As we plan the future direction of San Jacinto College, there are many external and internal factors we need to consider. I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made since the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan was implemented. The fact that we awarded more than 6,000 degrees and certificates to graduates within the last two years is a great indication that our focus on student success is helping to move our nation’s student success agenda forward.
San Jacinto College is one of 30 community colleges nationwide to have been selected for the American Association of Community Colleges’ Pathways Project, a partnership to build capacity for community colleges to implement a pathways approach to student success and college completion. Imagine the number of students who will succeed after we remove barriers for their completion and make their pathway to graduation more clear.
This Pathways Project will help us scale up student success initiatives already in place that are working – those in which we are seeing great results – and will allow us to re-evaluate initiatives that are not as successful. This is important work for us that will guide many of our decisions and actions in the future.
There has been tremendous change in higher education across our state and country since I began my tenure as Chancellor more than seven years ago. That change has had a financial impact on San Jacinto College, and I am proud to say we have a Board of Trustees that is dedicated to fiscal responsibility. We have prioritized and repurposed both operational and capital dollars to help us navigate that change. You can see that change on our campuses with the creation of nine new buildings, with one more scheduled to open spring 2017, plus significant renovations of several of our older facilities. More change is on the way as we begin work on the new buildings and renovations from the $425 million bond referendum, “San Jac Tomorrow,” approved by voters last November. This will allow us to build centers of excellence to further meet the workforce demand in our region, and provide an entry point to higher education for students who wish to move on to four-year colleges and universities.
Through our work with our local communities and industry partners, we continue to meet training demands by providing skilled workers to our local workforce. We have active advisory committees that keep us apprised of the local workforce needs, and we must listen and respond to their recommendations. Through these partnerships, we have increased the number of courses and programs in areas such as maritime, pipefitting and welding, construction and craft trades, to help fill skill gaps in our region.
I have always said that our best asset is our people, and we continue to invest in them to ensure success. It is important that we continue to invest in initiatives that develop our employees into leaders and allow them to grow in their chosen career paths. Our efforts are to recruit, retain and develop the best!
As I have mentioned before, the accomplishment of our College goals will not happen by themselves. It will take focus, hard work and innovation on the part of all San Jacinto College employees. Together, as a team working with our community partners, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of our students, helping them to reach their educational and personal goals.
Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D.
Chancellor, San Jacinto College
Note: The Strategic Plan for San Jacinto College was developed for 2010 through 2013. This supplement represents the strategy revisions for 2015 – 2018.