3.4.9 Academic Support Services

The institution provides appropriate academic support services.


JUDGMENT: Compliant


Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) provides appropriate academic support services for its faculty and students.  As a public, open admissions college, SWTJC enrolls a diverse student population with varying academic levels of preparation.  The College’s Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff strive to fulfill the College mission by supporting students in the learning process through academic support services designed to ensure that students are successful in achieving their educational goals.  Services are available to all students regardless of location, teaching modality, and schedule.  Information regarding these services is available to students and faculty on the SWTJC website, catalog, student services addendum to the course syllabus, and the Student Handbook.  Academic support services that are available include the following:

Admissions and Records/Welcome Center

Located at the entrance of the Uvalde campus in the Rodolfo and Dolores Flores Student Services Building, the Admissions and Registrar’s/Welcome Center provides multiple support services to students.  Typically the first point of contact for new students, this office plays a key role in assisting students as they navigate College processes.  The primary services include providing information to potential and current students regarding the admissions process, immunization requirements, financial aid information, testing information, registration, Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) information, transcript evaluation, transcript requests, enrollment verifications, degree audits, graduation verification, parking decals, and student ID cards.  Staff at the Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Crystal City, Pearsall, Hondo, and Medina Valley sites are trained to assist students with the admissions process and other services available at the main campus.  These services are accessible through various modes: visiting the Student Services Building, via email, via telephone, and by visiting the Admissions and Registrar’s website.

Academic/Technical Advising

Advising services offers a range of services to assist SWTJC Students with academic advising including career exploration/planning, registration, degree planning, transfer assistance and guidance to maintain/improve acceptable academic standing.  In addition, SWTJC is a host college of the Virtual College of Texas (VCT) which is provided to students as an option to meet degree plan requirements.  Resources available to students include student planning, an active learning tool engaging students to identify academic goals, develop a degree plan and conduct assessment of progress each semester.  Academic advisors and faculty members assist students through this process, promoting learning and helping students develop a path toward self-sufficiency.  To assure quality advising, advisor training is available each semester to supplement the advising hand book that is provided to each advisor at all campuses.  In addition advisors work with students who are on scholastic probation and suspension.  The advisors, in collaboration with other college departments, identify strategies to assist students in improving their academic status.  These strategies are in alignment with the institution’s strategic plans and mission.  Staff are fully trained to provide these services at their locations (Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Crystal City Instructional Facility, Hondo South Texas Regional Training Center, Pearsall Instructional Facility, and Medina Valley Higher Learning Center).  These services are available through various modes: face-to-face advising, scheduling advising days at other locations, via email, via telephone and by visiting the advising web site.


Career and Transfer services available for students include resume writing skills, skills inventory assessments, career coach assessment, transfer application assistance, articulation agreement information, and university tour opportunities.  Transfer plan information as well as career pathways can be found on our advising website.  SWTJC hosts a transfer day each fall and spring semester to support students’ career track.  Workshops are conducted on the main campus and are scheduled at each of our off campus sites as requested.  Employment opportunities are provided through Career Coach and/or our home page under “About SWTJC” tab and under “Employment”. 


Various circumstances can inhibit academic performance. Counselors are professionals who care about the personal and academic well-being of students. Counselors assist SWTJC students at all locations requiring short term services.  Counseling services are available face-to-face, by telephone, and email.  Counselors travel to Hondo, Medina Valley and Pearsall to provide services to students.  Uvalde, Eagle Pass, Del Rio and Crystal City have counselors on site that provide services to students.  When appropriate, counselors will refer the student to community or private resources. They also can help students become academically successful by referrals to various college resources such as time management, stress management, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), SAVE Act training, developing effective study habits, enhancing communication skills, minimizing test anxiety, and exploring opportunities for the evolution of critical and independent thinking. The counselor's role is to assist students in developing self-awareness and self-satisfaction as well as in taking individual responsibility for personal growth and development. 

Disability Services

Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) provides Disability Support Services (DSS) for students to comply with all pertinent legislation including section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. In collaboration with SWTJC faculty and staff, SWTJC’s 504 coordinator and the disability services coordinator ensure appropriate accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Accommodations are identified for each student on an individual basis for each semester and are available to students enrolled in face-to-face classes, distance education classes, and online classes. Accommodations include but are not limited to specialized test taking services, reader/scribe services, interpreter services, note taking services, and assistive equipment and technologies. Detailed procedures including registering with DSS, documentation, and resources are available for students, faculty, and staff in the Handbook for Students with Disabilities.

Disability Support Services are available to students at all SWTJC campuses and sites via trained staff. The 504 coordinator and disability services coordinator provide resources and training for staff should additional support be necessary.

Financial Aid 

The Financial Aid Office serves as a comprehensive, integral component of a college-wide collaborative recruitment and retention process focused on student success.  Financial assistance consists of various types of aid including federal and state grants, loans, and scholarships.  Financial Aid staff conducts FAFSA Nights throughout the College’s service area to assist potential and current students with completing and submitting the FAFSA Application. In addition, the Financial Aid Office, Welcome Center, the Student Success Center, the Crystal City Instructional Facility, the Pearsall Instructional Facility, the Hondo South Texas Regional Training Center, and the Medina Valley Higher Learning Center have computer stations that students can use to complete the FAFSA.   
Providing students with the strategies to make sound decisions regarding Student Loan Debt, the Financial Aid Advisors conduct a Financial Aid Literacy class to all borrowers.  The 45 minute workshop consists of a presentation, Loan Estimator Worksheet, Student Loan Literacy Survey, and Q&A session and are presented to all borrowers.  All borrowers are required to attend a class once a year. 

Outreach Coordinators provide financial aid services at the Pearsall Instructional Facilities (Pearsall) and South Texas Regional Training Center (Hondo) once a week.  In addition, an on-site Student Success Coordinator is available at the Crystal City Instructional Facility and the Medina Valley Higher Learning Facility.  The Outreach Coordinators and Student Success Coordinator are trained to provide financial aid services and are supported by the main campus financial aid office staff.  Students unable to come to a campus or a center may contact the Financial Aid Office by phone or e-mail.  Students may access their financial aid information by visiting the Web Advisor using the Southwest Texas Junior College website.  After-hour appointments are available for students needing financial aid assistance.

Student Employment

A wide variety of campus jobs are available for students attending Southwest Texas Junior College.  While most of these positions require that students demonstrate financial need based on federal standards, some positions are available for students who may have less demonstrable need, but who wish to work to help with college expenses.  In addition to assisting students financially, these positions provide valuable work experience.  Student employment is available at all Southwest Texas Junior College sites.


The Southwest Texas Junior College Library provides print and electronic resources, with online resources accessible remotely for all students. To keep up with technological trends and reaching the growing number of users who use a mobile device, the library provides mobile access to the online catalog, the ability to text or chat with a librarian (Chat is Online), LibGuides, and access to select databases. Additional library services include library instruction, interlibrary loan, computer stations, copy machines, and a variety of study spaces. The library maintains a website and proxy server that provide 24/7 access to the catalog, electronic resources, and most library services. These resources and services are available to all students, regardless of location. The Southwest Texas Junior College/Sul Ross- Rio Grande College Yearly Statistics for FY13 and FY14 details the library services and collections usage. Core Requirement 2.9 and Comprehensive Standards 3.8.1, 3.8.2, and 3.8.3 describe these library services extensively.

New Student Orientation (ORIE 0100)

New Student Orientation (ORIE 0100) is intended to familiarize new SWTJC students with the campus and the resources available to them. Students acquire an individual understanding of SWTJC and its services through seminars, activities, campus tours, and assignments. A series of projects are assigned to students to acquaint them with SWTJC resources that enhance personal development, academic success, and engagement with the campus community. ORIE 0100 is also presented at the Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Crystal City, Hondo, and Pearsall sites.

Student Activities

Student Activities coordinates a wide variety of educational experiences with the direct goal of enhancing leadership skills, refining communication and collaboration skills, and developing problem-solving skills. Student Activities programs meet students’ individual needs and interests, as well as enhance their academic experiences. Events and activities include speakers, cultural arts, seminars, leadership training, and clubs and organizations. A comprehensive list of activities and events is available on the Student Life website. Activities are also held at the Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Crystal City campuses, as well as, at the Hondo and Pearsall facilities.

Student Organizations fulfill a variety of student interests. The Registered Student Organization Handbook provides guidelines for club and organization members and advisors. Clubs and organizations include Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa (3 chapters), intramural and extramural sports clubs (basketball, volleyball, and cross country), Student Ambassadors, and various technical and academic interest clubs.


SWTJC Outreach department provides services to the community through visits to local and area schools, organizations, businesses and community events to provide admissions and financial aid assistance, testing, and academic advising and to conduct campus tours.  SWTJC also provides educational information and the opportunity to earn a two year degree at the Dolph Briscoe Prison Unit.  Outreach staff collaborates with college departments to host special events and provide one-on-one services and support to ensure student success.  

SWTJC Outreach department works closely with local high schools to coordinate SWTJC’s dual credit program.  We service over 1,500 students collaboratively each fall and spring semester though dual credit partnership agreements with 21 districts in our 11- county service area. Dual credit parent meetings are held during the spring semester and dual credit orientations are held during the fall and spring semesters.  In addition, SWTJC hosts a counselor’s workshop during the fall and spring semester to provide updates for the current and upcoming year.  Throughout the semesters, Outreach coordinators work with high school counselors, instructors and dual credit students to identify needs and implement strategies to increase student success.  The emphasis of the dual credit program is to help students transition successfully from high school to college.  

Outreach Staff provides services at three off campus facilities and a Prison Unit.  Sites are as follows:

Medina Valley Higher Learning Center

The Medina Valley Higher Learning Center, established in spring 2015, serves approximately 185 students each academic year. The center has one full-time student success coordinator, and one part-time employee to support video conference classes.

The coordinator is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide academic advising and placement testing to all prospective and current students. The advisor also serves as liaison for:

* ADA compliance
* Local Veterans Affairs
* Financial Aid advising

A registration team (financial aid, admissions, counseling/advising and business office personnel) travels from the main campus (Uvalde) to the Medina Valley site prior to each semester to supplement access to those services. In addition, SWTJC provides proctoring for mid-term and final exams for online courses at this location.

Testing for college admission, is provided each semester as needed. Administration of mid-term and final exams for online courses is scheduled accordingly each semester.

Students have online access to resources such as the Writing Center, Library, and Financial Aid using the SWTJC web-page for the Medina Valley location.

Hondo South Texas Regional Training Center

The South Texas Regional Training Center, established in Fall 2011, is an SWTJC Outreach Center serving approximately 50 students per academic year in Hondo. The center has one full-time receptionist who provides student support from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

An outreach coordinator travels to Hondo every Tuesday and is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide academic advising to all prospective and current students. The advisor also serves as liaison for:

* ADA compliance
* Local Veterans Affairs
* Financial Aid advising

Testing for college admission, is provided each semester as needed. Administration of mid-term and final exams for online courses is scheduled accordingly each semester.

A registration team (financial aid, admissions, counseling/advising and business office personnel) travels from the main campus (Uvalde) to the Hondo site prior to each semester to supplement access to those services.

Students have online access to resources such as the Writing Center, Library, and Financial Aid using the SWTJC web-page for the Hondo location.

Pearsall Instructional Facility

The Pearsall Instructional Facility serves approximately 88 students each academic year. The center has two part-time facilitators who supports delivery of interactive video courses and provides student support. The facilitators are available from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. -9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

An outreach coordinator travels to Pearsall every Thursday and is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide academic advising and placement testing to all prospective and current students. The advisor also serves as liaison for:

* ADA compliance
* Local Veterans Affairs
* Financial Aid advising

A registration team (financial aid, admissions, counseling/advising and business office personnel) travels from the main campus (Uvalde) to the Pearsall site prior to each semester to supplement access to those services. In addition, SWTJC provides proctoring for mid-term and final exams for online courses at this location.

Students have online access to resources such as the Writing Center, Library, and Financial Aid using the SWTJC web-page for the Pearsall location.

Briscoe Unit

Southwest Texas Junior College conducts college classes for Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) offenders at the Dolph Briscoe Prison Unit in Dilley, Texas, through a contract with TDCJ Windham School District.

An outreach coordinator travels to the Dilley Briscoe Unit twice per month to provide academic advising and placement testing to all prospective and current students. The advisor also serves as a liaison for:

* ADA compliance
* Local Veterans Affairs
* Financial Aid Advising

A registration team (financial aid, admissions, counseling/advising, and business office personnel) travels from the main campus (Uvalde) to the Briscoe Unit site prior to each semester.


The Testing Center delivers testing services to help students obtain their academic goals. Exams are administered according to the National College Testing Association Professional Standards and Guidelines. The Testing Center is located on the Uvalde campus with addendum testing sites on the Del Rio and Eagle Pass campuses. In addition, extension testing services for the Texas Success Initiative are offered at the Crystal City, Pearsall, and Hondo sites, as well as, at many area high schools. Exams administered by the Testing Center include the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI), American College Test (ACT), College Level Exam Program (CLEP), and General Education Development (GED). Other testing services include certification exams for Lineman, Phlebotomist, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Technician; the Microsoft Office Specialist exam; correspondence exams; and course make-up exams.

Tutoring – Student Success Centers and Writing Centers

Free tutoring services are offered to all students attending the Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Uvalde, and Crystal City campuses via the Student Success Centers (SSCs) and Writing Centers (WCs).  Hours of operation vary from campus to campus depending on student needs. The objective of tutoring is to provide support with the goal of increasing student success. Tutoring is available either by appointment or on a walk-in basis and in individual sessions or group sessions. Online tutoring services are available to online and dual credit students by emailing writing.center@swtjc.edu. Peer tutors attend mandatory training sessions throughout each semester. 
The Student Success Centers and Writing Centers offer additional services including resources such as calculators, class texts, reference materials, computers and printing.  At-risk students and student athletes are referred directly to the Student Success Center for Individual Academic Plans.  Coordinators in the SSCs and WCs also develop initiatives to support students’ academic and personal skills. Such initiatives include graduation and transfer advising, leadership and peer mentoring opportunities, and student success seminars.

Student Computer Access and Helpdesk

Southwest Texas Junior College provides computers for student use and offers a variety of computer network capabilities, including internet access, email, printing, and a wide selection of applications.  Computer accessibility is available at the SWTJC Uvalde, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Crystal City, Pearsall, Hondo, and Medina Valley campuses.  
Each student is automatically issued a college email address.  Information concerning email access and student computer support may be obtained by contacting the Computer Center Helpdesk.

Veteran’s Services

Southwest Texas Junior College works closely with veterans and their families to assist in the transition to college.  The main campus (Uvalde) has a designated certified veteran’s advisor/official to assist students in obtaining the documents required by the Department of Veterans Affairs to process and award benefits.  Our SWTJC VA Certifying Advisor/Official provides support for our other campuses including; Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Crystal City, Pearsall, Hondo, and Medina Valley to ensure appropriate services are provided to veteran students.  Our Eagle Pass, Del Rio and Crystal City campuses have veteran affairs point of contact advisors that have been trained by the VA Certifying Official/Advisor with information to assist veteran students with obtaining the documents required by the Department of Veteran Affairs.  The VA Checklist and website is available to students to serve as a step-by-step guide to SWTJC admissions and processes and to the steps needed to obtain veterans educational benefits.  

Code of Conduct – Student’s Right and Responsibilities

The SWTJC Student Handbook contains rules, procedures, rights, responsibilities, and policies designed to ensure that students have an environment that is conducive to learning and to protect the rights of students as well as the rights of the College.  Copies of the Student Handbook may be obtained at any of our campuses or online on our College website

EPOCA – Educational Programs and Opportunities to Create Achievement

(Lumina Increasing Latino Student Success)

EPOCA is funded through a grant from the Lumina Foundation. EPOCA works to create a college-going mindset among Latinos through a variety of community partnerships and events. EPOCA designed the ¡Sí se Puede! (Yes You Can!) campaign – a marketing campaign that encourages enrollment in, persistence through, and attainment of a college education. Through agreements with local school districts, EPOCA has created a College Readiness Advisor Network and brought together 21 school districts to create a college readiness course for high school students.

TRiO Student Support Services

TRiO Student Support Services, a federally funded program, serves 270 students and addresses the needs of first generation, low income, and/or disabled students.  The primary purpose of Student Support Services (SSS) is to increase the retention, graduation, and transfer rates of SSS eligible students.  Through advisors, SSS offers intensive support including transfer and graduation advising, career exploration, financial literacy, tutoring, and mentoring to participants for the purpose of increasing student success.

SWTJC’s Distance Education

In addition to on-site services, students at off-site locations or enrolled in distance education courses can access services and resources by going to the SWTJC website under “About SWTJC” – Location (Campus) as well as “Academics” – Distance & Off-Site Education.
In Fall 2013 total enrollment at SWTJC was 5449 students and in Spring 2014, 5133. Of those totals, less than 9% of the students were enrolled only in on-line courses each semester. For detailed information, see Table 2.10b. Although a number of these students live near an SWTJC site and can access it for services, the College provides a wide range of on-line services for them and anyone seeking assistance online. These services include the following:

Library – Students can access library resources electronically via the library webpage swtjc.libguides.com/home. Web pages specifically designed for distance education/off campus students can be accessed through the “Distance Education” tab at the top of the page.
On-line library services include:

Table 2.10c provides summary statistics for online library resources for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Table 2.10c

Use of Online Library Resources for the 2013-2014 Academic Year

Description of Resource


Page Views







EBSCO Cinahl Complete



EBSCO Discovery Service



EBSCO eBook Academic Collection



EBSCO eBook Collection



EBSCO Entrepreneurial Studies Source



EBSCO Literary Reference Center



Facts on File



Films on Demand






Gale Literature Criticism Online



Gale Opposing Viewpoints Critical Thinking



Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context



Gale “Something About the Author”



Gale Virtual Reference Library






New York Times (ProQuest)



Virtual Library Tour



Advising –
Student Planning is an online advising tool. Through Student Planning students are assigned an advisor who answers questions regarding degree plans, scheduling courses, and on-line registration.

SWTJC Homepage – Students can access a wide variety of information and services directly from the College’s homepage, including:

  • Student Activities – Student activities and schedules are listed online by location (via “About SWTJC” > “Locations & Maps”) to provide students with information about college events nearest to them.
  • Financial Aid Comprehensive Financial Aid information is available on the SWTJC website (“Academics” > “Financial Aid”), including forms and applications for all financial aid services.
  • Online Courses – Students access the online course learning management systems, Moodle and Campus Cruiser, via quick links.
  • ECashier – Students use ECashier to set-up tuition payment plans.
  • Calendars – Students can access general information and academic calendars.

Portal – SWTJC ‘s portal is provided by Campus Cruiser. The portal provides a number of student services, including:

  • Email – Students receive notices from various SWTJC offices including information regarding financial aid, waiting-list status for closed classes, and academic calendar updates.
  • At-Risk Tracking – Academic Alert is an online product used to identify students as not attending or participating in classes.  This allows faculty and advisors to meet with students as prevention measures in effort to support student success.

WebAdvisor – WebAdvisor is the on-line management platform students use to interact with various College services. Among other uses, students access WebAdvisor to:

  • Check financial aid application status
  • Accept/Reject financial aid awards
  • Register for classes
  • Access their course schedule by semester
  • Review mid-term and final semester grades
  • Review degree plans
  • Make payments

Tutoring – The Writing Center offers writing feedback and tutoring services to off campus, distance education, and dual credit students via email at writing.center@swtjc.edu. Students who do not attend a campus are able to submit their writing for feedback or to request an email tutoring session. Students receive comments regarding their writing assignments from one of the trained tutors. Students are engaged in a conversation about their writing assignments in which they can learn strategies for improving their own writing.


SWTJC Website Admission and Registrars
SWTJC Virtual College Guidelines
SWTJC Student Planning
SWTJC Advisor Training
SWTJC Academic Advising Handbook
SWTJC Scholastic Probation and Suspension Standards
SWTJC Advising Unit Action Plan
SWTJC Website Advising
SWTJC University Transfer Day November 6, 2014
SWTJC Career Technology Workshops
SWTJC Career Coach Website
SWTJC Website Employment
SWTJC Website Counseling and Advising
SWTJC Community Referral
SWTJC Website Disability Support Services
SWTJC ADA 504 Coordinator Job Description
SWTJC Disability Services Coordinator Job Description
SWTJC Handbook for Students with Disabilities
SWTJC Website Financial Aid
SWTJC Website Scholarships
SWTJC Website Service Area
SWTJC Financial Aid Literacy
SWTJC Website WebAdvisor
SWTJC Website Financial Aid Work Study
SWTJC Library Resources Statistic 2013-2014
SWTJC Catalog, 2014, p. 91
SWTJC Student Orientation Checklist
SWTJC Student Activities Preview
SWTJC Student Activities Seminars
SWTJC Website Student Activities
SWTJC Student Organization Handbook
SWTJC Ambassador Application Packet
SWTJC Outreach Department
SWTJC Dual Credit Partnership Agreements
SWTJC Dual Credit Parent Meetings
SWTJC Dual Credit Orientations
SWTJC Counselor’s Workshop
SWTJC Website Medina Valley
SWTJC Website Hondo
SWTJC Website Pearsall
SWTJC Website Testing Center
SWTJC Testing Center Operations Manual
SWTJC Tutor Packet
SWTJC Hours of Operating SSC/WC
SWTJC Online Tutoring Services
SWTJC Writing Center Distance Education Policy
SWTJC Student Success Center Services
SWTJC Writing Center Services
SWTJC Individual Academic Plan
SWTJC Student Success Center Coordinator Job Description
SWTJC Writing Center Coordinator Job Description
SWTJC Student Success Center and Writing Center Handbooks
SWTJC Website Information Technology
SWTJC Veterans Assistance Checklist
SWTJC Website Veterans/Military Students
SWTJC Student Handbook 2014
SWTJC Website Student Handbook
SWTJC EPOCA Si se Puede Campaign Poster
SWTJC Website TRiO StudentSupport Services
SWTJC TRiO Advisor Job Description
Table 2.10b Course by Mode of Instruction
SWTJC Library Distance Education
SWTJC Library Avoid Plagiarism
SWTJC Library Citation Resources
SWTJC Library Databases A to Z
SWTJC Library Database Tutorials
SWTJC Library Dual Credit
SWTJC Library Find Electronic Books
SWTJC Library Online Databases by Subject
SWTJC Library Online Databases General
SWTJC Library Other Resources
SWTJC Library Research
SWTJC Library Websites
SWTJC Student Planning Process
SWTJC Website Student Activities
SWTJC Website Financial Aid
SWTJC Website Student Portals
SWTJC Website ECashier
SWTJC Website Calendars
SWTJC Website Writing Center Distance Education Policy


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