Bishop State Southwest Campus
925 Dauphin Island Pkwy
Mobile, AL 36605-3299
Southwest State Technical College, which is now the Southwest Campus of Bishop State Community College, was chartered in November 1950 and was officially opened in May 1954 for providing postsecondary vocational training for students from the Greater Mobile Area and surrounding counties.
The State of Alabama shared the initial costs of opening the school under the George C. Wallace Trade School Act of 1947. While the City of Mobile provided the original 26 acres on which the campus was located, additional acreage was acquired in 1968. The campus, located at 925 Dauphin Island Parkway, now occupies 42 acres.
The school's first president, Clay Knight, was appointed on May 15, 1951 and provided leadership from its planning stage until his retirement on July 1, 1974. Donald S. Jefferies assumed the presidency and served until his retirement in June 1986. Earl Roberson, then president of Carver State Technical College, served as interim president until Thomas A. McLeod was appointed as president March 26, 1987. On August 22, 1991, the State Board of Education consolidated the college with Bishop State Community College.
The first students to graduate from Southwest were the 15 members of the Practical Nursing Class who completed their training January 29, 1954. The course was held in temporary quarters at Mobile Infirmary on January 12, 1953; the first graduation exercises were held at the First Christian Church of Mobile.
Classes began on the school campus in May 1954 with an enrollment of 100 students in eight vocational departments. By mid-1956, the number of courses had increased to 13, and student enrollment was up to 400. In May 1956, 73 students graduated in the first exercises held at the school.
Today, there are 18 technical programs offered through the Southwest Campus. The programs are Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Automotive Mechanics, Cabinetmaking, Carpentry, Civil Engineering Technology, Cosmetology, Diesel Mechanics, Drafting and Design Technology, Electrical Technology, Electronics Technology, Graphic Communications Technology, Jewelry Design, Manufacturing Technology, Nail Technology, Occupational Safety Technology, Process and Instrumentation Technology, Truck Driving, and Watch Repair.
The Campus also has a cafeteria to serve its students and the public, a telecommunications center which includes a computer lab, satellite downlink and videoconference facilities that can be used by businesses, agencies, and organizations to hold multiple-site meetings.