History - San Jacinto College

San Jacinto 60 Years of Service Play Video
Established in 1961, San Jacinto College has created a deep impact on the East Harris County region. What started as two rented buildings in downtown Pasadena, has grown to five campuses and more than 90,000 graduates. Along the way, our journey has been filled with many firsts and accomplishments.

60+ Years of Success

$36+ million
saved to date in textbook costs with Open Books
graduates since 1964
Athletic national championships

Building a Legacy

San Jacinto College Temporary Quarters at Two Buildings in Downtown Pasadena
San Jacinto College’s original location in downtown Pasadena
The 1960s - 1970s 
In 1963, San Jacinto College received full accreditation from the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, making us the first college in the state to do so after only two years of operation. Three years later, we received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

First Graduating Class from South Campus
The first graduating class from South Campus
These decades marked a time of growth for the College. We opened the Lee Davis Library in 1968, which is still used today by our students. In 1970, we completed construction of an eight-lane athletic track on Central Campus. With seating for 2,000, it would be the first step in San Jac producing professional and Olympic athletes. The College added two more locations, North and South Campuses, which opened in 1975 and 1979, respectively. 

Decades of Firsts

Automotive Program 1980's
South Campus added an automotive program in the 1980s

The 1980s - 1990s 
In the 1980s, San Jacinto College also started looking for ways to support our students after graduation. In 1988, the College signed the first-ever articulation agreement with the University of Houston. This partnership eased the transfer process for San Jacinto College students to attend the University of Houston. Today, we have articulation agreements with more than 20 schools, in and out of state.

Computer Technology Class 1990's
Campus computer technology in the 1990s

The College met the improvements in technology in the 1990s head on. We launched our first online class in 1995, and throughout the years our online learning has grown exponentially. Today, we offer more than 60 degrees and certificates that can be earned completely online. 

Established in 1996, the San Jacinto College Foundation provides students with financial assistance so they can pursue their educational dreams. Between food and clothing assistance, emergency funding, and scholarship opportunities, the Foundation is able to help hundreds of students each year.

An Era of Innovation

Students performing practical exercises Fire Academy
Students get hands-on experience in the Fire Protection Technology program.
The 2000s - 2010s 
The new millennium brought innovation to San Jac. In 2000, our Aerospace and Biotech Academy officially opened, and in 2005, our paralegal program was certified by the American Bar Association.

Physics Students
San Jacinto College was designated as an Achieving the Dream Leader College.

In the 2010s, we were able to keep expanding our campuses and services to students. In 2012, we opened a Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success on each of the North, Central, and South Campuses. These centers offer educational and personal guidance to the many veterans that choose San Jac. Our Maritime Campus also opened in 2016, followed by our Generation Park campus in 2020.

Not only did we expand our campus footprint during this time, but also our credentials. In fall 2020, we launched our first bachelor’s degree - the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN) program. Approved by the Texas Board of Nursing, the program launched in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was well-received by students with a passion for helping others. 

San Jacinto College continues to evolve. In 2023, the College announced a partnership with Nuro, a leading autonomous vehicle company, to bring the first autonomous vehicle technician certificate program in Texas. In addition, we launched our second bachelor’s degree with a Bachelor of Applied Science with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. 

Looking to the Future

San Jacinto College has changed and grown with the community since the beginning. From the construction of the first campus to the creation of two bachelor’s degrees, we have met the needs of this community just as they have met ours. And we will continue to work with our community as we meet the new challenges and needs of the future.