San Jac celebrates its 60th anniversary with new programs – Natural Self Esteem

San Jacinto College will celebrate its 60th anniversary in the 2021-22 academic year by introducing new programs and expanding others.

The college opened in 1961 in a rented shop space and plans to highlight its history of serving the communities of East Harris County throughout the spring semester.

In June 2021, the school announced a $30 million donation to the college from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett.

The college used a portion of the donation to start the 21 Forward Scholarship Program, which makes up the difference in tuition for freshman students who have applied for financial aid.

Fundraising efforts in support of the foundation

The Scott donation also enabled the school to expand its Promise at San Jac Scholarship Program, which covers tuition and fees for all graduates of certain high schools and all high school seniors living in the college’s tax district who wish to attend San Jac . A foundation was also established with the donation so that students in the district can extend their enrollment.

“We know that finances are often a barrier for students in getting their degree; So our goal is to remove that barrier and put students on the path to completing their qualification, be it a certificate or a degree,” said Chancellor Brenda Hellyer.

For more information about San Jacinto College and its programs, visit

“This (Scott) donation really set the stage for the Promise expansion, but we know those funds won’t last forever. Hence the reason for announcing the Student Success Foundation, which will help fund future Promise at San Jac Scholarships.”

The college aims to raise an additional $10 million for the foundation. The college plans to host a 60th anniversary gala in May as part of its fundraising efforts.

Partnership efforts with Spaceport, petrochemical industry

Hellyer said the school will continue to expand its capacity in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program in 2022.

In December, San Jacinto completed its first cohort of undergraduate nursing students, and registration for the next cohort is underway.

San Jacinto continues to expand its educational and career opportunities through collaboration with industry partners.

As an education partner for the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport, the college recently founded The Edge Center, which provides students with an entry point into the role of a technician in the aerospace industry.

As part of a partnership with the local petrochemical industry, the College has established two Chancellors’ Advisory Councils: one on Cybersecurity/iCloud Computing and the second on Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

“These councils are focused at the CEO/Senior level to develop a strategic focus on understanding and meeting the workforce needs in our region and across the state,” Hellyer said.

New support programs for students

New programs will be developed throughout 2022, including the Mosaic initiative, which provides mentoring support and summer programs to African American/Black students to help them navigate college and complete their certificates and degrees.

The school has also instituted a neurodiversity program through its student support department, providing resources to students at all three San Jacinto campuses who have been diagnosed with autism.

“We know that not every student is the same,” Hellyer said.

Through this program, students can meet with coordinators and practice skills in group situations with others with a similar diagnosis.

Although the San Jac Cares call program started in April 2020, volunteer staff will continue to screen students during the pandemic.

“The success of the program has prompted the college to make this a part of its processes every semester,” Hellyer said.

Hellyer was appointed

to the Texas Commission on Community College Finance.

“This is important state-level work in transfers and community college funding that is critical to maintaining community college education and training offerings across the state and improving student outcomes in alignment with the state postsecondary goals “, she said.

San Jacinto College serves the communities of East Harris County, including the La Porte, Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, La Porte, and Pasadena school districts.

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