“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,” Dr. Destry Dokes told the Rotary Club of Humble July 29. “Life is about learning how to dance in the rain. We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but we still plan to celebrate sometime this coming spring.”
The celebration is for San Jacinto Community College’s newest campus under construction inside Generation Park, a 4,200-acre commercial development located near Beltway 8 and West Lake Houston Parkway.
Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 24, and Dokes, the campus executive director, gave more than 30 Humble Rotarians a virtual preview of the 57-acre campus.
It’s tough opening a new campus and even tougher doing it during a pandemic,” Dokes said, “but you can do anything with a good team.”
He praised the college trustees as well as Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “I played football and I learned early on that you need a leader to inspire you and Dr. Hellyer does that.”
The Generation Park campus first will focus on transfer classes only, Dokes explained. “We have transfer agreements with all the major four-year colleges so that our students can take their basics at what is a much cheaper cost and those classes will transfer 100% to the college of their choice.”
In addition to students who plan to transfer to a four-year college, Generation Park also will focus on students looking for a career and select one of the technical programs, such as welding or a maritime position, although those students will have on-campus instruction at San Jacinto’s north campus.
“We’re proud to serve both groups of students,” Dokes said, “and be able to provide careers for our students and a workforce for the many industries in our community.”
When classes begin on Aug. 24, students will have four options:
-Online anytime – allows students to take classes anytime with no need to travel to campus.
- Online on a schedule – allows students to complete coursework online but virtual lectures and instruction will take place at specific times and days.
- Hands-on hybrid – a combination of online instruction and small groups especially designed for students taking more technical training.
- Flex campus – allowing students to spend some time in classrooms in addition to online learning.
Students who come to the new campus will attend class in a newly completed 55,000-square foot, two-story building equipped with 12 classrooms and two labs. This first building will include office and workspace for full-time and adjunct faculty, space for student services such as financial aid, business offices, advising and counseling, and a library.
Almost 60% of San Jacinto students are female and 60% are Hispanic. Three of every four students are part-time. Half are first-generation students. Almost 44% are between 18-21, according to Dokes. In response to a question, Dokes said anyone, including those outside the college-taxing district, may attend the Generation Park campus. The taxing districts are Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, LaPorte, Pasadena and Sheldon independent school districts. Out-of-district and out-of-state residents pay a higher tuition.
San Jacinto College traces its roots to 1960 when voters in five school districts created the college. Since then, the college has evolved now into five campus and 12 extension centers educating and training nearly 30,000 students.
“During this pandemic, we all may feel working from home that we’re working on an island, but we’re all on the same island,” Dokes said. “We need to celebrate and this spring we’ll celebrate our newest campus.”
As the virtual meeting ended, Club President Mike Kevlin commended Dokes who is a member of the Humble Club’s Summer Creek Satellite Club. He reported that the Humble Club is donating $2,000 to Rotary International’s epidemiology program in Venezuela. Kevlin earlier reported that the Rotary District will match the Humble Club’s $4,000 donation to purchase backpacks for the Lake Houston Family YMCA’s annual backpack program.
The Rotary Club of Humble meets virtually on Wednesdays at noon. The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets the second and fourth Tuesdays at 8 a.m. To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian, visit humblerotary.com.