The San Antonio College (SAC) Department of Services for Women & Non-Traditional Students (SWANS) provides a one-stop, comprehensive system of quality, support/retention services for SAC students and the community in its Empowerment Center. It is comprised of three support programs: 1) The Women’s Center, established in 1981 to retain women and non-traditional students in college, provides academic advisement, personal/crisis counseling, child care/parent support services, community referrals, bus/textbook vouchers, the LULAC Parent/Child Scholarship Program and an annual city-wide college outreach/recruitment conference for women. 2) Seguir Adelante, established in 1997 to provide pre-college/transition services for special populations needing support for college preparation/success. Services include English language remediation, GED prep, basic skills upgrading, college admission/registration assistance, testing, textbook vouchers, tuition assistance, and a GED to College Transition Program. 3) Mi CASA (Career Advancement and Self-Sufficiency Assistance) Program, created in 2007 helps individuals become self-sufficient with career counseling and social services eligibility screenings.
SWANS advocates for and empowers women, non-traditional students and community members by transforming their lives through a comprehensive system of educational support and retention services. They aim to provide quality academic advisement, personal/career counseling and crisis intervention along with workshops seminars, and conferences for recruitment and retention.
· SWANS served 1,414 clients during Fall 2013, of which 65% were Latino and 85% were low-income; 688 were first-time-in-college (FTIC) students at SAC. SWANS participants’ persistence rate from Fall 2013-Fall 2014 was 61%, while SAC’s overall FTIC persistence rate was only 41%.
· SWANS has raised and awarded >$1 million in scholarships
· In their GED program, Seguir Adelante, of 152 participants from Spring 2010 through Fall 2013, 82% have been Latino/a, and 87% have earned a GED. 83% of Seguir Adelante’s GED students have enrolled in college.
· The LULAC parent/child program has, since 2007, awarded 460 students with a scholarship, 200 first-generation Parent/Child Scholars have already completed a postsecondary credential or the first half of their 4-year transfer plan, and 15 of their children have begun college.
· From 2012-13 through 2014-15, Parent/Child Scholars had an average GPA of 3.07, and rates of fall-to-spring persistence between 96%-100%, nearly 30 percentage points higher than SAC’s average for all FTIC students (67%).