Welcome to Educational Support Programs & Services (ESPS)

ESPS provides counseling services, academic advising, testing services, disability services, a career and transfer center, internship/cooperative work experience and student support services. ESPS provides Accuplacer placement tests, ACT/SAT interpretation, GED testing, Pearson Vue Testing and other proctoring of exams. Accuplacer placement testing is available on a walk-in basis.

 Office Hours:
            Counseling & Testing Office Hours:                        Summer Hours:
            Monday - Friday,                                                               Monday - Thursday:

            7:30 am - 5:00 pm                                                            7:30 am - 5 pm


Academic advising provides students with advisor assignment, schedule planning, degree information, academic and financial aid petition assistance.

Academic advisors are vital to the process of course selection and program planning. Any student who is enrolled full-time, pursuing a degree or certificate program, or receiving financial aid should have an academic advisor assigned by the Educational Support Programs Department in Stensland Hall. Academic advising for the Curry Program is available by appointment through the local offices in Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford.

  • Advisors help students clarify the relationship between their personal goals and program of study.
  • Advisors help students understand the requirements of classes and the options within programs.
  • Advisors work with students to evaluate the outcome of the placement tests and determine appropriate course placement.

Southwestern's goal for advising is to assist students in the process of developing a career or education track.

Within the Educational Support Programs and Services department, the counselors offer the following academic advising services:

  • Help students learn about Southwestern's programs and services
  • Identify college procedures
  • Obtain up-to-date information (curriculum sheets) about requirements for Southwestern Oregon Community College programs and degrees
  • Plan course schedules to meet personal needs and program requirements
  • Help facilitate the transfer process
  • Solve scheduling difficulties or problems
  • Identify ways to do well in class and feel satisfied about school


Stensland Hall 541.888.7405

The Career and Transfer Center offers comprehensive career-related assistance to students and community members. Individuals can get help with researching career options, career planning, reentering the job market, or changing career direction.

Career Information
The career resource library contains an extensive range of information on careers. Career materials include videotapes, magazines, books, college catalogs, and free handouts on career fields.

Scholarship Information
Information about potential scholarships can be obtained through workshops, individualized Internet searches, books, videos, and reference materials, as well as private scholarship applications.

Resume Creation
Resumizer is an online resume builder provided by SWOCC Career Services Center. Students can log on, create a resume, then schedule an appointment with a career services representative.  Resumes created by students on Resumizer can easily be uploaded to job boards, emailed to potential employers and hosted online at https://resumizer.com/.

As part of the career counseling process, students often find it helpful to use career-related inventories to clarify their goals. These assessments explore career interests, skills, values, and personality style. Fees are charged to cover the cost of these tests.

Transfer Planning
Resources are available to help students who are interested in transferring to another college. Representatives from most of Oregon's four-year colleges visit Southwestern each year in January or February to talk with prospective transfer students. A one-credit course, Transfer Success (HD 215), is offered Winter and Spring terms to assist students in preparing to transfer to a four-year school.

Job placement information may be obtained from:

Job Placement information is posted on the Job Opportunities Board located inside Stensland Hall between the bookstore and the Advising/Testing Center.

Students who seek information and access to college and community resources regarding families, careers, and business will find them at the Career & Opportunity One Stop. The Career & Opportunity One Stop is comprised of the Newmark Center and Family Center. This on-campus partnership is certified as part of the Oregon Career Network.

Students will find…

  • Access to Job Listings in both private and government sectors.
  • Assistance entering full or part time jobs.
  • Referrals to job finding resources.
  • Help in developing continuous employment.
  • Assessment help in identifying interests and skills and guidance in career choices.

Whether you're a new student or continuing, full or part-time, there are periods when  life, feelings, relationships and expectations can get the best of you.  Talking to a counselor can help you manage your academic load, enhance  career options and bring out the best in you.

Our counselors are available to discuss personal, career or educational concerns. If you're interested in learning to relax and manage your stress, biofeedback sessions are also available. All counseling is private, confidential and provided free of charge. Career Interest Inventories are available at a nominal fee and include a session where a counselor will interpret your results with you.

Personal Counseling

The Counseling Department offers short-term personal counseling to students experiencing problems that prevent them from being successful in school (for example, test anxiety, stress over coursework, relationship concerns, depression, etc.)

Southwestern counselors are highly trained professionals with a variety of credentials. All counselors engage in continuing education to maintain excellence and currency in their services. Our staff includes Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) , Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) and National Certified Counselors (NCCs) who continually engage  continuing education to satisfy requirements for state licensure and certification.

All counselors subscribe to the Ethical Standards of the American Counseling Association (ACA), Licensed Clinical Social Workers are bound by the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics, and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) are bound by the Oregon Code of Ethics.These standards and laws protect student confidentiality and other rights.

Personal information discussed with a counselor is private and confidential, unless the student gives permission to share it with others, it involves potential danger to self or others, it involves child abuse, or it is requested by court order.

For more information or to set an appointment, call 541.888.7405 or visit us in person in the ESPS office in Stensland Hall.

FREE Online Resources

When it's not convenient to talk to one of our counselors, feel free to use ULifeline, a comprehensive, confidential, online resource center for college students regarding mental and emotional health. 

Career Counseling

Career counseling involves exploring and discovering what is unique about yourself and which jobs and careers can best utilize your individual talents and strengths. Career counseling also helps you address barriers which may be inhibiting you from pursuing a particular career. Barriers can include life situations, family considerations, self-esteem and self-efficacy, as well as economic issues.  

Career counseling is crucial to picking the right major. Career counselors can help you assess your skills, interests, and values; identify barriers to decision-making and goals; explore career transition issues; and help integrate your career goals into your “life” planning process.

At Southwestern, career counseling is free and can be used in conjunction with a variety of interest inventories.

Career Counseling Assessments  
Career counseling can often be augmented by the use of Career Interest Inventories. Comprehensive, in-depth inventories are available at a slight charge (currently $20.00 per inventory) for use in individual career counseling and in our Career and Life Planning class (HD 208), which is taught Spring term.   Our inventories include: the Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Talk to one of our career counselors to interpret results of any assessment taken.

To set a appointment, just come to the Counseling Department at ESPS in Stensland Hall next to the bookstore. Or, call the ESPS office at 541.888.7405 to make an appointment.  

Counselor vs Advisors

What is the difference between a Counselor and an Advisor?

Counselors are professionally trained to address personal issues, resolve academic anxieties, assist students in choosing career fields and majors, and problem solve other academic difficulties. With students on restricted academic or financial aid status, counselors work to develop individual success plans, which address the specific issues inhibiting academic success.

Advisors specialize in matters pertaining to your educational program: college policies, placement/assessment test interpretation, degree requirements, transferability, schedule planning, and graduation checks. Faculty performs ongoing advising. Every effort is made to match degree seeking students with faculty from areas of particular interest to the individual advisee.

Within Stensland Hall, we have both counselors and advisors available to assist you. Although counselors often advise students, advisors are not trained to counsel. Please be sure to make clear what kind of assistance you need when requesting an appointment. If you're not sure, someone will be happy to help you decide.

Advisors and Counselors can help you with the following issues:


  • Provide short term personal counseling for issues that may interfere with studies
  • Facilitate decision making on educational and career goals
  • Facilitate college adjustment for in-coming freshmen (homesickness, time management, depression, anxiety)
  • Facilitate college adjustment for returning adult students (balancing roles of student, parent, spouse, and/or employee).
  • Mediate conflicts in student housing
  • Teach coping skills and stress management
  • Provide crisis counseling
  • Develop individualized retention interventions
  • Interpret career inventories
  • Teach Human Development Classes


  • Help you pick your classes
  • Facilitate educational transactions; e.g., schedules, drop/adds, withdrawals, change of major, waivers, graduation requirements, etc.
  • Clarify instructional policies, procedures and requirements
  • Provide general information on special services including academic remediation, admission, placement testing, courses of study, and registration
  • Explain course transfer differences between institutions
  • Interpret placement scores and recommend appropriate classes.

Questions!  Who do I turn to?


  • Which classes are recommended based on my placement test results?
  • Could someone look at my transcript and see if I'm selecting the right courses?
  • How many classes should I take if I work part-time?
  • Which courses at Southwestern are transferable to the university I plan to attend?
  • What is the difference between an Associate's degree and a Baccalaureate degree?
  • Is there a book that gives information about colleges throughout the United States?


  • Are there tests I can take that will help me select a major or career?
  • Is there a way for me to manage my home and school obligations more efficiently?
  • How can I prevent getting so stressed out before taking tests?
  • What should I do? I'm having problems at home that interfere with my studies.
  • What can I do? I can't concentrate and I can't seem to sleep at night.
  • What should I do? Nothing seems to go right and no one really cares.

Counseling Resources

Dealing with Homesickness
Whether you’re a freshman or continuing, one or one thousand miles from your hometown – it’s natural to have a period of adjustment when you start college. Experiencing new things and meeting different people can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Sometimes, it can make you feel a deep desire to return to the people and situations you know best.

The good news is that homesickness goes away eventually. As you gradually get used to your new surroundings, you’ll grow more comfortable. You’ll also gain a sense of confidence and independence by knowing that you can learn to adjust. Call the ESPS office for more information 541.888.7405.

Books as an Adjunct to Therapy
Reading can be a great way to begin to understand more about the issues that bring you to counseling. Books can offer you ideas on how to cope. However, gaining an understanding of an issue is not always sufficient to resolve it. Self-help books are most useful when used in conversation with a trained therapist.

The following is a list of books which have a strong history of helping individuals and/or come highly recommended by one of our professional counselors. They're usually available at one of the area public libraries. They often make excellent reading even if you don't have a pressing issue.

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles

Transforming Anger by Doc Childre;

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus : The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by John Gray

Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of the Counseling Department at Southwestern Oregon Community College to provide personal counseling and academic/career guidance to students without regard to sexual orientation, disability, gender, national origin, age, spiritual beliefs, immigration, and/or military status. All students shall be treated with dignity. No student shall be discouraged from selecting a major or preparing for a particular career based upon any of the factors listed above except where notice may be given of licensing and certification requirements in particular fields. Harassment in any form, sexual, verbal, physical or other will not be tolerated in the counseling offices. All Human Development classes will be taught in the same non-discriminatory manner. All counseling rooms and classrooms are fully accessible. Inquiries regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and related statutes and regulations should be directed to: Susan Stuntzner, Disability Support Services Coordinator, Stensland Hall, 1988 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420, telephone number 541.888.1578, email:  [email protected].


Testing Accommodations
Southwestern is committed to ensuring access for all individuals with disabilities and supports the intention of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA).

What are accommodations?
The purpose of accommodations is to provide candidates with full access to the test.  However, accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance or test completion.  Southwestern provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodations.

Southwestern test accommodation may include things such as:
A reader or scribe, for individuals with mobility or vision impairments who cannot read or write on their own

Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis.  Consequently, no single type of accommodation (e.g. extra time) would necessarily be appropriate for all individuals with disabilities. Simply demonstrating that an individual meets diagnostic criteria for a particular disorder does not mean that the person is automatically entitled to accommodations.

What accommodations are right for me?
Specific accommodations should be related to the functional limitations of the test taker.  For example, a functional limitation might be impaired mobility, due to loss of a hand, which prevents the test-taker from writing, typing, and recording answers. The appropriate accommodation might be to have the assistance of a scribe. It is essential that the documentation of the disability provide a clear explanation of the current functional limitation(s) and a rational for each requested accommodation.  You should work with your health care professional or other professionals who know you to determine which accommodations are appropriate for you.

All candidates who are requesting accommodations because of a disability must provide appropriate documentation of their condition and how it is expected to affect their ability to take a test under standard conditions.  This may include additional supporting documentation from the professional who diagnosed the condition.  Requests for testing accommodations must be submitted 5 working days prior to the date of the test.

For more information please call the Disability Services for Students at 541.888.7405. 


Complete the Placement Process

 The purpose of the placement process is to determine student's entry-level in math, reading and writing.  Multiple components are considered to place students initially into college courses.

  • High school completion date and courses completed in high school.
  • High school overall GPA and/or content area grades.
  • Standardized test results (those the student has already completed) such as ACT, SAT, Smarter Balanced, to name a few.  Applicants who have ACT/SAT scores should submit them to the Admissions Office in Dellwood Hall, Room 4.
  • Courses transferred from other colleges and universities.  Send all transcripts to Transcript Evaluator, 1988 Newmark Avenue, Coos Bay, OR 97420.
  • Placement testing, if required, is offered at all Southwestern sites.
  • Coos campus students: please see an intake advisor in the Educational Support Programs and Services (ESPS) Office located in Stensland Hall between 8:30a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Intake advisors are available at the Curry Campus (Brookings site) between 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Intake advising at the Gold Beach Center or the Port Orford office is by appointment (Curry First Stop at 541.813.1667 for more information).

American College Testing (ACT)

National Test, Freshman entrance requirement. Go to www.act.org to register online.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

National Test, Freshman entrance requirement. Go to www.collegeboard.com to register online.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

Assist students in choosing a major/career.

SII test are by appointment and approval of a career counselor only. Tests are administered at the ESPS office in Stensland Hall. Must meet with a career counselor to have results interpreted. 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI)

Assist students in determining their personality type(s).

MBTI test are by appointment and approval of career counselor only. Tests are administered at the ESPS office and takes about 35 minutes to complete.  Must meet with a career counselor to have results interpreted. 

Oregon Department of Agriculture Pesticide Exams (ODA)

Southwestern offers the computer version of the ODA exam. To schedule an appointment for computer testing please call 877.533.2900 or go to www.metrosignup.com/home.asp.

PearsonVue Testing

Southwestern offers PearsonVue Exams, to register for an exam please go to http://www.pearsonvue.com/

GED Testing through PersonVue

To register for GED testing, please go to http://ged.com