Privacy Policy


Southwestern Michigan College recognizes and values the privacy of the community, the college, and its guests and strives to reasonably protect all personal information.

In principle, Southwestern Michigan College strives to

  • Collect, store, and use the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary for its legitimate business purposes and to comply with legal obligations,
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the personal information we manage is accurate and up-to-date,
  • Limit who has access to the personal information in our possession to only those who need it for a legitimate, specific purpose,
  • Protect personal information through appropriate physical and technical security measures tailored to the sensitivity of the personal data we hold,
  • Communicate with our students, faculty, employees, suppliers, partners, and others about how we use personal information in our day-to-day operations,
  • Provide opportunities to control your personal information, as permitted by applicable United States and other laws, and
  • Integrate privacy in the design of our activities when that involves the use of personal data.


The scope of this notice outlines the collection, use and disclosure of information provided to the college through SMC’s website ( or other means, such as submission by applicants, students, staff, faculty, or alumni. Your use of this site is subject to all applicable state and federal laws, as well as general college policies.

How Information is Collected

Southwestern Michigan College collects personal information in the following circumstances:

  • Direct Collection: The direct submission of information provided to the college, such as when filling out a form on one of our websites.
  • Third-Party: We receive information from other organizations for legitimate, specific purposes (for example, contact information of people who may be interested in the college, transcripts and test scores for admissions purposes, etc.).
  • Automated Processes: This information is provided to the college through technology, such as the use of cookies placed on your computer when you visit our websites.

Type of Information Collected

The type of information collected through the use of and other systems includes but is not limited to

  • Internet domain from visitor-accessed website
  • IP address assigned to the visitor’s computer
  • Type of browser the visitor is using
  • Date and time of visit
  • Address of the website from which the visitor has linked to
  • Content viewed during the visit
  • Visitor location based on IP address
  • Demographic information

At current, SMC uses Google Analytics cookies to count visits and traffic sources in order to measure and improve the performance of our website. In order to opt-out, please find specific information concerning your browser and the management of cookies through your browser.

The Southwestern Michigan College website may also provide opportunities for site visitors to voluntarily provide personally identifiable information, such as their email address, name, telephone number, or street address.

How This Information Is Used

The college collects and uses information about user visits to allow the college to monitor website performance, make improvements to site navigation and content, and better market to prospective students and other audiences.

The college may also collect and use personal information provided by site visitors for educational programs (e.g., related to admission), administrative purposes (e.g., related to employment), or college engagement (e.g., attending a college-sponsored event).

The college may occasionally process other personal information for other legitimate and specific purposes. When these situations occur, we will endeavor to inform you of such occasional processing activities, since transparency is one of our core principles for using personal information for the purposes for which it was collected.

With Whom This Information Will Be Shared

Southwestern Michigan College does not sell or rent your personal information. We may, however, share your personal information in limited circumstances, such as with service providers that support business activities. We require our service providers to keep your personal information secure. We do not allow our service providers to use or share your personal information for any purpose other than providing services on our behalf.

The college will share your personal information when required by law or when we believe sharing will help to protect the safety, property, or rights of the college, members of the college community and college guests.

Updating Personal Information

You may correct, update or remove the personal information provided to SMC through the use of the site. In particular

Social Media Plugins

Some of the pages on the website have embedded social media sharing buttons. Social media platforms use cookies or other tracking technologies when a button is embedded on our website. We do not have access to, or control of, any information collected through these buttons. The social media platforms are responsible for how they use your information. For specific privacy controls on how these buttons track how users access our website, see the cookies policies of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

How Information Is Secured

Southwestern Michigan College recognizes the importance of maintaining the security of the information it collects and maintains, and we endeavor to protect information from unauthorized access and damage. The college strives to ensure that reasonable security measures are in place, including physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to protect your personal information. For more information, see SMC’s Secure Information Policy.

Privacy Notice Changes

This privacy notice may be updated from time to time. We will post the date our notice was last updated at the bottom of this privacy notice.

Who to Contact with Questions or Concerns

If you have any concerns or questions about how your personal data is used, please contact our Web Accessibility Coordinator at You can also contact us at 58900 Cherry Grove Rd., Dowagiac, MI 49047.

We strive to promptly respond to your request and will do our best to address your concern. However, if you believe we have not been able to deal with your concern appropriately, you have the right to complain to your local data protection authority. You also have the right to submit a complaint of an alleged infringement of the GDPR in the Member State of your residence or place of work.

Notice Specific to Persons Within the European Union

If you are in the EU and you interact with Southwestern Michigan College in the context of this website, our processing of your personal information may fall under Regulation 2016/679 (the General Data Protection Regulation, or the “GDPR”) and under the legal framework of Directive 2002/58/EC (“ePrivacy” Directive). In these circumstances and as applicable, Southwestern Michigan College may be the controller of the processing of your personal data.

Legal Basis for Processing

When we process your personal information, we will endeavor to have a valid, lawful ground for processing in place. We process your personal information relying on different lawful grounds for processing, depending on the context of the processing activity.

Your Rights

Southwestern Michigan College is committed to facilitating the exercise of the rights granted to you by EU data protection law (the right to access your data, to ask for erasure, to correct or restriction your data, the right to the portability of your data, and the right to object to the processing of your data) in a timely manner for personal information that properly falls under the GDPR.

In order to be able to reply to your request for the exercise of your rights, and if we are not certain of your identity, we may need to ask you for further identification data to be used only for the purposes of replying to your request. If you have any inquiries or requests, please write to or contact us through our postal address.

Retention Period

We strive to keep personal data in our records only as long as they are necessary for the purposes they were collected and processed. Retention periods vary and are established considering our legitimate purposes and all applicable legal requirements.


When you interact with Southwestern Michigan College, your personal information is transferred to the United States. The United States is not currently among the countries outside the European Union that have obtained an adequate level of protection from the European Commission. To ensure the lawful transfer of personal data from the EU, Southwestern Michigan College relies on the derogations laid out in Article 49 GDPR. Be advised that we provide safeguards for the information transferred, as required by the GDPR itself and in accordance with this website privacy notice.

This policy was last updated May 31, 2018.