High school graduates often went off to college to “ … find themselves,” but parents don’t want to pay for kids to “ … find themselves.”
Dr. Kelly Mizell shared that bit of wisdom at Partnership Lake Houston’s Summer Creek BizCom which was held in person at Generation Park near Beltway 8 and West Lake Houston Parkway Feb. 24.
Instead of trying to find themselves, Mizell pointed out, students can earn the hours they need for undergraduate work and go to a college of their choice as a junior simply by taking part in what she called “academic transfer classes” which are classes students will need in their freshman and sophomore years and who plan to transfer to a four-year university.
Mizell is director of instruction at San Jacinto Generation Park campus.
“We recognize the benefits of having a footprint here in the Generation Park space,” added Dr. Destry Dokes. The recently built San Jacinto College campus is a few steps from Redemption Square where Dokes and Mizell were speaking.
“This is our new master planned campus, not a center,” Dokes emphasized, as he displayed on screen photos of the college’s first 55,000-square-foot building. “Everything you need to register for school, and especially to start school.”
Dokes is executive director of San Jacinto College Generation Park. He is particularly excited about the number of students who will be able to come to campus, which is why the 57-acre campus includes two parking garages. Soon, he said, a new entry sign will display, “Come Build Your Future with Us,” which outlines San Jac’s goals and strategy for the Generation Park campus.
“What we love about Generation Park is that everything is nestled among the trees,” he said, “and, when you come to our campus, you will see lots of glass. We want the outside in and the inside out because that is where creativity comes. You want students to be inspired about that journey they are taking in that learning space.”
“We build spaces for learning,” Dokes said. “You tell me what kind of learning needs to happen and we will make it happen inside the space we have.”
Dr. Kelly Mizell explained how Generation Park campus faculty collaborated with their colleagues at universities to develop two-year path programs for San Jacinto College students.
“We write a pathway for a student, for example, majoring in biology who wants to transfer to the University of Houston main campus,” said Mizell who is director of instruction at the Generation Park campus. “That pathway might be different than for a student majoring in biology who wants to attend Texas A&M.”
“We get them on the right pathway,” she said.
Under this “pathway plan,” a San Jacinto student earns an associate degree with 60 credit hours, transfers to the university of their choice, with the degree of their choice, as a junior with none of the electives left out.
The Generation Park campus offers four different kinds of instruction — traditional face-to-face, a hybrid of face-to-face and online, online only, and online on a schedule which is like a traditional face-to-face class held with students at a regular time but held online.
Beginning this summer, the campus is introducing a hyflex class in which students must attend the first class and all tests in person but can choose whether to attend the other classes in person or online.
“One of the things I like about what we are doing at Generation Park is that we are a one-stop shop, meaning that our advisers are cross-trained in all the requirements. Students can get all the resources they need from that one person,” Dokes said.
The Generation Park campus is working with industry partners to aid them with training or retraining their employees.
“We paid a visit to Service Wire facilities which is located here at Generation Park,” Dokes said, “then they toured our facility, so we both better understand what we do and how we can support each other.”
The result of those tours was the creation of “The Fundamentals of Supervision Academy,” for Service Wire, supplying a series of courses for their employees, and naming a space for them inside the facility where Service Wire employees receive their training.
“If you work at Service Wire and you need training, you go to training in the Service Wire Academy at our campus. They have a college inside Generation Park,” said Dokes.
Dokes also outlined the Center for Entrepreneurship on their campus which supplies space for informational sessions for businesses and community programs.
“This is our way to get in touch and keep in touch with our community,” Dokes said.