Patty Scott
Patty M. Scott Ed.D.


Photo of Dina Laskey
Dina Laskey
Executive Assistant to President & Board


Southwestern is committed to offering In-Person classes Fall 2021

Dear Southwestern students, faculty, staff and community members,

The past year has been a time of upheaval and change for each of us and for our college. As you know, in March 2020 Southwestern closed its campuses to all but essential operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most Oregon colleges at that time, we moved all classes online. We canceled all activities for our students living in college housing. We sent the majority of our employees home to work remotely.

As the year progressed, our college embraced learning in ways none of our instructors, frontline staff or administrative workers ever imagined. Instructors taught each other new technology skills. Many students had their first experiences working with advisors online and learning in online classrooms. With the guidance of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), Oregon Health Authority, Coos Health and Wellness, and Curry County Public Health, the college created safety plans and procedures.

re-opening plan is Dynamic and evolving

These safety practices helped us partially re-open health care, culinary and manufacturing labs for our professional technical students. Thanks to the selfless and dedicated efforts of students and staff, we have been able to provide housing and food services. Our athletes carefully returned to competition in winter 2021. Our college offered in-person classes over summer. 

All Oregon college employees are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. There is increasing availability and access to vaccines, which continues today. The college updated and will continue to update staff and students about locations to receive vaccinations. That brings us to Fall 2021.

Your Success is our top priority

The decision to return to fully in-person classes has been made with the health safety of students and staff as the first priority. Other factors include the availability of classroom space and the ability of cleaning staff to meet OSHA and health department guidelines. For athletes to compete fall term, we expect students and coaches to comply with local health, NWAC and NJCAA guidelines. For full housing use, Southwestern is committed to working with health officials to monitor the virus and provide quarantine space for students if needed.

I have been president at Southwestern since 2008. Since then our college has had great success. Our students lead the state in completion. This year we are opening the new Umpqua Hall Health & Science Technology Building with modern, high-tech labs. And, we are rounding the corner on overcoming our greatest challenge ever.

We want you to be healthy and successful

Please continue to wear face coverings. Wash your hands and get proper health care as needed. Adhere to social distancing and other health safety recommendations. And most importantly, the college encourages individuals to pursue safe and effective vaccination. 

Our college is here for you. Together with your commitment to combat COVID-19, we will have a successful year. I look forward to seeing you on our campuses.

Our Vision

Southwestern leads and inspires lifelong learning
(Adopted June 26, 2006)

Our Mission

Southwestern fulfills the educational and cultural needs of our diverse communities by providing equitable access to exceptional teaching and learning in a collaborative, engaging, sustainable environment, which supports innovation, lifelong enrichment, and contribution to global society.
(Adopted Dec. 7, 2020)

Guiding Principles

    • Intentional Excellence

Use objective information to guide our decisions and value all people with whom we interact.

    • Lifelong Learning

Cultivate the natural human need for individual growth and intellectual development.

    • Student Centeredness

Focus on helping students achieve their learning goals and supporting opportunities for individual success.

    • Collaborative Innovation

Build a community in the pursuit of new ideas, informed risk-taking, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

(Adopted Dec. 7, 2020)