schedule your appointment!

Visit the Center today at SWC Dreamer Center

Puente Program : A Learning Community at SWC

Puente Program : A Learning Community at SWC is open to all students and is designed to meet the needs of students from populations with low rates of enrollment at four-year colleges. Puente Project Faculty recruit students from high schools, our own community college campus and student orientations. Students who are college bound enroll in the program by attending a campus orientation, and completing and application and interview process. Students must be eligible for English 114 in the fall of the academic year. Students come from a range of backgrounds and are usually the first in their families to attend college.

Interested? Fill out this Student Information Sheet or come to the SWC Counseling Center and ask to meet with our Puente Counselor. The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Student Services Center, or call (619) 421-6700 x 5240

Student engagement is critical to the successful persistence and retention of our Latinx Students. We offer various options for students to create a community with leadership opportunities. 

Mariachi Specialization

Provides students the unique musical training and study necessary to pursue aforementioned musical careers though specifically within the mariachi tradition. Each mariachi major must declare and take courses on a primary instrument (guitar, vihuela, guitarrón, harp, violin, trumpet, flute, voice), as well as courses on secondary instruments. Includes theory, keyboarding, and sight reading skills. Transfer students must pass proficiency exams in these areas.

Program Student Learning Outcomes
Students will play and sing traditional mariachi music, including all of the standard mariachi song-types: son jalisciense, huapango, ranchera, bolero, son jarocho and joropo.
Student will demonstrate an understanding of mariachi history, style and performance practices.

Developing Effective Bilingual Educators with Resources (DEBER)

DEBER is affiliated with the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE) and the Center for Equity and Biliteracy Education Research at San Diego State University (CEBER)

Our local schools are hiring bilingual teachers.  Children, youth & families from bilingual backgrounds deserve an education system that promotes linguistic and cultural diversity.

Can you read, speak & write in English and Spanish?  Do you self-identify as Latinx, Chicanx, Hispanic, Mexican, or other Spanish language cultural group?
Are you interested in becoming a bilingual teacher to serve local communities?

If you answered YES to all three questions and are currently a student at Southwestern College, San Diego Mesa College, or San Diego City College, and plan to transfer to SDSU, then DEBER may be for you!

The Developing Effective Bilingual Educators with Resources Project (DEBER) at San Diego State University (SDSU), is designed to support future bilingual teachers currently enrolled at these three Community Colleges in the transfer process to SDSU and the successful completion of a Bilingual Credential!

In addition to Professional Development opportunities in the field of Bilingual Education and Community Building activities with other DEBER Scholars, you will receive ongoing advisement, support with degree & credential program requirements, and a stipend!  

Michael Wickert
Teacher Education Director
DEBER Project Director
Southwestern College
Office 36-101
Ph 619-421-6700 ex 5444

Adriana Garibay
Counselor, School of Counseling & Student Support Programs
Southwestern College
619-421-6700 x5434



Student Leadership Opportunities

San Diego County Resources

MANA de San Diego

MANA de San Diego members enjoy personal and professional growth opportunities through events, networks and newsletters. Members connect with like-minded Latinas, to address concerns and challenges unique to the Latino community.

Contact Information

Chicano Federation 

Chicano Federation is to provide empowering opportunities for our diverse community. The Chicano Federation is one of San Diego’s leading social service agencies providing child education, health and nutrition, and housing programs to more than 8,000 San Diegans annually.

Contact Information

Casa Cornelia

Casa Cornelia Law Center is a public interest law firm providing quality pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations. The Center has a primary commitment to the indigent within the immigrant community in southern California. Casa Cornelia strives to educate others regarding the impact of immigration law and policy on society and the public good.

Contact Information

Discover San Diego


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