Sorry, the 2019-2020 ecatalog will be released soon.
In the meantime, please download our PDF version
here: 2019-2020 PDF

Academic Advisor - Specializes in matters pertaining to students' educational programs, college policies, placement/assessment test interpretation, degree requirements, transferability, schedule planning, and graduation checks. Professional advisors are assigned to all new students at Southwestern; Faculty perform ongoing advising.

Add/Drop - A period of time in which students may change schedules by adding or dropping classes without penalty.

Administrative Withdrawal - A student who fails to attend classes during the first week of the term may, at the instructor’s request, be administratively withdrawn unless the student has made prior arrangements with the instructor. Students may also be withdrawn due to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or for non-payment of tuition and fees.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) - The AAS is a state approved associate's degree that is intended to prepare graduates for direct entry into the workforce. The AAS may also help to prepare students for career advancements, occupational licensure, or further study at the bachelor's degree.

Associate of General Studies (AGS) - The purpose of the degree in general studies is to provide the student an opportunity to pursue a broad general education during the two years at a community college. It is intended as a flexible program for the student who is not pursuing a specified curriculum in the lower division transfer or career technical area.

Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) - The AAOT is a degree program that community college students can follow to fulfill all their lower division general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree at four-year public Oregon universities. Frequently the AA/OT is accepted by private universities; make sure to check transfer guidelines.

Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer in Business (ASOT-BUS) - Any student who holds the ASOT-BUS degree that conforms to the following guidelines and who transfers to any public four-year institution in the Oregon, (University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Eastern Oregon University) will have met the lower division general education requirements of that institution’s bachelor's degree programs. Students transferring with this degree will have junior standing for registration purposes.

Associate of Science (AS) - The AS degree is designed for students who plan to transfer and complete a Bachelor of Science degree at a four-year institution. The degree requirements allow students more flexibility in course selection, allowing them to focus on their major requirements. NOTE: Completion of this degree does not guarantee that all lower division general education requirements have been met for a bachelor's degree (i.e., this is not a block transfer degree as is the AAOT ). In selecting courses for this degree, students are strongly encouraged to consult the specific transfer curriculum information with the University Center, the faculty advisor, and the institution to which they intend to transfer to determine if it is an appropriate choice.

Audit - Registering for a course, paying appropriate tuition and fees, receiving instruction and evaluation, but no grade is issued and no credit awarded.

Cancelled Class - A class that is removed from the schedule due to low enrollment or for other reasons.

Career Pathways Certificate of Completion - A Career Pathways Certificate of Completion is an Oregon community college credential comprised of 12-44 credits that are wholly contained in an approved AAS degree/option or an independent Certificate of Completion (45+ credits). The Career Pathway Certificate provides a state-sanctioned credential for a course of study that: 1) acknowledges a specific skill proficiency to help students qualify for a job or enhanced employment opportunities; 2) is centered on the needs of students by providing educational options; and 3) provides the flexibility to achieve specific competencies within a longer term career path. These certificates will lead to an AAS - or even beyond. For more information see

Certificate of Completion - Awarded for a specific curriculum of fewer than 90 credits and is approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Programs that are at least 45 credits are considered One-Year Certificates of Completion and may be eligible for federal financial aid (15 of the last 30 credits must be completed at Southwestern). Programs that are fewer than 45 credits are considered Less Than One Year Certificates of Completion. These programs are state approved but may not be eligible for federal financial aid (9 of the last 24 credits must be completed at Southwestern).

Class Fee - In addition to tuition, fees cover materials, services, insurance, facility use, and other costs. Current fees are listed in each term’s Schedule of Classes.

Cooperative Work Experience - Instructional program designed for students to apply skills and concepts developed in the classroom to actual job situations. Cooperative work experience is available for all programs at the College with instructor consent.

Corequisite - A second, related course in which a student must be simultaneously enrolled in addition to the primary course.

Counselors - Individuals professionally trained to address personal issues, resolve academic anxieties, assist students in choosing career fields and majors, and problem-solve other academic difficulties. If students are on restricted academic or financial aid status, counselors work to develop individual success plans that address the specific issues inhibiting academic success.

Credit Hours - Approximate number of hours in class each week (e.g., 3 credit hours = 3 lecture hours per week); determines tuition.

Credit Load - Number of credits taken each term. Students may not take more than 18 credit hours per term without advisor or counselor consent.

Career Technical Education (CTE) - Also known as vocational education, provides academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.

Cultural Literacy - A course taken to meet the Cultural Literacy requirement which can also be used to satisfy other degree requirements. The credits for such courses will only be counted once toward the 90 credits required to complete the degree.

Curriculum - Organized program of study arranged to provide integrated cultural or professional education.

Developmental (DEV) - Courses numbered below 100 that build academic skills for college-level work; registration in these courses is based on student placement test scores. 

Distribution Requirements - Three areas of study required for an associate's degree: Arts and Letters (Humanities), Social Science and Math/Science.

Drop Date - The last date on which a student may drop a class and receive a refund.

Elective - A course that may be selected from a list of alternatives in order to fulfill requirements.

Full-time Student - Enrollment in 12 or more credit hours per term.

Hybrid - Course sections that have some online time replacing some face-to-face instruction time using our eLearning system. The face-to-face classroom lecture time will be posted in myLakerLink and the course section may be marked HB.

Instructor Consent - Written permission from the course instructor, granted prior to enrollment in a course.

LC - Low cost course sections use OER textbooks and/or other course materials that have a minimal cost.

Lower Division Courses (LDC) - Courses typically numbered between 100 and 299.

Major - Primary field of study (e.g., Business, Culinary Arts); all students seeking a degree or certificate must declare a major.

NC - No cost course sections use OER textbooks and/or other course materials that cost $0.

OER - Open education resources are free or low-cost textbooks and course materials in digital or printed format.

Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) - The OTM allows for institutional recognition of the completion of one-year (full-time equivalent) of general education coursework. Once awarded, the OTM is recognized by all of the public institutions of post-secondary education in the state.

Part-time student - Enrollment in less than 12 credit hours per term.

Payment Plan - Contract to pay one-third of total charges at time of registration, the balance payable in three equal installments during the term. A finance charge is assessed for this service.

Petition - Request for exception to accepted practice or for special consideration. The Financial Aid Office accepts petitions for exception to satisfactory academic progress. The Student First Stop Coordinator accepts petitions for special consideration relative to tuition and related charges. Exceptions to program requirements are heard by the Academic Standards Committee. See the Student First Stop Center for information on the appropriate office to petition.

Placement Process - Students who will be full-time, pursuing a degree or certificate program or are receiving financial aid must have completed the placement process for reading, writing, and math before they may register.  See ESPS for individual placement.

Prerequisite - Course or other educational requirement that must be completed prior to another course or before proceeding to more advanced study. Instructor consent may override a prerequisite requirement.

Quarter - Another word for “term.” There are four quarters each year. Summer term is eight weeks and fall, winter, and spring terms are eleven weeks each.

Reading and Conference (R & C) - Coursework completed outside the classroom through discussions with the instructor.

Registered - Indicates student has completed registration through myLakerLink or by a registration form turned into the Student First Stop Center.

Schedule of Classes - Publication listing courses offered each term, published prior to each quarter. The schedule is mailed to each household in Coos County and is available at most offices on campus; the pamphlet also lists important dates, deadlines, and current figures for tuition, fees, and other charges.  Class schedules are also available on myLakerLink.

Sequence - Set of related courses that consists of two or three successive terms of a course (e.g., BI 231, 232, 233, etc.).

Staff - Listed in the Schedule of Classes as an indicator that instructor’s name was not available at press time.

Syllabus - Given to students the first day of class to provide detailed information about the course requirements. The syllabus may include detailed information about a course. It should include the grading system, attendance policies, as well as test and assignment due dates.

TBA/TBS - An abbreviation for “to be announced” and “to be scheduled.” This indicates that a course is available but the specific time or place has not been determined at press time.

Term - See Quarter.

Transcript - Official record of all courses taken; a copy may be obtained from the Student First Stop Center or ordered via myLakerLink.

Training Opportunities - Offered by Southwestern Oregon Community College to prepare students for further career options. These training opportunities are not available for financial aid funding, nor are they approved as degree or certificate programs by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Withdraw(al) - The official process of stopping attendance in a class after the drop date. Student receives “W” on the transcript; W grades do not count toward grade point average.  It is the student's responsibility to check for whether W grades affect using financial aid, living in student housing, or participating in intercollegiate athletics.