The Southwestern College Governing Board unanimously adopted a $97 million tentative budget recently. With an additional $2 million in revenue for 2014-15 and more funds for student support and restoration expected later this year, the college is adding more classes and hiring new faculty.
“We’ve been doing more with less for so long, it is nice to be able to open additional class sections and expand our services for students,” said Governing Board President Terri Valladolid.
Fueled by an improving economy and the passage of Proposition 30 in November, 2012, Southwestern College has been able to expand summer school and offer additional classes throughout the year. Since Fall 2012, the college has added 288 more class sections, with the largest number of classes added last Fall. The additional funding has allowed Southwestern College to expand summer sessions the last two years.
Budget allocations were determined after a year-long participatory process where stakeholders from throughout the college met to determine funding priorities. High on the funding list was the hiring of 16 full-time faculty. Included in the new hires were accounting, biology, English, mathematics and communications faculty. Additional counselors were also hired.
Because California is adding additional funding for colleges to meet student support and success priorities, Southwestern College is able to expand resources for students.
Beginning this fall, Southwestern College is launching a new online orientation system that prepares students for assessment exams and helps them create their first semester education plan. The aim is to help students better navigate the community college system and identify their academic or career path as soon as possible to accomplish their goals more quickly.
“We are strengthening our network of support for students so they can achieve their educational goals as quickly as possible,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish.
The Governing Board is expected to submit their final budget to the state in August.
Southwestern College serves more than 19,000 students each semester.