New Student Frequently Asked Questions

Updated for Fall 2023

The first day of classes for the Fall 2023 semester is August 21st, 2023.

Move-in date for new/incoming students: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, after 8 a.m.

For questions regarding FAFSA or financial aid, you may contact Deadra Stewart, Financial Aid Advisor, at (432) 218-4182 VP or (432) 264-3753 V – or email

Although the priority deadline for Fall is July 1, we recommend you complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA and turn in any required paperwork as soon as possible.  Information received after the deadline may not be processed in time for registration.

Students must contact the Financial Aid Office to ensure that all files/information are on file in the Financial Aid Office regardless of grant eligibility.

In order to be eligible for financial assistance, you must first complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  It is available online at  There is no cost to submit the FAFSA.  It must be renewed every year.  The FAFSA school code for SWCD/HC is 003574.

Go to the webpage: Scholarships – Howard College for more information.  You may contact Deadra Stewart, Financial Aid Advisor, at (432) 218-4182 VP or (432) 264-3753 V – or email for further information about scholarships.

Students may change majors only after the current semester ends or before the upcoming semester begins.  Prior to registration, students must see their academic advisors to complete a Major Change form and then submit the form to the Office of Enrollment Services at SWCD.

Any student receiving TWC/VR support must get the TWC/VR counselor’s permission to change majors before submitting the Major Change form.

Students may view their account statements through Campus Connect in their MyHC account.  Tuition, fees, and room & board are due at registration.  Students have the option to participate in a payment plan which requires 50% of tuition and fees to be paid when the contract starts.  There is also a similar payment plan for those who do not have full financing for their room and board. Each payment plan requires a $25.00 enrollment fee.  Payment plans are done through Campus Connect. The Howard College Business Office will e-mail students with more information about the payment plans.  Students must sign up for the payment plan or pay in full by August 17, 2023.  Students who preregistered but have not paid their tuition in full or have not signed up for a payment plan may be dropped from all courses at that time.

You will receive a printed class schedule, statement and book list on August 17, 2023.  You must send all of these documents to your TWC/VR immediately.  The service authorizations (payments) from TWC/VR need to be sent to the Howard College Business Office, 1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, TX, 79720, via fax: 432-264-5133, or email them to  Deadra Stewart is the TWC/VR liaison at SWCD. You may contact her at (432) 264-3753 V | (432) 218-4182 VP |

The HC Business Office phone number is 432-264-5035 if you have questions.

Service Authorizations for textbooks must be emailed to . The Bookstore phone number is 432-264-5050 if you have questions.

A tool kit is a set of tools required for certain majors. This is a one-time charge (if self-pay, sales tax will be applied) when the student enrolls in a major that requires a tool kit. The SWCD Welding (WELD) program requires the purchase of a tool kit. Contact Jennifer Key at 432-264-3752 V or 432-218-4183 VP or for further information.

SWCD New Student Registration will take place on August 17, 2023 from 1 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. at the SWCD campus. After new students complete the assessments for class placement, they will receive assistance from their academic advisors with their registration for classes on August 17, 2023. 

All new incoming students, whose first language is not English and who have not been otherwise exempted from placement testing, will receive an ESOL Waiver (TAC Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4C Rule 4.54) exempting them from the TSIA/TSIA2 in English. They will take the Math TSIA2 for math placement and the TABE test for Reading and Writing placement. These scores will be used for initial placement in the appropriate developmental education or ESOL program. 

Exemption from TSIA/TSIA2 testing only applies for Level 1 Certificate program courses. Effective August 26, 2013, all students entering degree programs will be tested for TSI purposes (they must test on the TSIA/TSIA2) unless receiving an ESOL waiver.

Effective October 1, 2013, TEC 51.9192 (Texas law) requires all students under age 22 entering an institution of higher education to provide current proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis (an immunization given within 5 years of the date of intended enrollment) or meet certain requirements for declining such a vaccination.  New students who have not provided documentation of vaccination will have a hold placed on their account.  Students with a hold will not be allowed to register for classes or enter the SWCD campus. The hold will be removed once the appropriate immunization documentation has been provided to SWCD/HC.

In accordance with the TEC 51.306 and 51.403, SWCD/HC will assess and correctly place undergraduate students entering our institution.  Students who do not have college-level skills in reading, writing, or math, as determined by initial testing, will be placed in a developmental education program or ESOL program to improve any skill areas that are found deficient.  The minimum passing standards and testing exemptions can be found at:

All new incoming Deaf students who have not been otherwise exempted (above) will receive an ESOL Waiver (TAC Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4C Rule 4.54) exempting them from the TSIA/TSIA2 in English. They will take the Math TSIA2 for math placement and the TABE test for Reading and Writing placement. 

The Director of Outreach / SWCD will notify the new students on August 15, 2023 of their TSI status. New incoming students requiring testing will take placement tests on August 16, 2023. TSIA2 is only available in Texas. Students who have taken TSIA/TSIA2 at another location within the past year may submit their scores to SWCD Enrollment Services. The placement testing fee is $24.00 or $12/section for any retest. If you are attending New Student Orientation (NSO), the testing fee is included in the NSO fee. Degree-seeking students will take the English TSIA2 (ELAR) during their second long semester. 

When the students’ scores and their new class schedules are on file in their Academic Advisors’ offices, they will be able to register for classes. 

Depending on the availability of vehicles and drivers, SWCD provides free transportation for first-year students coming from Midland International Air and Space Port (formerly the Midland International Airport) at the beginning of the semester. First-year students may contact the Coordinator of Residence Education, Maydee Vande Hey at and provide the following information: your name, flight number, airline, or bus schedule, and the date & time you will be arriving. 

If SWCD cannot provide transportation, you may contact TRAX at (800) 245-9028.

Another option for transportation, including local trips is Uber ( 

Residence halls are open during the Fall and Spring terms.  Please contact the Coordinator of Residence Education (CRE) for move-in and move-out dates for each term.  Special arrangements to live in the Residence Hall during mini sessions or holidays are handled on a case by case basis.  Please contact the Coordinator of Residence Education for more information.

Residence halls are closed during the Winter Break and Spring Break and residents are expected to vacate the residence halls. Please contact the Coordinator of Residence Education for closure details and dates. The college is not responsible for any personal belongings which are left in rooms. 

If you have a disability and require specific accommodations to complete the placement exams or TSI requirements, please contact the SWCD Accessibility Services Coordinator to discuss your needs.  Reasonable testing accommodations are provided to allow students with documented disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.  Students who need testing accommodations must submit documentation of their disability to the SWCD Accessibility Services Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the scheduled testing date for review.  Please contact Deadra Stewart, SWCD Accessibility Services Coordinator, at (432) 264-3753 V| (432) 218-4182 VP | to request testing accommodations.

Since SWCD is a school for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, all classes on our campus are taught by teachers who are proficient in ASL.  If a student needs to take a class at the Howard College location, ASL interpreters and note-takers are provided.  For those accommodations, no additional documentation is necessary.

For all other disabilities that require accommodations, including academic, residential, mobility, visual, or dietary accommodations, you will need documentation of the disability.  The documentation needs to be submitted to Deadra Stewart, SWCD Accessibility Services Coordinator.  It is best to contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator as soon as possible in order to assure that you receive the necessary accommodations.  You may contact Deadra at (432) 264-3753 Tel.| (432) 218-4182 VP |

Notice regarding emotional support animal accommodations: If you have an emotional support animal you wish to bring with you to campus, please review the emotional support animal policy found in the online Student Handbook at You can find the forms required for an assistance (emotional support) animal at  Please contact Deadra Stewart (432) 264-3753 V| (432) 218-4182 VP | if you have any questions.

Deadra Stewart is the Foster Care Liaison for the SWCD campus.  If you qualify for assistance, please contact Deadra at or at (432) 264-3753 V. or (432) 218-4182 VP.

At SouthWest College for the Deaf, we believe sound emotional health is integral to a student’s ability to succeed in college. As such, counseling services are provided to assist students who need help addressing issues that might interfere with their academic progress. Personal counseling is confidential, and services are free to current students on a short-term basis. The counseling role is to support and assist students in facing the emotional challenges that often accompany the college experience. Common issues for which students seek counseling include stress, anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol problems, self-esteem, relationship issues, grief, family concerns, and more.

Short-term personal counseling is time-limited and solution-focused. Most students benefit from an average of six sessions. Should long-term therapy be needed, the counselor will help make the appropriate referrals to human service organizations and/or mental health providers in the area.

Please call or come to the office of Student Services to request services. Jennifer Key, Assistant to the Director of Student and Administrative Services, VP (432) 218-4183, Voice (432) 264-3752 or Shannon Creswell, Director of Student and Administrative Services, VP (432) 218-4059 or (432) 264-3777