New San Jacinto College Generation Park Campus prepares for fall 2020 inaugural semester

San Jacinto College is preparing to open its newest campus in the Generation Park development off Beltway 8. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)
San Jacinto College is preparing to open its newest campus in the Generation Park development off Beltway 8. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)

San Jacinto College is preparing to open its newest campus in the Generation Park development off Beltway 8. (Courtesy San Jacinto College)

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San Jacinto College is preparing to open its newest campus in the Generation Park development off Beltway 8. But opening a new campus amid a pandemic is challenging, said Destry Dokes, the executive director of the campus.

Construction on the $26 million campus will be completed Aug. 1, after press time. Soon after, students can choose from an online asynchronous model, which is the traditional online learning option; an online synchronous model, where students will tune in to a live video; and a flex campus model, where in-person courses are available for specific courses.

Students and teachers will also be required to wear masks while on campus, Dokes said. Officials estimated in late 2019 that the campus would enroll 2,000 students in its first semester.

Dokes said the college still hopes to bring on 1,500-2,000 students—with 938 students enrolled as of July 29.

“While there may be a slowing trend because people are trying to be decisive about their lives, we also believe and are encouraged by the trend in the past and that is that the numbers will uptick and influx in July through the end of August,” he said.


However, if enrollment does decline due to the virus, it could affect the future build-out of the campus, Dokes said. The Generation Park campus had planned to offer workforce programs and have a second building on the 57-acre campus.

“We’re also being lean in our thinking; that is that we’re constantly looking at the information and data to determine what we should do in the future,” he said.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dokes said he is excited to begin the inaugural year at the campus.

“We get an opportunity to help build an area, to really provide learning spaces and learning opportunities in the far northern sector of our service area,” he said. “The organization has decided to move in that direction to make sure that we are responsive to the community.”
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.