San Jacinto College was selected by the Association of Community College Trustees and Education Strategy Group as one of 14 community colleges to participate in the Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab. This initiative will develop new or improved pathways between non-credit and credit programs, allowing more students to pursue and eventually receive an associate degree.
San Jacinto College was the only school in Texas selected to serve in this two-year project.
"We are excited to be a part of this prestigious project," said Shelley Rinehart, acting assistant vice chancellor of instructional and program support efficacy. "We look forward to working with great minds from around the country to improve this process right here at San Jac and help other colleges improve or implement the process as well."
Non-credit programs can be a starting point for workforce training and education that leads to higher earning potential and career sustainability. However, the current system needs to be redesigned to enable students in non-credit programs to achieve additional learning if they want to progress.
"COVID-19 has been both a barrier and an accelerator to the field of education. We recognize that displaced workers need to re-skill and/or upskill to get back into the workforce as quickly as possible, and San Jac wants to help them do that," said Rinehart.
San Jac will focus on the maritime and computer information technology programs to capture data and gather feedback from faculty, students, administration, and industry partners about the process and any barriers.
"San Jac already offers a pathway for non-credit students to earn associate degrees in several of our programs, including maritime and CIT," said Rinehart. "Both of these programs offer credit for prior learning opportunities and certificates, but we want to expand the number of programs that offer the ability to earn the two-year degree."
Rinehart states that the Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab aligns with the mission of San Jacinto College.
"Our goal is to ensure students know the opportunities available to them and intentionally advise them on the connections at San Jac," she said. "We always want to help our students find the best path to workforce success."
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top five community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College spans five campuses serving approximately 41,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College's impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's.