Southwestern Ranked #1 Online College in Oregon

Coos Bay, OR – ranks Southwestern Oregon Community College as the top Oregon college that offers distance education.

In a 2016 study, Southwestern Oregon Community College ranked as the No. 1 college out of 42 schools in Oregon that offer online classes or degree programs. The analysis was conducted by, a website that provides reliable information about top online colleges and degree programs by featuring school rankings, program guides and career outlooks.

Southwestern offers online coursework in a wide range of subjects, such as health care, business and anthropology. Out of all the colleges in Oregon that provide online education, Southwestern ranked second for the number of online programs it offers. The college also ranked ninth for the percent of its student body participating in online education, with more than 55% of students enrolled in an online class. uses publicly available data and a custom methodology to rank over 2,500 different schools, on a variety of different criteria. The “Top Colleges Tool” is totally ad free, and is a purely editorial resource to help users find a school that matches what they’re looking for. To generate the ranking, sourced data from the National Center for Education Statistics to evaluate schools on multiple criteria. These include the number of online programs the school offers, the percentage of students studying online, the average cost of in-state and out-of-state tuition, and student services, among others.

Visit to learn more about the methodology and see the ranking of Oregon schools. Visit to learn more about Southwestern’s online programs.

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern's geology lecture series continues with Dr. John Vidale (University of Washington; Pacific Northwest Seismic Network) on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm presenting "A Tale of Three Pacific Northwest Temblors: One Big, One Deep and One Direct Hit".  Dr. Vidale comes to Coos Bay as an Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology/Seismological Society of America distinguished lecturer to give the 12th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture.

Sudden mayhem. Tremendous impact. Unpredictable disruption. Is it any wonder earthquakes reserve a dark corner in our nightmares? The Pacific Northwest is vulnerable to several varieties of shakes: giant coastal quakes, isolated, miles-deep pops, and rips that could tear Seattle’s downtown apart. The University of Washington’s M9 Project, led by John Vidale, is making the repercussions of each type of quake clearer—and both less and more frightening.  He doesn’t want to scare people; rather Vidale wants people to be as prepared as possible for when disaster strikes. He not only studies the kinds of earthquakes we can expect in our region, but applies that knowledge so that emergency managers, city planners, engineers, and others can be more resilient in the face of extreme shaking.  Vidale will share the latest research and offer insights on implementing early warning technologies in the Pacific Northwest, so we can gain a few seconds or even minutes before suffering the strongest shaking.

Dr. John Vidale is a Professor at the University of Washington, Director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, and the Washington State Seismologist. He completed his undergraduate studies at Yale University and earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Before finally coming to Seattle and the University of Washington in 2006, Vidale worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the US Geological Survey, and taught for a decade at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While at UCLA, he was Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. His honors include the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Medal (1994) and being named American Geophysical Union's Gutenberg lecturer in 2009. The College of the Environment at the University of Washington named Vidale the 2011 Researcher of the Year. Vidale’s research focuses on earthquakes, volcanoes, Earth structure, and the hazards of strong shaking. Professor Vidale is currently working on monitoring the earthquakes and volcanoes in Oregon and Washington, studying strange slow earthquakes and landsliding in earthquakes.
All geology talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.  For those not able to attend in person, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's website at  

Additional talks scheduled in the series this year include:  Dr. Scott Burns (Portland State) "Terroir of the Wine Country of Southern Oregon - Relationship Between Soils, Geology, Climate and Wine" on Friday, March 10; Dr. Mark Tveskov (Southern Oregon University) discussing “The Archaeology of the Rogue River War” on Saturday, April 15; concluding with Dr. Carolyn Porco (UC Berkley) with “Cassini to Saturn:  The Journey and the Legacy” on Saturday, May 20.

Continuing sponsors of the lecture series include the Southwestern Foundation, DB Western and the College.  This lecture is sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and Seismological Society of America’s Distinguished Lectures Series. For over a decade, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake research.

For additional information please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.



Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College is excited to announce that a new non-credit certificate program in Complementary Alternative Medicine has been developed with courses beginning Winter Term, January 2, 2017. This new certificate can be completed in three terms: Winter, Spring and Fall Terms 2017.

The new certificate is designed for people already working as medical professionals as well as the general public who are interested in achieving optimum health and living a healthier life. Instructor, Sarah L. Hicks explains that “this certificate is designed to encourage students to develop a relationship to key elements of wellness and vitality through the study of ancient techniques with a modern approach. It will also create a method for clinicians to create a new dialogue with patients as an alternative to the current pharmaceutical practice.”

Courses include:
Principles of Eastern Medicine - New Content!
Covers basic concepts of Yoga and Ayurveda, which translates into “Wisdom of Vitality” or “Knowledge of Longevity.” This course is designed to educate students on a medical model that is based on lifestyle modifications rather than our present models of symptom management through medication and surgery. You will learn basic self-assessment tools to establish an understanding of your body type or constitution. You will gain awareness of the use of diet, breath/Pranayama, posture/Asana and mindfulness/Meditation as tools to enhance your well-being and increase vitality.

Meditation & Mindfulness - New Content!
Meditation is an antidote to stress. It has been used in cultures around the world for thousands of years to help people thrive. This class will help you understand the science behind meditation and it’s impact on the body. It will cover different methods of mindfulness and meditation as well as core elements to maintaining a regular practice. A regular practice in meditation and mindfulness is proven to decrease stress, strengthen immunity, improve quality of sleep and help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Aging With Grace
Blending the ancient science of Yoga and Ayurveda with the most recent developments in science, Aging With Grace develops insight into the benefits of maturity, while highlighting different techniques to enhance health and vitality. We will explore key issues such as mental, emotional and physical health, covering the essential elements of aging and the brain, safe posture in movement and balance, osteoporosis concerns, and yoga therapy for stronger bones and joints.
Healthy Bones & Movement
We will explore the anatomy of the joints, common injuries and exercises to gain strength, balance and flexibility.  Each student will be given the opportunity to create their own program made specifically for their problem areas to help them with their activities of daily living. Yoga Instructors and Massage Therapists will gain awareness of techniques they can share with their clients to help them with pain and restricted range of motion. This class will provide 12 contact hours of CEU’s for Massage Therapists.    

Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine
Explore basic concepts in Chinese Medicine, highlighting the core principles used in acupuncture and acupressure. Lessons designed for the curious seeking to advance their understanding of wellness techniques as well as clinicians, massage therapist, physical therapist and nurses. It will provide a deeper look into the Yin/Yang polarity, the 14 Energy Meridians and their vital role in wellness and vitality, as well as hands on techniques for mobilizing Chi/Qi in the body. Using lecture as well hands-on practicum, this course will prepare the student with techniques used in wellness routines for relief from ailment or for enhancement of general vitality for self and others.

Yoga for Meditation
The ancient science of yoga has been used around the world for thousands of years to help people reduce stress, relieve pain and increase quality of life. This experiential course will allow the student to develop a deeper meditation practice with proven tools and techniques of yoga therapy. Each student will learn how to use the body as a guide into deeper relaxation of the mind. We will focus on warm-ups that gently energize the body while interiorizing the mind, asanas/postures with an inward focus and affirmations, finishing the class with a guided meditation.

Clinical Applications
This course will finalize the Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) Certificate program. Application of CAM will enable students to develop tools for the successful implementation of the CAM courses into practice. We will cover the scope of practice, ethics and clinical approach of CAM in concert with our current western medical model.  This course will aim to answer all questions and assist in the creation of a integrated business model using the information gained in the CAM program.


Photo of Instructor

INSTRUCTOR: SARAH L. HICKS, LMT, RYT, CMT has been practicing Medical Massage, Shiatsu, Sports Medicine, Injury Recovery, Pain Management and Yoga Therapy for over 10 years in Hawaii and now the Oregon Coast.

For more information please contact Brenda Rogers in the Community Education and Workforce Development office at 541-888-7328 or email

Get a Jump Start on Winter Term!

Southwestern will be open December 28 & 29, 2016 to help students prepare for Winter Term.

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Coos and Curry campuses will be open regular hours (Coos campus: 8 am to 5 pm; Curry campus: 8:30 am to 5 pm) Wednesday and Thursday, December 28 and 29, 2016. Services available will include registration, financial aid, academic advising, placement testing and the bookstore.

Both campuses will be closed December 19 – 27 and 30, 2016. The Gold Beach and Port Orford Centers will be closed December 19 – 30, 2016.

Plan now to stop in and make sure you’re ready for Winter Term! Winter Term classes begin on Monday, January 2, 2017.

Call the Student First Stop Center for more information at 541-888-7352. Contact the Curry campus at 541-813-1667.