New Student Orientation

About NSO

The New Student Orientation Program (NSO) is an opportunity for new students to become acquainted with SWCD, Howard College, and the Big Spring Community.  Students will have a chance to participate in activities which may lead to a more successful adjustment to life in a secondary educational setting.

NSO is a required program for all students enrolling the first time.  This includes new students, transfer students, and international students.  If transfer students currently have 9 credits or more of college-level classes with 2.00 GPA, they are exempt from NSO.  The Director of Admissions will inform all those who are exempt. 

New students who do not attend NSO will generally not be permitted to register for the semester. (Exceptions to this rule will be considered on an individual basis.)


  1. Orientation:  Students will be provided with basic information about the program requirements, grading system, schedules, extracurricular activities, student responsibilities, and other information.
  2. Placement Testing:  Students will take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam to determine placement for English and Math courses.
  3. Academic Advising:  Students will meet with their assigned academic advisors to review results of placement tests and to determine the degree plan and class schedule for the individual.

NSO Requirements

Upon completion of the program, a student will receive a Certificate of Participation.  The student must meet the following requirements.

1Be accepted for admission to the Southwest College for the Deaf (SWCD).  (Conditional acceptance into the program may apply.)
2Pay the registration fee on or before the established deadline.
3Attend the entire New Student Orientation (NSO) program.
4Reside in the residence hall throughout the entire program.
5Students MUST remain on campus for the entire weekend.

Who to Contact
For more information regarding New Student Orientation (NSO), contact:

Questions about General Admissions or Registration, Tuition, and Fees?
Please contact

Registration:  $175.00

Payments can be sent to:  SWCD, 3200 Avenue C, Big Spring, TX 79720.  The fee includes but is not limited to room, meals, activities, trip, tests, and materials/supplies.  If a student receives DRS/VR support, authorizations and purchase orders must be mailed to the Howard College Business Office or faxed to (432) 264-5133.  Students not covered by DRS/VR must pay the full NSO fee on or before registration day.  

**Please note that Pell Grant and scholarships cannot be used as payment for NSO.