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San Jacinto College’s Maritime program receives national Bellwether Award
Press Release
Friday, February 08, 2019

HOUSTON – San Jacinto College’s
Maritime program was named the 2019 Bellwether Award recipient in Workforce Development this week, awarded by the Community College Futures Assembly to the most innovative community college workforce program in the nation.  

“We are thrilled to win the prestigious Bellwether Award,” said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives. “We competed for this honor with workforce programs from across the country that are all striving to create opportunities for their students and leverage advantages for employers in their region. San Jacinto College is proud to be the educational provider for mariners beginning their careers as well as those coming ashore in Houston, and having our program recognized nationally is a testament to our commitment to our mission.” 

The Bellwether Awards are an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly—sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida—focusing on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. The awards are widely regarded as the nation's most competitive and prestigious recognition for community colleges, and are presented annually to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices in three categories: workforce development, instructional programs and services, and planning, governance, and finance. 

Selected from a competitive, nationally reviewed field of hundreds of Bellwether applications, San Jacinto College’s Maritime program took the top honor in workforce development, categorized as public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development by producing workforce. 

“All of San Jacinto College has played an instrumental part in the success of the Maritime Program,” said John Stauffer, Associate Vice Chancellor of the Maritime Technology and Training Center. “Our goal at San Jacinto College Maritime is to provide a solution for a shortage of mariners in the Gulf Coast Region. We are accomplishing this through strong partnerships with our industry partners and our community to provide the skilled workforce needed to build a stronger regional economy. Winning this prestigious award was a total team effort.” 

San Jacinto College's 45,000-square-foot Maritime Technology and Training Center is home to more than 70 USCG-approved courses and Texas' first and only associate degree in maritime transportation program. Led by a uniquely qualified staff of USCG-approved Ship Captains, Chief Engineers, and former U.S. Military and Merchant Marine Officers, these dedicated mariners have more than 225 years of industry experience combined and are committed to shaping the maritime leaders of tomorrow.

The other programs selected as 2019 Bellwether Award winners are: Polk State College's "Transforming advanced technical education through innovative new models" in the instructional programs and services category, and San José Evergreen Community College District's program "Silicon Valley career pathways" in planning, governance, and finance.

About San Jacinto College 

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts 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.

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