Update – November 21, 2016

on November 21, 2016 in Weekly Update

Good Morning San Jacinto College Community,

It actually feels like fall has arrived and just in time for Thanksgiving!  I hope each of you will enjoy your days off this week.  I also hope you have some time to relax and reflect on the blessings in your life.  And for those of you shopping on Black Friday, I wish you the best in managing the stress!

The past few months have been busy here at San Jacinto College.  I will highlight three items: the Aspen Top 10 Finalist process, Pathways and SACSCOC updates, and the kick-off of the Concealed Carry Task Force.

1. Aspen Top 10 Finalist process:  Since the public announcement September 13, 2016, the College has submitted several data requests related to market wage information of our graduates and assessment processes. In mid-October, a team of three from the Aspen Institute conducted 17 panel interviews with over 90 participants including students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members, and industry partners. The interview team was prescriptive on the topics, time allocation, and questions. As the team left, they were complimentary of the college culture and the work being accomplished throughout the entire college. I believe they saw firsthand our focus on students, community, and excellence.

We are now in the waiting process with the final decision occurring in 2017, no later than March.  Even if San Jacinto College is not named the winner, top ten recognition reflects the amazing work each of you does and that we do as a college for our students’ success.

2. Pathways and SACSCOC updates: The Pathways and SACSCOC self-study work is underway. If you are not engaged in some part of this work, I encourage you to talk with your leader about options for your involvement, including the Pathways book discussions which had over 430 participants for part one and overly 300 are participating in part two.  If you are interested in participating in the book discussions, please get in touch with Bill Wolfe at william.wolfe@sjcd.edu. The Pathways website provides updates on the work, articles, and links to information pertinent to the work.  Check it out at this link: http://www.sanjac.edu/about-san-jac/overview/pathways.

In preparation for the College’s 10-year SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation self-study, an internal website is in place to share information regarding the overall reaffirmation project and details of the compliance certification and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) development. The link at http://internal.sanjac.edu/node/10945 is updated regularly and provides a great summary of the process. Each of us will be involved in the assessment and reporting processes for the self-study, and discussions are going on right now about the QEP topic.  We have had good participation in the focus groups. Ask your department chair or dean about these ongoing discussions, or email Ann Pearson at ann.pearson@sjcd.edu with questions.

3. Concealed Carry Task Force:  Recently, the Campus Carry Task Force kicked off with more than 30 participants representing all areas of the College. A copy of the charter is attached. This Task Force is led by Interim Police Chief Caldwell, and Chet Lewis is the SLT (Strategic Leadership Team) sponsor.  In 2015, the 84th Legislative Session of the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11 (SB11) also known as the campus carry law which is effective for community college campuses beginning in August 2017 (for universities the law went into effect August 2016).  This Task Force, within the limitations of SB11, will develop reasonable rules, regulations, and other provisions based on current and past consultation with faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. In addition, the Task Force will review rules implemented by universities, those under consideration by other community colleges, and opinions issued from the State of Texas Attorney General’s office. The Task Force will develop recommendations for areas of San Jacinto College that should be exempted from this law, provided that the areas recommended are reasonable under the current interpretation of SB11.  The Task Force will deliver a recommendation document for review by the SLT and then for review by the Board of Trustees spring 2017.  The Board will ultimately approve by a two-thirds vote the rules and regulations for San Jacinto College which will be implemented fall 2017. At the first meeting, the Task Force established three sub-committees to focus on Survey Development and Analysis, Communication and Training, and Safety/Security and Policy.  You will receive additional communication from the Task Force as the members continue their work and a new informational video on campus carry will be soon be available on YouTube.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our college police department.  This group is committed to providing a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  Their commitment to safety was evidenced late last week with the apprehension of a suspect who attempted to steal a truck parked at our North Campus.  This suspect’s capture resulted in the recovery of other stolen vehicles, laptops, and personal items.  The suspect is now being questioned by other law enforcement agencies related to similar crimes in not only our geographic area, but also in Texas City. Apprehending this suspect and tracking down his related crimes required our police department to work multiple investigative avenues as well as collaborate with our community jurisdictions. I am proud of our college police department and gratefully thank the members of the department for their dedication and service.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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