San Jac receives Center of Excellence recognition from U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration

May 27, 2021Torrie Hardcastle
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PASADENA, Texas — The San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center has been named a 2021 Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education, as announced last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration.

San Jacinto College joins 26 additional recipient institutions across the nation as the country's first group to receive this designation, which recognizes community colleges and training institutions that prepare students for careers in the maritime industry. San Jacinto College is one of just three community colleges located along the Gulf of Mexico and the only Texas institution to be recognized as a Center of Excellence.

Opened in 2016, the College's 45,000-square-foot, waterfront Maritime Technology and Training Center is equipped with state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators and offers more than 70 U.S. Coast Guard and Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers approved courses. The Center also offers Texas' only Associate of Applied Science degree in maritime transportation, combining this nationally approved training with college-level academics.

"Sitting at the mouth of the largest port in Texas and one of the busiest in the country, San Jacinto College's maritime training program plays an essential role in ensuring economic success in both the Houston area and the entire nation and educating a strong workforce for high-quality jobs," said Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36). "Their designation as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education is well-deserved, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact San Jac will continue to make on our region and across the globe."

"I am glad to see the San Jacinto Community College District earn this long-awaited, prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education through the Maritime Administration," said Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (D-TX-29). "San Jacinto College campuses have continuously provided high-quality, affordable education to my constituents and the Greater Houston area. This important recognition should go a long way in securing more federal funding to improve and expand upon San Jacinto College's existing education programs. I'm proud to represent their incredibly successful campuses and students in Congress."

Winner of the prestigious national 2019 Bellwether Award in Workforce Development, the San Jacinto College Maritime Program excels at providing a solution to the shortage of Gulf Coast mariners through academic excellence and strong industry partnerships. These efforts will be bolstered by the new Center of Excellence designation, as the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration partners with designated institutions to help advance student and faculty recruitment, enhance facilities, and provide assistance in the form of equipment and vessel usage.

"We are so honored and appreciative of this recognition," said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. "Our maritime program and campus were created based on a vision from our maritime industry partners, and this recognition is a true testament of industry's support and commitment to our training efforts as we continue preparing the Gulf Coast region's mariner workforce."

Additional information about the San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center can be found on the San Jacinto College website. Further details about the Center of Excellence designation can be found on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Admistration website, including the announcement press release and complete list of designees.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put 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. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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