San Jacinto College selected for prestigious national initiative

05.30.2017 | By Melissa Trevizo

PASADENA - San Jacinto College has been chosen to join the Frontier Set, a national initiative comprised of 31 educational institutions across the country, focused on improving student outcomes and better preparing new generations of students for the college experience.

Amongst these 31 institutions, only 12 are community colleges and only three are from Texas.

The Frontier Set is a network that brings together a diverse group of high-performing two- and four-year colleges, organizations and state systems that are pioneers in transforming the way they operate to improve student success in learning, credential and degree completion, and transition to the labor market.

“We are honored to be a part of the Frontier Set initiative,” said Dr. Laurel Williamson, San Jacinto College deputy chancellor and college president. “This gives us the opportunity to work with forward-thinking and innovative institutions who, like San Jacinto College, are on a continuum of transformation regarding student success.”

San Jacinto College was encouraged to apply for entry into the initiative by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, an organization that recently awarded the college a 2017 Rising Star Award, placing them among the top 5 in the nation of more than 1,100 community colleges.

As a Frontier Set institution, the College will have access to funding to advance implementation of student success reforms in the form of targeted grants over the next four years, support in planning accelerated implementation and transformational change strategy, targeted on-demand support from the Aspen Institute’s technical assistance team and cross-sector collaboration and learning through structured and intentional network-building activities.

The Frontier Set, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to increase postsecondary credentials and degree attainment, a goal also held by the College.

“Our goal is to remove barriers for students and to understand where we may have unintentionally created barriers,” Williamson said. “Access to the Frontier Set will help us to track and analyze our programs, making sure that all aspects of the institution serve to create independent learners ready to be successful at a transfer institution or in the workplace.”

Frontier Set members have committed to document, collaborate and share best practices to improve not only their individual performance but to also spur collective progress. By facilitating knowledge sharing within and across sectors, the Frontier Set helps institutions avoid “reinventing the wheel” and instead draws on experience from others about what works and why it works for improving student success.

“Our work with the Frontier Set complements our transformational work with the American Association of Community Colleges’ Pathways Initiative,” said Dr. Kelly Mizell, program leader for the Pathways Project. “Dedicated members of administration, faculty and staff have worked the last year to redesign many aspects of the College to help our students successfully achieve their educational goals. As members of this initiative, we share our successes and lessons learned with other members and collectively our work will benefit from the experiences and expertise of dedicated educational professionals.”

As a Frontier Set college, San Jacinto College has committed to:

  • Integrate key solutions within broader efforts to strengthen pathways to completion/transfer, including: redesigned advising, enhanced digital learning and courseware, and strengthened developmental education
  • Engage with the Frontier Set Network
  • Build a strong implementation and network engagement team
  • Accelerate improvements in student success and strengthen capacities for sustained reform
  • Submit data and set targets on near-term and long-term key performance indicators

Below is a complete list of Frontier Set members:

  1. Arizona State University (AZ)
  2. Claflin University (SC)
  3. College of Staten Island (NY)
  4. Columbia Basin College (WA)
  5. Davidson County Community College (NC)
  6. Delaware State University (DE)
  7. Fayetteville State University (NC)
  8. Florida International University (FL)
  9. Georgia State University (GA)
  10. Guilford Technical Community College (NC)
  11. Indian River State College (FL)
  12.  Jackson State University (MS)
  13.  Johnson C. Smith University (NC)
  14. Lorain County Community College (OH)
  15. Miami Dade College (FL)
  16. Morehouse College (GA)
  17. New Jersey City University (NJ)
  18. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
  19. Northern Arizona University (AZ)
  20. Portland State University (OR)
  21. Sam Houston State University (TX)
  22. San Jacinto College (TX)
  23. Santa Fe College (FL)
  24. Sinclair Community College (OH)
  25. Tennessee Board of Regents (TN)
  26. The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (TX)
  27. University of Central Florida (FL)
  28. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (NC)
  29. University System of Georgia (GA)
  30. Wake Technical Community College (NC)
  31. William Rainey Harper College (IL)

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 been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.