San Jac Innovations
The San Jacinto College Men of Honor program aims to increase the retention, graduation, and transfer rates among African-American male students.
In the program, trained faculty, staff, community members, and students serve as mentors for African-American male students, offering guidance, encouragement, and support. Some activities include regular meetings, guest speaker forums, community service projects, and participation in regional, state, and national conferences. The program also incorporates some academic coursework.
There have been positive gains in three key categories since the Men of Honor program launched in 2009 -- an increase in the number of students that stayed enrolled, an increase in the number of students who passed, and an increase in the number of Men of Honor students who were both retained and passed.
The Women of Integrity, formerly called Ladies of Integrity, a Student Success Initiative designed to enhance the positive academic and personal experiences of female students at the San Jacinto College. The program was formed by a group of interested and dedicated faculty and staff at the San Jacinto College North campus. With the increasing popularity of the District’s Men of Honor mentoring initiative for males of color, there was a request by many women across the College to establish a similar program to meet the needs of the female student. In August 2014, the Ladies of Integrity name was changed to Women of Integrity and the initiative was institutionalized.
Developed by San Jacinto College math faculty, the Acceleration in Mathematics (AIM) program is a one-semester co-requisite model pairing instruction in developmental mathematics with the concepts needed for college algebra. Students complete developmental education courses and college algebra in one semester, expediting their time to degree completion. The class is co-taught by a developmental education instructor and a college algebra instructor. The class meets four days each week, for 1.5 hours per day, supported by one hour of collaborative learning time on Friday. Students benefit from two faculty members in the classroom at all times, feedback through testing and graded homework, required additional tutoring, and a supportive learning community.
The course was created in partnership by developmental education and credit faculty working together to create a version of College Algebra based on the co-requisite model, a College Algebra course with all of the supporting developmental skills built in, as well as a course which addresses the skills students need to be successful in any college class. The San Jacinto College Mathematics research and development team created a uniquely community college focused design for San Jacinto College students.
From boots to books, San Jacinto College prides itself on being a military friendly institution. In fact, Victory Media, Inc., has named the College a Military Friendly institution five times. Virtually all of our academic, vocational, and technical courses are approved for veterans training and eligible veterans benefits.
Each San Jacinto College campus has a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. These centers are a place where veterans, and their families, can receive VA information, register for classes, use a computer lab, and network with other veteran students. Veteran success coordinators are in place to help transition service members from military to school and into the workforce. These Centers for Excellence were funded by a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and more than $375,000 from private donors and generous donations of materials and labor.
San Jacinto College is proud to participate in the College Credit for Heroes Initiative. This workforce development initiative through the Texas Workforce Commission is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills possessed by military veterans in allied health fields from all branches of service, and to award them college credits for their military experience. The program was designed to eliminate barriers to veterans, so that pursuing a college education becomes as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
San Jacinto College students benefit immensely from service-learning opportunities. Service-learning is a research-based teaching method where guided or classroom learning is applied through action that addresses an authentic community need in a process that allows for student initiative and provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge.
There are a variety of reasons why one might want to teach with service-learning. By applying classroom lessons toward activities in the community, San Jacinto College students can achieve higher grades, a greater sense of social responsibility, increase critical thinking and writing skills, gain leadership skills, and more. Examples of service-learning activities at San Jacinto College include planting trees in public spaces, helping homeless veterans, participating in food pantries, and coordinating after school activities for local children. Service learning has become an important part of learning at San Jacinto College.
In keeping with its vision and mission, San Jacinto College offers a quality-learning environment and a wide array of courses for its diverse population. This flexibility attracts individuals who differ in experience, educational backgrounds, work experiences, and educational goals. To maximize the community college experience, it is important to use time efficiently through proper placement in a chosen degree program. Credit for prior learning allows students, who have mastered academic or technical competencies, to demonstrate their knowledge for credit in a multitude of content areas. This arrangement offers students an opportunity to lower costs, save time, and prevent repetition of mastered competencies.
San Jacinto College launched Intentional Connections in Fall 2011 at the North Campus to provide guidance and mentoring for an underserved group of students – lower level developmental education students who struggle with core subjects, but want to complete college and improve their lives. Because of the program’s success at the North Campus, Intentional Connections was expanded to the Central and South Campuses in the Fall of 2013. In the program, trained faculty members serve as Intentional Connections mentors (case managers), who work closely with identified developmental education students, learning what career fields they may be interested in, and evaluating their educational strengths and weaknesses. After an assessment process, mentors help students to get “connected” with key administrators and faculty members. Students then “test drive” different programs prior to enrolling in a full semester course to find out if that area of study is a good fit.