Student voices heard at Community College Day in Austin
Texas legislators welcomed students from San Jacinto College on Jan. 30 in Austin to discuss their concerns at the eighth Texas Community College Student Day.
Texas Community College Student Day is held every two years when the Texas legislature is in session. Students from all 50 Texas community colleges are invited to visit with their representatives, get a hands-on approach to the legislative process, and tour the capitol complex.
One of the largest issues discussed among many of the visiting students and legislators was academic transfer. Texas higher education institutions have undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure that students transferring from community colleges and universities should have as many credit hours transfer as possible.
“It’s hard as a student when you’ve worked hard and completed courses only to have the transferring institution tell you that they won’t count toward your degree,” said San Jacinto College student Mehak Khatani. “That means you’ll have to take those same courses again which means more money for courses that you didn’t plan on taking and more time it will take to finish your degree.”
Texas legislators are looking at having more general education courses seamlessly transfer at all public state institutions, saving students money and time toward completion. This would assist in reaching the state’s 60x30TX higher education plan whose goal is to have 60 percent of Texans ages 25 – 34 have a degree or certificate by 2030.
“The largest increment of growth toward completing the 60x30TX plan will come from community colleges,” said Sen. Kel Seliger (TX-District 31) at the Community College Day welcome rally.
While in Austin, San Jacinto College students met with Rep. Mary Ann Perez (TX-District 144) who also recognized the group on the Texas House of Representatives floor. They also met with Rep. Ana Hernandez (TX-District 143); Rep. Armando Walle (TX-District 140); Sen. John Whitmire (TX-District 15); Patrick Philpot, policy analyst for Sen. Larry Taylor (TX-District 11); and Alejandra Cajero, higher education policy staffer for Sen. Carol Alvarado (TX-District 145).
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts 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.