Southwestern College to Expand In-Person Classes Fall 2021, Require Vaccinations 

Graphic that says "COVID-19 Update. Fall 2021 Semester."

Southwestern College will offer an expanded number of face-to-face classes this fall 2021 semester and will require all students, employees and visitors who are accessing a Southwestern College campus or facility to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, contingent on FDA approval of a vaccine.

While the fall 2021 class schedule is still being finalized, students may see 20 to 30 percent of courses return with face-to-face instruction to a Southwestern College campus, including the Chula Vista campus and the Higher Education Centers in National City, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro. 

The finalized list of in-person classes will be available when the fall 2021 class schedule is published in early June.

Southwestern College will implement health and safety protocols, including sanitizing, requiring face coverings and updating HVAC filtration systems, that will allow the in-person classes to resume at full capacity.  

Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Mark Sanchez said reopening a percentage of classes and student services is key to helping meet students’ educational goals and serve students who have struggled with virtual learning.

“Our reopening efforts will always prioritize student health and the collective health of everyone who comes onto one of our campuses,” Dr. Sanchez said. “Requiring vaccines and implementing health and safety protocols will allow us to welcome back students in a way that’s safe and lets them return to our campuses so they can continue their educational journeys and achieve their dreams.”

Approximately 50 percent of student services will return to all college facilities for face-to-face services by appointment only. An outdoor study space will also be created at the Chula Vista campus where students will be able to access power and Wi-Fi. Southwestern College will develop an easy-to-use appointment system to access in-person services and facilities like the outdoor study space.

Southwestern College will implement welcome check-in areas on all of its campuses to conduct vaccine verifications and COVID-19 screenings. Additional staff will be hired to help conduct screenings, sanitization and support Southwestern College’s reopening efforts.

Students and employees who cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine for health, religious or other exemptions may receive an exception from the vaccination requirement but will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test. Southwestern College’s health services department will lead COVID-19 testing efforts at Southwestern College and will be able to provide rapid, self-tests for the campus community.

A Reopening Town Hall is planned for Tuesday, May 18 at 4 p.m. Registration is required. Register here for the town hall. Questions can be submitted in advance.

Southwestern College’s reopening efforts will be updated on the SWC Returns webpage, including information about specific fall classes when it becomes available, a recording of the Reopening Town Hall and a frequently asked questions section.