San Jacinto’s Maritime Program receives Bellwether Award

The following is text of a news release from San Jacinto College:

(HOUSTON) — San Jacinto College’s Maritime Program was named the 2019 Bellwether Award recipient in Workforce Development this week, awarded by the Community College Futures Assembly to the most innovative community college work force program in the nation.

“We are thrilled to win the prestigious Bellwether Award,” said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College vice chancellor of strategic initiatives. “We competed for this honor with work force programs from across the country that are all striving to create opportunities for their students and leverage advantages for employers in their region. San Jacinto College is proud to be the educational provider for mariners beginning their careers as well as those coming ashore in Houston, and having our program recognized nationally is a testament to our commitment to our mission.”

The Bellwether Awards are an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly — sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida — focusing on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. The awards are widely regarded as the nation's most competitive and prestigious recognition for community colleges, and are presented annually to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices in three categories: work force development, instructional programs and services, and planning, governance, and finance.

Selected from a competitive, nationally reviewed field of hundreds of Bellwether applications, San Jacinto College’s Maritime Program took the top honor in work force development, categorized as public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development by producing workforce.

“All of San Jacinto College has played an instrumental part in the success of the Maritime Program,” said John Stauffer, associate vice chancellor of the Maritime Technology and Training Center. “Our goal at San Jacinto College Maritime is to provide a solution for a shortage of mariners in the Gulf Coast region. We are accomplishing this through strong partnerships with our industry partners and our community to provide the skilled workforce needed to build a stronger regional economy. Winning this prestigious award was a total team effort.”

San Jacinto College's 45,000-square-foot Maritime Technology and Training Center is home to more than 70 U.S. Coast Guard-approved courses and Texas' first and only associate degree in maritime transportation program. Led by a uniquely qualified staff of USCG-approved ship captains, chief engineers, and former U.S. military and merchant marine officers, these dedicated mariners have more than 225 years of industry experience combined and are committed to shaping the maritime leaders of tomorrow.

The other programs selected as 2019 Bellwether Award winners are: Polk State College's "Transforming advanced technical education through innovative new models" in the instructional programs and services category, and San Jose Evergreen Community College District's program "Silicon Valley career pathways" in planning, governance, and finance.

For more information about San Jacinto College, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff