San Jacinto College North (SJCN) is one of three campuses of San Jacinto College, a large community college covering much of Houston, Texas. SJCN was founded in 1975, to respond to the general education needs of a growing population. Today, about 6,200 students are enrolled at the North campus.
SJCN serves a catchment area that includes the Galena Park, Sheldon, and Channelview school districts in Houston. The campus is located on over 105 wooded acres in Houston with 20 buildings. The surrounding community is known as the North Channel area.
The college is also closely affiliated with Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy, a continuing education body that trains deckhands, tonnage masters, and engineers for work on drillships and other vessels that work the Gulf Coast.
Areas of study at SJCN include Arts and Design, Automotive, Aviation, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Communications, Computer Information Technology, Craft Trades, Culinary Trades, Education, Health Science, Human Services, Law and Public Safety, and Science and Engineering. Some of the most popular programs for day students are computer, paralegal, diesel mechanics, and real estate.
The real estate, information technology, and paralegal programs have all been awarded Exemplary Workforce Education Program ratings from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The most popular evening and distance learning programs are vocational nursing, criminal justice, welding, and international business.
Arts and Academics
Arts facilities on the SJCN campus consist of the Dr. Charles Grant Fine Arts Center and Galeria Del Norte. These facilities are home to programs in art, audio engineering, broadcast technology, dance, interior design, music, speech, debate, theatre, film, and visual communications.
The library at SJCN is home to three special collections. The Texana Collection has its own room which is normally kept locked, as the collection is very valuable. It contains old and rare books on local and Texas history and related periodicals, autographed photos, memorial books, census data, maps, and genealogical information. The library staff is happy to open the room at any time, however, for an interested student. The second special collection is the Law Library, which is open to anyone, although materials must remain in the library. The third collection is the Career Collection, a compilation of reference books and materials for resume building, interviewing, and other helpful tools for employment.
Particularly academically motivated students at SJCN can apply for the Honors Program. Honors Program Students are eligible for targeted scholarships, enjoy small classes, have access to an Honors computer lab, and receive priority registration. To qualify for the Honors Program, students should satisfy at least one and preferably several of the following criteria:
• Score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam
• Have graduated in the top 20% of their high school class
• Have received a 3.25 GPA or higher in high school
• Have received a 3.25 GPA or higher on any college classwork completed thus far
• Be a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)
• Be a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NSCS)
• Have earned a minimum score of 1100 on the SAT (500 minimum verbal)
• Have earned a minimum score of 26 on the ACT
To complete the Honors Program, students must finish at least 15 hours of Honors work and earn at least a B in each class with an overall GPA of at least 3.00.
SJCN offers over 150 Life Long Learning Courses for students who wish to learn about a topic or passion without earning credit. Some examples of Life Long Learning courses include belly dancing, retirement planning, cake decorating, motorcycle riding certification, martial arts, and ceramics. Life Long Learning also offers informational classes about concealed handgun laws in Texas.
One of the more interesting programs at SJCN is the Aerospace and Biotechnology Academy, which runs workshops and camps for students interested in space and biotechnology careers. The academy also provides continuing education to teachers in these areas.
SJCN also runs the Maritime Venture Summer Camp for high school students. This camp takes students on the Merchant Vessel “Sam Houston” on a learning trip to discover the Houston Ship Channel. Students also attend lectures from maritime workers such as tankermen, pilots, and captains.
There are several different groups admitted to SJCN, including students with a high school diploma, GED, transfers, veterans, special approvals, high school dual credit, and senior citizens. Students with high school diplomas should complete an online application and send high school transcripts along with proof of having met the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements, such as scores on the TASP/THEA, COMPASS, or other state-approved test.
High school students interested in concurrent enrollment must complete an admission application and submit an endorsement form signed by the prospective student, a parent or guardian, and a high school counselor or administrator. Concurrent students must also submit documentation that they have met the TSI requirements.
In addition to the usual range of financial aid options open to US citizens and residents of Texas, San Jacinto offers several dozen of their own scholarships.
The division of continuing and professional development offers several areas of training that are funded through the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) program. These programs are free of charge for qualifying students. Areas of training include business, applied technologies such as commercial truck driving and welding, computer training such as software applications, and health training such as coding and billing. To qualify for these programs, students must have resided in Texas for 12 months prior to enrollment, be registered with the Selective Service System (if male), and not be in default of any student loans.
Childcare at SJCN is available for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years. At The Laboratory School, children enjoy art, music, free play, and more under the care of educated and licensed child care providers. Parents who are pursuing a technical career program at SJCN may qualify for child care assistance under the Special Populations office, while academic majors may qualify for the campus grant for Child Care Assistants.
SJCN is home to Chablis restaurant, where students in the culinary arts program cook and serve upscale food for downscale prices. There is also a café in the Barnes & Noble bookstore on campus.
Spa and Salon Services
Cosmetology services are available at reasonable prices at a spa and salon run by students in the cosmetology program. Available services include haircuts, facials, manicures, hair coloring, highlighting, hair relaxing, permanent waves, and pedicures and artificial nails (available only when the Nail Technology class is in session).
Clubs and Organizations
There are over a hundred clubs and organizations at SJNC, including academic, cultural, religious, service-oriented, and interest groups. There are groups for students interested in anime, ceramics, gaming, jazz, politics, patriotism, creative writing, culinary arts, film, and much more.
A wide range of educational and planning services are available to students at SJCN. The counseling office is open until 7 PM Mondays-Thursdays in order to meet the needs of students who work during the day. Tutoring services are available both in person and online.
The Interactive Learning Center (ILC) provides computers for student use. The ILC is staffed by student assistants and full-time consultants at the help desk. Media support and tutorials are available.
The college offers 3 different health care plans to students without existing coverage. Although there are no residence halls on campus, the Healthcare and Housing Office does assist students in finding places to live as needed.
Baseball and women’s basketball are the most popular sports at SJCN. Intramural athletics include baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and cheerleading. There is a recreation center for student use at SJCN with weight rooms, cardio rooms, tennis courts, basketball courts, a track, and a nine-hole golf course.
The North Channel community is a diverse one with a wide range of economic and business interests. Several community organizations meet on campus, including the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, the San Jacinto Pilot Club, League of United Latin American Citizens, Head Start, and many more.
A great deal of the economic activity in the area comes from the channel off the Gulf Coast. Many graduates of SJCN work in fishing, importing, exporting, oil drilling, and other kinds of work related to the channel. Programs at the college prepare their students to participate in the local economy and make the North Channel their permanent home.
Furthermore, the North Channel area offers much in terms of recreation to students at SJCN. A 24 screen multiplex cinema, a BMX bike trail, a skate park, 2 YMCAs, 2 18-hole golf courses, and dozens of restaurants are within a few minutes driving distance of the campus.
About San Jac. San Jacinto College. Web. 26 Apr. 2011.
Counseling. San Jacinto College. Web. 26 Apr. 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
North Channel Area FAQs. North Channel Area. Web. 26 Apr. 2011.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.