San Jacinto College receives national award for high achievement, equity in 2 programs

Each of the college’s winning programs will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half set aside to provide scholarships for high-achieving students. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)
Each of the college’s winning programs will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half set aside to provide scholarships for high-achieving students. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)

Each of the college’s winning programs will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half set aside to provide scholarships for high-achieving students. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)

San Jacinto College received the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award for its associate degree programs in nursing and process technology, which both aim to prepare graduates for a rapidly changing workforce, according to a Sept. 29 media release.

The award, which was given by The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation, went to seven community colleges and eight programs across the United States that are “providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology,” per the release.

The eight programs are also being nationally recognized for their intentional outreach and support of diverse, typically underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and math careers. San Jacinto College is the only institution to receive the award for two programs.

“San Jacinto College utilizes a holistic approach for equity in access and success to ensure that all students have an opportunity to earn a higher education credential,” Chancellor Brenda Hellyer said in the release. “We are incredibly thankful and grateful to the Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation for this award, and for recognizing San Jacinto College faculty and staff for the important work they do every day to ensure our students succeed.”

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies and leadership in a way that improves student outcomes. The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $122 million across the country to advance workforce development and STEM education initiatives.



Each of the college’s winning programs will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half set aside to provide scholarships for high-achieving students, known as Siemens Technical Scholars.

The college’s RN-to-BSN program provides registered nurses with the experience necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree. San Jacinto College’s program received approval in fall 2019 and welcomed its first class this semester.

Veronica Jammer, the program’s department chair, said the program will help give nurses further credentials, which is necessary in the contemporary health care field given the “real big push” recently to have more nurses with bachelor’s degrees at patient bedsides. Having an RN-to-BSN program will also foster opportunities for research and new leadership positions at the college, she told Community Impact Newspaper.

The college’s associate of applied science program for process technology is the largest of its workforce training programs. Students in the program prepare to become plant operators responsible for equipment, hazards produced by chemicals and the applicable chemistry and physics involved in process technology, per the release.

Students can engage in hands-on training at the college’s central campus due to the recent addition of the LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy & Technology, per the release. Skills acquired include reading piping and instrumentation diagrams, operating simulators, and identifying and troubleshooting equipment. Graduates find employment in chemical plants, refineries, wastewater treatment plants, pharmaceutical plants, canneries and more, with entry-level operators averaging $60,000 annually, per the release.

Within the last eight years, more than $60 billion has been invested in new capital in the Houston Port region, per the release; these investments, combined with the realities of a retiring workforce, demand for diversity and new technology have generated a strong labor demand for new employees. To address these workforce needs, the process technology program has increased outreach to high school students and college-age Hispanic and Black students.

The program reaches more than 1,000 high school students each year through facility tours, career fairs, technology showcases and campus STEM events. The program also continues to grow its female student enrollment, currently at 11% of its 25% goal, per the release.

“Community college STEM programs are a strong pathway to job security and financial success for many students, whether that means heading right into a great paying job or getting a more advanced degree,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation, in the release. “This award recognizes the colleges that provide an excellent STEM education and develop talent from every community.”

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.


<

MOST RECENT

One of Clear Creek ISD's superintendent's target for 2021-22, as approved by the board, is to have 90% of student exclusions fall within district parameters, which are aligned with Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines. (Courtesy Pexels)
Clear Creek ISD internal audit finds 91% accuracy in COVID-19-related exclusions among students, staff

The superintendent's target for 2021-22, as approved by the board, is to have 90% of student exclusions fall within district parameters, which are aligned with Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines.

San Jacinto College's main campus is in Pasadena. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)
During 60th anniversary year, San Jacinto College leader talks changing education landscapes

The college officially hit 60 years on Sept. 18 and is celebrating the anniversary with a theme of “60 years of service."

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

A health expert with Baylor College of Medicine provides advice to stay safe and healthy while celebrating Thanksgiving with family. (Karolina Grabowska/Pexels)
Baylor College of Medicine: Tips for staying safe and healthy this Thanksgiving as the pandemic continues

Check out some helpful advice from a medical expert on how to stay safe and healthy during Thanksgiving.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Students began using the facility in 2020. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bay Area education leaders optimistic about growth potential for San Jacinto College's Edge Center

San Jacinto College's training center will play a vital role in strengthening the Bay Area’s aerospace industry presence, according to local education leaders.

With IM-3, Intuitive Machines will provide lunar delivery and operational support service for a 13.5-day duration. (Courtesy Intuitive Machines)
Clear Lake aerospace company Intuitive Machines secures third moon contract award

NASA has selected Intuitive Machines to deliver four science and technology demonstration payloads to Reiner Gamma, which is a feature on the moon, according to a Nov. 17 media release.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

PTSD Foundation of America seeks to reduce veteran suicides

An average of 17.2 veterans died by suicide daily in 2019—a 36% increase from 2001, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in September.

Hebrews Coffeehouse specializes in coffee flights, an assortment of four specialty coffees with flavors changed every two weeks. (Courtesy Hebrews Coffeehouse)
From coffee trailer to storefront: Meet the owners of Hebrews Coffeehouse on FM 1488

​​​​​​​“Once we had a coffeehouse and people were coming into that house-type environment and then you start to see relationships flourish, that’s what makes our hearts beat,” Geoff said. “Coffee was a catalyst for that.”

Texas Medical Center coronavirus update: ICU numbers drop almost 20%; new hospitalizations plateau

Heading into Thanksgiving, here is the status of COVID-19 in Texas Medical Center hospitals.