Jul 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



(901) 333-5924

Applying for Graduation

A student planning to graduate should follow these steps:

  1. Meet with their academic advisor.
  2. Check for 2.0 or higher GPA on all institutional college level courses.
  3. Complete online Application for Graduation.
  4. Schedule missing course requirements to be completed during the perceived final semester.
  5. Schedule and complete any required graduate exit exam(s).
Submit the Intent to Graduate Application by: For the degree to be posted at the end of:
July 1 Summer
November 1 Fall
April 1 Spring

Additional Degrees and Certificates

A student may earn one Associate of Arts degree or one Associate of Science degree. A student may earn multiple Associate of Applied Science degrees and Technical certificates. Students seeking to earn more than one degree must complete all of the requirements for the second degree, and earn a minimum of 16 additional credits beyond the requirements of the first degree. Students seeking to earn more than one technical certificate must meet all requirements for each certificate.

A student seeking to earn more than one concentration in a major must meet all requirements for the second and each subsequent concentration. A minimum of 12 additional credits beyond the requirements of the first concentration must be completed. Students who receive a second concentration within a single major will not be issued an additional diploma; however, the concentration areas will be posted on the transcript.

Graduation Catalog Limitations

Students may graduate under any catalog in effect during their enrollment at the College as long as it is not more than five (5) years old. Variations in catalog program requirements result from program upgrades and enhancements as well as accreditation standards. In most cases, for employment and continuing education purposes, it is to the student’s benefit to graduate according to the latest program requirements.

Posting Degree and Certificate Requirements

In order to award, both degree and certificate seeking students must:

  • Have a cumulative institutional GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be free of debt to the College
  • Be approved by the faculty in the area offering the selected degree/certificate
  • Have an Application for Graduation form on file with the Admissions and Records Office

Additional requirements

Associate Degree

  • Be admitted to degree status at the College by fulfilling all admission requirements.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 college-level credits with no more than three-fourths (3/4) transfer credit.
  • Satisfy all requirements of an A.S. or A.A. or A.A.S. degree as listed in the catalog.
  • Take the required graduation examination and authorize the release of scores to the College.
  • Satisfy academic program requirements for GPA in the major.

Technical and Academic Certificates

  • Be admitted to either degree or non-degree status at the College by fulfilling all requirements.
  • Satisfy all requirements specified in the College catalog for the particular Technical and Academic Certificates.

Degrees, Certificates and the Diploma

The actual degree or certificate earned will be posted to the student’s transcript following the term in which the student completes all procedures and requirements for graduation as stated above. Diplomas will be available for pickup after the semester in which the degree was completed. Notification of dates and times for diploma pickup will be emailed to graduates via their Southwest email accounts. The diplomas of honor students will be available later if the academic honor status is changed (example: student moves from magna cum laude to summa cum laude status or vice versa). Students have one year from the date of commencement exercises to notify the Admissions and Records Office of any error on the diploma. After the one-year period, the diploma may be reordered for a fee. All diplomas will be available for one year. After one year, diplomas will have to be reordered.

Withholding of Degree or Certificate

For graduation, students’ financial and academic records must be cleared of all encumbrances. This includes payment of outstanding debts to the College, earning the appropriate number of credit hours, completing specific courses required for the degree/certificate and maintaining at least a 2.0 college level GPA. If for any justifiable reason, students who have filed Applications for Graduation are found to be missing any of these requirements, the diploma will not be issued nor will the degree be posted to the student’s transcript.

Graduation Ceremony

The College holds one commencement exercise each academic year after the spring semester.

Graduation with Academic Honors

Graduation with academic honors is reserved for students who have completed associate degree requirements. Students who have attained a 3.25 GPA wear gold tassels during the graduation ceremony. Students who have been inducted into an honor society may choose to wear special stoles engraved with the society’s Greek symbols. Graduation honors for the ceremony are determined by using college level grade point average (GPA) for coursework through the fall semester.

Eligibility for Participation in the Graduation Ceremony

To be eligible for participation in the graduation ceremony, each student must meet the following requirements:

  • Have filed an Application for Graduation with the Admissions and Records Office (See section “Applying for Graduation” for application deadlines).
  • Have completed all courses needed for the academic program or be currently enrolled in the final courses needed to complete the academic program (exception: PTA candidates).
  • Have a minimum 2.0 institutional college level GPA.
  • Have completed the Graduate Exit Exam.
  • Have completed the College’s graduate survey.
  • Have submitted written authorization from department chair permitting participation in the ceremony if a final Allied Health or Nursing course is failed.

Participation in the ceremony does not guarantee the awarding of the degree or diploma. If the student should fail one of the last courses needed to meet the requirements, the degree will not be posted nor will a diploma be issued.

Alumni Association

(901) 333-4997

The connection to the College does not end at graduation or when your classes end. By becoming a member of the Southwest Alumni Association, students can be a driving force in ensuring that their alma mater continues to help shape lives.

Southwest Alumni Association reaches, connects, and celebrates alumni of the College, builds lifelong relationships, and supports Southwest’s mission. Composed of fellow graduates and students, the Association provides its members with a valuable career network. It also offers fun social events where alumni can meet others who enjoy the same things they do. Finally, the Association provides a direct and positive way to give back to their alma mater through student recruitment and fund-raising for scholarships.

All graduates and former or current students are eligible for membership in the Southwest Alumni Association  for only $12 per year and will receive The Cornerstone Online, an electronic newsletter, that keeps them current on what is happening at the College and with fellow students, and have an opportunity to be showcased in that publication as well as the college’s magazine Southwest Now.  Alumni also receive invitations to Association-only events and other college events. They also have an opportunity to network with other Alumni on LinkedIN. Join today and continue to support Southwest.