Southwestern Oregon Community College 2023-2024


Welcome to Southwestern!

At Southwestern Oregon Community College, we are extremely happy that Southwestern is your choice for education. We value the trust you've put in us.

College challenges people to improve their lives and that's what our faculty and staff strive to do every single day on our Coos and Curry campuses. We make sure no matter what your goals are, you are successful and you continue to learn throughout your life.

Patty M. Scott, Ed.D.


Southwestern Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Southwestern Oregon Community College 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 December 7, 2020)

Guiding Principles

  • Intentional Excellence
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Student Centeredness
  • Collaborative Innovation

(Adopted December 7, 2020)

Vision Statement

Southwestern leads and inspires lifelong learning.

 (Adopted June 26, 2006)

Southwestern History

Southwestern Oregon Community College is located within two miles of the Pacific Ocean in an area of scenic beauty and mild climate.

The 153-acre institution lies completely within the city of Coos Bay and is bordered on the north and east by the city of North Bend.

The College was formed in a tax district election in May 1961. It included Coos and western Douglas counties. On July 1, 1995, Curry County joined the College district. The district now encompasses 3,648 square miles with a population of more than 92,000. The College is the only public, post-secondary institution in the region.

Enrollment has grown from 266 students in 1961 to nearly 8,000 students annually. Staff has grown from 15 to more than 50 full-time faculty and from 11 to over 180 part-time instructors in undergraduate and community education. Cultural and athletic events at the College attract over 20,000 men, women, and children each year.

During the early years, Southwestern held classes in surplus U.S. Naval facilities and in Coos Bay and North Bend school district buildings. Today’s main campus is located on the shore of Upper Empire Lake in a natural tract of coastal pine.

Permanent campus construction began in 1963. A majority of the campus was built between 1965 and 1969. A second phase of construction, which began in 1979, provided new and remodeled shops and laboratories, and expanded facilities for several programs. The expansion included a student center with a cafeteria, student activity space, student government offices, and meeting rooms for school and community activities.

The College entered a new building phase in 1994 with the construction of a new student services and general classroom building. This was followed immediately by a comprehensive Student First Stop Center, a Family Center, student housing, a new baseball field, an indoor athletic practice facility and a state-of-the-art performing arts and conference center.

The residents of Curry County voted to annex themselves to the district in 1995; the College area nearly doubled in size, extending to the California border. A full range of college services are now offered in Curry County.

As a partner in the South Coast’s economic development, Southwestern offers students and industrial partners education that meets their needs. Whether students enroll for a short course, a two-year transfer, or a two-year associate's degree, they are preparing for a rewarding future.


Southwestern Oregon Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond, Washington 98052
(425) 558-4224

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education

Copies of the College’s accreditation, self-study reports, approvals, and certifications are available for review by contacting the Accreditation Liaison Officer or requesting to review copies of reports which have been made available at the Library (not all reports are available at the Library at this time), located in Tioga Hall or posted on the Institutional Report Archives webpage. NWCCU accreditation status is granted as an institution; any program specialized accreditation or approvals are granted by other agencies.

Southwestern Program Accreditation

Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) Culinary and Baking & Pastry Programs 

The Culinary Arts and the Baking & Pastry Programs are accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This accreditation is the highest level available for initial accreditation by the ACF – the premier professional chefs’ organization in North America, focusing its efforts on offering education, apprenticeship and industry certification. With the accreditation, OCCI’s graduates will automatically gain the title of certified culinarian upon graduation, along with their associate’s degrees.

Registered Nursing Education Program 

The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) is the state agency responsible for overseeing the standards for approval of nursing programs in Oregon. Southwestern is an OSBN approved Registered Nursing Education Program. The Oregon State Board of Nursing monitors continuing compliance with the Standards for Approval. The standards address faculty approval, curriculum approval, and student standards and records as well as several other program specific approvals.

Paramedicine Program Accreditation

The State of Oregon Office of Workforce Development, in partnership with the State’s Emergency Medical Services Office, reviews programs every five years for each college offering Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training. The program approval encompasses all aspects of a training program, including administrative support, curriculum, facilities, funding, instructor credentials, and program management.

Southwestern began offering the two-year paramedic degree in fall 2008. The first on-site visit for program approval took place on May 28 and 29, 2009. To date, the program continues to meet program accreditation expectations.