Our History

San Jacinto College’s Enduring Story

A half-century of innovation, inclusion and extraordinary growth mark the history of San Jacinto College. We’ve evolved from one location in urban Pasadena to three campuses and 12 extension centers serving the Greater Houston community. Today nearly 30,000 students discover their pathways at San Jacinto College. To support their success, we’ve invested nearly $400 million in the last decade to build first-class facilities and partnerships that inspire the next generation of leaders.

San Jacinto College Timeline

1960: San Jacinto College traces its roots to May, 1960, when voters in five school districts —Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, La Porte and Pasadena — approved the creation of East Harris County Union Junior College.

1961: Board of Regents officially changes the name to The San Jacinto Junior College District. The college welcomes 876 students to its first classes, held in a handful of renovated buildings in Pasadena, Texas. Dr. Thomas Spencer is elected first President. 

1963: The college earns full membership in the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities

1966: Accreditation is granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

1970: The San Jacinto Men's Basketball team wins the NJCAA National Championship

1975: North Campus opens at 5800 Uvalde Road in Houston, earns accreditation a year later.

1979: South Campus opens at 13735 Beamer Road in Houston, earns accreditation in the fall.

1983: The San Jacinto Men's Basketball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1984: The San Jacinto Men's Basketball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1985: The San Jacinto Baseball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1986: The San Jacinto Baseball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

The San Jacinto Men's Basketball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1987: The San Jacinto Baseball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

The San Jacinto Women's Volleyball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1989: The San Jacinto Baseball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1990: The San Jacinto Baseball team wins the NJCAA National Championship.

1999: Voters approve $91 million in bonds to add state-of-the-art Interactive Learning Centers (ILC) on each campus, Fine Arts Centers and substantial infrastructure improvements.

All three campuses are reaccredited.

2003:  Four North Campus programs — Health Information Management, Emergency Medical Technology, Computer Information Systems and Legal Assistant — earn exemplary status from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This is the most of any community college in Texas.

2005: South Campus opens the Biotechnology Life Sciences Center to provide leading-edge training and support workforce needs in industry, research and bio-tech organizations.

2006: The Center for Professional Development opens.

2007: Clear Horizons Early College High School opens on the South Campus. A partnership with Clear Creek ISD, this program allows students to earn an associate degree while also earning a high school diploma.

2008: Voters overwhelmingly approve a $295 million bond referendum to create new allied health and science facilities, library and physical education facility improvements.

Hurricane Ike inflicts substantial damage to the three campuses. San Jac leadership and faculty unite to get students back to class in just a few weeks and complete the semester on time. San Jacinto College earns reaccreditation in the fall.

2009: Dr. Brenda Hellyer is named chancellor, the fifth in San Jac’s history.

2010: Men of Honor, an initiative aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates among African-American male students, launches with 71 students.

2011: San Jacinto College celebrates its 50th Anniversary. San Jacinto College is recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream with a designation of Leader College.

2012: More than 200 elected officials, community members, former and current San Jacinto College employees, and the Harris County Historical Commission unveiled a Texas Historical Marker on the College's Central Campus.

2013: San Jacinto College graduated over 5000 students.