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College Spotlights

San Jac one of nation’s top associate degree producers

Being one of the nation’s top 20 associate degree producers doesn’t happen by chance. It takes dedication and effort from everyone at the institution – faculty, staff, administration and the Board of Trustees. That’s exactly why San Jacinto College ranks 17th out of more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide in associate degree graduates. It’s a fact that the College is extremely proud of.

Since the 2006-07 academic year, San Jacinto College has increased its completion rate nearly 129 percent, awarding a total of 2,682 degrees and certificates in 2007 compared to 6,144 total degrees and certificates in 2015. Based on the Community College Week Top 100 report, San Jacinto College ranks second in science technologies / technicians, 31st in engineering, 20th in precision production (welding) and 21st in health professions. This tremendous increase is a direct reflection of the College’s continued commitment to student success.

The College remains committed to ensuring that students have the resources they need to complete what they started. Over the last five years, San Jacinto College has put in place several student success initiatives that are working and College-wide success rates have risen each fall and spring term. For example, five years ago data showed that students who were allowed to register into a class that had already met at least once had a course success rate that was 15 percent lower than the College average. As a result, the Board of Trustees eliminated late registration into courses that had met at least once.

Another example of an important student success initiative at San Jacinto College is the College Success Intervention (CSI) program. Through this program, students who have repeated a college preparatory math course are required to meet with a faculty member and an educational planner to discuss why they did not succeed and what can be done differently in the current semester. Students sign a commitment form and meet two more times with the faculty member or an educational planner. As a result, nearly 60 percent of the college preparatory math students finished the course that second semester, providing evidence that intervention and making contact with students have a positive effect.

Other successful and innovative work to date includes the Men of Honor and Women of Integrity programs, Intentional Connections and Acceleration in Mathematics (AIM). To read more about San Jacinto College student success initiatives, visit sanjac.edu/san-jac-innovations.

Re-tweet this: The Texas Social Media Research Institute named San Jac tops on Twitter

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) has named its Top Texas Higher Education Institutes on Twitter and guess what? San Jacinto College comes in as the number one community college on Twitter!

To determine its top institutions on Twitter, TSMRI utilized data from the Texas Higher Education Data List of Higher Education Institutions, a Klout score of at least 45 and the number of followers. With more than 4,700 Twitter followers and a Klout score of 66, San Jacinto College landed atop the list. (Klout measures the overall online influence on a scale of 1 to 100, analyzing multiple social networks based on engagement.)

According to Jahmal Clemons, San Jacinto College social media coordinator, “The new generation of students have a say in how we communicate with them. They live in an instantaneous world with nearly free rein to express, connect and contextualize their experience. As effective marketers in higher education, our task is to harness the power of social media and use it for good.”

Over the past year San Jacinto College gained more than 1,500 followers on Twitter thanks to an active Twitter presence that encourages followers to engage with the College. Activity and engagement on Twitter makes up the highest percentage of the College’s total social network activity at 35 percent.

To view the entire list of the top 10 Texas higher education institutions on Twitter, visit the TSMRI website at tsmri.blogspot.com. Follow San Jacinto College on Twitter at @SanJacCollege and join in the conversation!

Military Friendly School

Victory Media named San Jacinto College a Military Friendly School for a sixth time on its annual Military Friendly Schools list.

The annual list showcases the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s service members, veterans and spouses.

Last fall, 1,106 veteran students and their dependents enrolled at San Jacinto College using veteran education benefits. In the 2014-2015 academic year, 289 veterans earned a college degree or certificate.

At San Jacinto College, veteran students have a robust support system and resources at their fingertips to help them succeed as they transition into a civilian lifestyle. Each of the three Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, along with the Student Veteran Association (SVA) chapters on each campus, organize various events throughout the academic year which are open to faculty and students. These events include veteran job fairs, local industry guest speakers and student veteran panel and roundtable discussions on topics such as transitioning back into civilian life, going back to school as a veteran and dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Each year on Veterans Day, the San Jacinto College Foundation awards two veteran students at each campus a Veteran Student Success Scholarship for their hard work and dedication to advancing their educational and career goals.

San Jacinto College is a participating institution in the College Credit for Heroes Initiative (CCHI) administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), which examines ways to award college credits for military experience from all branches of service. The College offers veteran students up to 15 credit hours for military training that is applicable to the students’ program of study, and up to two credit hours toward physical education credit hours. The College is also a “Best for Vets” institution for two years running.

For more information on San Jacinto College veteran student services, visit sanjac.edu/veterans.

Bond referendum a huge success

In November 2015, San Jacinto College received a vote of approval from taxpayers and voters within the College District. These individuals approved a $425 million bond measure to fund much-needed new construction and renovation projects throughout the District.

Nearly 68 percent of voters approved the capital improvement bond program, with a vote of 17,247 for the referendum and 8,300 against. Voter turnout totaled more than five times the number of total votes cast in the 2008 bond election.

Mr. Dan Mims, Chairman of the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees, praised the taxpayers and voters, saying, “These bonds will allow us to move forward in providing state-of-the- art facilities that are the right space for teaching and learning, while updating facilities and improving our security systems and infrastructure throughout the College. As the higher education leader in the Gulf Coast region, it is imperative that we continue to meet the workforce demand in East Harris County and help our students complete their certificates or associate degrees.”

Proposed projects as part of this bond referendum include:

  • State-of-the-art facilities to train students and workers in the petrochemical, energy, engineering, computers, and technology sectors
  • A new welcome center providing a “one-stop shop” for student support services such as admission, financial aid, and counseling.
  • New culinary and cosmetology facilities
  • Additional classroom facilities across the District

Nine buildings will be renovated, most of which are more than 30 years old. This will provide updated space for early college high schools and dual credit programs, as well as more relevant, efficient and updated instructional space for employees and students. Additionally, the funding will provide for security, access and safety upgrades throughout all facilities and significant infrastructure upgrades and replacements for systems at the end of their useful life.

For more information about proposed projects in the 2015 San Jacinto College bond, visit sanjac.edu/bond.