We understand taking online classes can be new and challenging for many of our learners. This page is designed to answer some of our most frequently asked questions. Southwestern College Admission Counselors are available to answer additional questions and address further concerns.
Getting Started/Enrollment/Credit Transfer
Is Southwestern College accredited?
Yes, Southwestern College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Degree programs and licenses in education are regionally-accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Kansas Department of Education. Our RN-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036 phone 202-887-6791)
How do I enroll for classes?
Before you can enroll, you will need to apply. Once you have applied, one of our Admissions Counselors will contact you to walk you through the admissions process and enrolling in your first class(es). If you are a returning student, contact your Academic Success Coach
How do I get my transcripts so I can enroll?
You can order your official transcripts online. Our Registrar must receive your official transcripts from every college you have attended within 4 weeks (8 weeks for military learners) of the start of your first class.
How many credits will I need to finish my degree?
To graduate from Southwestern College with a bachelor’s degree, you must complete at least 124 credit hours. At least 60 of those hours must come from a four-year institution and 30 credits must be earned at Southwestern College.
How many of the credit hours I’ve already earned at other colleges will transfer to Southwestern College?
We do our best to make all of your past college work for you. If your transfer hours come from an institution in good standing with an accreditation organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and you’ve earned at least a grade of “C” or better in college-level coursework, then your previous credits will be accepted for transfer. Southwestern College will take up to 64 credits in transfer from two-year colleges and up to 94 credit hours from four-year colleges. After official copies of your transfer credits have been received from the colleges they were earned, one of our advisors will help you determine exactly how many more hours you’ll need to complete your degree.
Can I get college credit for my work experience?
The knowledge, skills and experience you have gained throughout your career (e.g., attending workshops, seminars, classes, and through self-study) may be eligible for academic credit toward your bachelor’s degree through a Prior Learning Credit Portfolio process. Preparation of a portfolio requires learners to articulate how their prior learning activities equate to college-level learning. The average credit award for portfolios is 15 semester hours, with some portfolios generating more credit hours and some generating fewer credit hours. For more information, please contact your Academic Success Coach or ask an Admissions Counselor when you apply to Southwestern.
Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is an application fee. $25 for undergraduate degree programs and $40 for graduate degree programs. See the list of our fees here.
How much is the tuition for the program?
The tuition rate depends on different variables including whether you are in the military and whether you are enrolling in an undergraduate or graduate program. View a full list of our tuition and fees.
How do I receive financial aid?
You will need to apply for financial aid. The entire process from application to disbursement can take up to 30 days. Our financial aid counselors will be happy to assist you in getting the process started!
My employer will reimburse me for some of my classes. Can I wait to pay my tuition until I’m reimbursed?
Yes, we can work out a deferred payment plan as long as arrangements have been made ahead of time.
How long will it take me to complete my degree?
That depends on a lot of factors, including how many hours you transfer into Southwestern College and whether your work and family obligations allow you to take courses without long breaks. You may take one or two courses each session, and our advisors will help you make out a class schedule that will work for you. If you transfer in 64 credit hours and take one course each session without sitting out, you could complete your degree in a little over 2 years.
What’s the difference between the degree I’ll earn at Southwestern College Professional Studies, and the degree students earn at traditional campus in Winfield?
There’s no difference. You’ll earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, just like traditional students in Winfield. The only difference is in the way you go to class. Instead of semester-long classes which meet a couple of times a week, your classes will be online. You complete them at the times most convenient for you. The classes themselves will be only six weeks long, so they will be focused and intense.
How often are classes offered?
The majority of our courses are offered in six-week sessions eight times per calendar year.
How do I access my online course once I am enrolled?
You will access your course through Blackboard. Once your SCKANS email is created, you will be sent your Blackboard log in information to that student email account. Classes are loaded into Blackboard the Thursday prior to each session.
How do I communicate with my instructor and classmates?
Our classes are facilitated through Blackboard. You will be able to communicate with your other classmates and instructor through email and weekly discussion board posts on Blackboard.
Who teaches the courses?
Our courses are taught by industry experts – many of whom are still practicing in their field.
How many hours of homework can I expect per week?
We tell our learners to be prepared for approximately 12 to 15 hours of homework per week per class.
How many classes can I take at a time?
We don’t advise our learners to take more than one class at a time at the beginning so they don’t become overloaded. After a few sessions, some learners choose to take a couple of classes at a time. Learners wanting to take multiple classes must contact their Academic Success Coach and request approval.
If something happens in my life or at my job and I am unable to continue with my class, how do I drop? Can I get a refund?
You have up until the fifth week of your class to withdraw – or your tenth week if your classes are 12 weeks long. You will need to fill out a drop/withdraw form in Self-Service. If you drop within the first week of your class, you will receive a full refund. A 70% refund will be given to you if you drop in the second week of your classes. There will be no refund after the second week. We encourage you to view our withdraw policies.
I think I have finished or am close to finishing all my course requirements, how do I get my degree?
Learners should verify with their advisor to ensure they are done with all their course and graduation requirements. To receive your degree, each learner must submit an application for degree in advance of the deadline to their advisor. Degrees are conferred 3 times per year, May, August, and December with commencement ceremonies in May. Learners may or may not participate in Commencement at their discretion.
Can I attend graduation?
Absolutely! All of our learners are welcome and encouraged to attend graduation. We love meeting our learners from all over the globe! We hold Commencement once a year in May. You will receive emails with information about graduation-related events as that time approaches.
If I am unable to attend graduation, how do I receive my diploma?
Diplomas are ready three to four weeks after the conferral date. You can make arrangements to pick up your diploma at main campus in Winfield, KS or the Professional Studies location in Wichita. Most of our students opt to have them mailed to them. Once the diplomas are ready, the Registrar’s office prepares and mails them within about three to four weeks. Please be sure to log in to Self-Service and update your address and contact information.
Will my degree look different than a traditional learner’s degree?
Professional Studies degrees look the same as all other degrees conferred by Southwestern College. It will not indicate when or how you took classes.
The actual size of a Southwestern College diploma is 8 1/2 × 11.
What social networking opportunities are available for me to connect with Southwestern College Professional Studies?
You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We also have group pages set up for our RN to BSN learners and military learners in our Student Veterans of America Chapter. Follow us and stay informed about job fairs, campus activities, education-related news, and helpful resources as you earn your degree!
Are you a military learner or military spouse? Visit our military FAQ page!