Southwestern College Ranked Among the Best in the State

CHULA VISTA – Southwestern College is launching the most extensive community college baccalaureate degree program in the county in partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University, and it has been ranked among the best community colleges in California – and the top community college in the region – by the website

Southwestern College is the home to more than 300 associate degree and certificate of achievement programs. In addition to its campuses in Chula Vista, Otay Mesa and National City, Southwestern College operates the Crown Cove Aquatic Center, a facility dedicated to boating education. 

And now Southwestern College is partnering with Point Loma Nazarene University to launch an extensive, on-site baccalaureate program with the university that offers students four bachelor degrees at the community college campus. Under the partnership, Southwestern College students who are accepted into Point Loma Nazarene University partnership programs can earn bachelor degrees in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Management & Relational Development, and Child & Adolescent Development without having to leave the Chula Vista district.

The baccalaureate programs in Nursing and in Criminal Justice launch in September. The Management & Relational Development program and the Child & Adolescent Development program launch next spring. All told, this is the most extensive baccalaureate program that Point Loma Nazarene University has signed to deliver with a community college. The four programs will be able to accommodate a total of up to 200 new students per semester.

“Southwestern College prides itself on its commitment to student success through a wide range of academic and workforce training programs, and this new partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University furthers the options available to our students,” said Southwestern College President Dr. Melinda Nish.

Dr. Joe Watkins, Point Loma Nazarene’s Vice President for External Relations, echoed that view. 

“As a local university committed to the San Diego region, PLNU is pleased to partner with Southwestern College,” Watkins said. “This robust partnership provides students in South Bay with a number of baccalaureate opportunities to further their education in the local community.”

Other community colleges in the region have also entered into partnerships with the university for the RN to BSN program, which enables community college students who earn an associate degree in registered nursing to earn their bachelor of science degree in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene within 15 months. But at present, Southwestern College is the only community college in San Diego County to offer multiple degrees.

Southwestern College students interested in any of the Point Loma Nazarene programs can contact Yvette Miranda in Room 545a, or visit the Point Loma Nazarene University website at The agreement calls for a hybrid format that includes classroom and online instruction from Point Loma Nazarene instructors, delivered on the Southwestern College campus. 

Southwestern College is the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County. More than 500,000 students have attended Southwestern since it opened its doors a half century ago. It has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges continuously since its opening in 1964, and it ranks No. 11 nationally in producing Latino residents with associate degrees. Of the more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide, Southwestern College consistently places in the top 100 in the number of associate degrees conferred.

The latest rankings are based on graduation rates, retention rates, tuition, and student success and was compiled using the most recent information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System – which is maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. Rankings are based on data from 2013-14, the most recent year for which information is available.

Southwestern College was ranked No. 22 out of 250 two-year colleges in the state, and was the top-ranked community college in San Diego County.