Diana J. Kleiner

SAN JACINTO COLLEGE. San Jacinto College in southeastern Harris County was established in 1961. It was named for the San Jacinto battleground, which is within sight of campus. The junior college district originally encompassed five school districts on the Houston Ship Channel, including Pasadena, Deer Park, Galena Park, La Porte, and Channelview. Classes began in 1961 in three adjoining store buildings in downtown Pasadena, and a permanent 143-acre central campus opened at Pasadena in 1962 with the completion of a science building. An administration building, gymnasium, and music building were completed in 1964, and residents passed a bond issue approving construction of a library, additional classrooms, a student center, a women's gymnasium, a technical building, and art and drama additions to the fine arts building. During the 1960s the college offered the first two years of a four-year college curriculum in both day and evening programs and prepared technicians for business and industrial occupations. Such programs, usually two years in length and leading to an associate degree, included data processing, engineering drafting, electronics, police administration, and nursing. Enrollment grew to 3,656 students by 1965, making the institution the second largest junior college in the state. By 1969 the college employed 198 faculty members, and its library housed 41,000 volumes. The district's 100-acre North Campus in northeast Houston, which opened in 1975, reached an enrollment of 3,500 students by 1983. The 114-acre South Campus, at Friendswood in north Galveston County, opened in 1979 and offered academic basics needed for a four-year degree as well as technical and vocational courses, including rental-equipment management. The college also operates a Center for Advanced Software Training in Houston and a Technology Training Center in Webster, in addition to extension centers in Clear Lake, Galena Park, Channelview, and Sheldon. Thomas M. Spencer served as president of the college from its inception until 1981, when he assumed the post of chancellor. James F. Horton was chancellor in 2001. Monte Blue, Charles Grant, and Adena Williams Lotson were presidents of the Central, North, and South campuses respectively. In 1983 General Motors established the San Jacinto College Automotive Service Education Program to train mechanics in auto maintenance; the college also has instructional partnerships with several other companies, including Toyota, Ford, Continental Airlines, Associated Builders and Contractors, Cummins Diesel, and Halliburton. In 2001 total enrollment reached 22,177, made up of 10,801 students at the Central Campus, 6,263 at the South Campus, and 5,113 at the North Campus. San Jacinto College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities.


Houston Metropolitan Research Center Files, Houston Public Library. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "SAN JACINTO COLLEGE," accessed April 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 28, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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