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San Jacinto College
News Release
Friday, February 10, 2012

San Jacinto College unveils new health sciences expansion on the Central Campus

PASADENA, Texas — Members of the San Jacinto College (SJC) community recently toured the new 35,000-square-foot health sciences expansion during a grand opening at the Central Campus. 

Funded by the 2008 bond referendum to construct, renovate, and expand facilities at all three SJC campuses, the $11 million expansion is equipped with the latest in health care technology and facilities to simulate real patient environments. The building houses an eye care suite, dental assistant laboratory, sonography suite, and a simulation center.

"This new facility will provide an environment that simulates actual clinical and patient care opportunities in a chosen discipline," said Veronica Jammer, dean of the health sciences division at SJC Central. "Additionally, this building will provide an avenue for new health science programs to be brought to the forefront so that San Jacinto College can remain competitive and retain its status as a leader of health science education in this region."

The eye care suite features a reception and lobby area, contact lens laboratory, dispensing laboratory with eight examination rooms, ophthalmic and refracting laboratory, storage room, and administrative offices. The sonography suite has eight stations, a storage room, and a debriefing and classroom. The dental assistant laboratory includes four examination chairs, digital X-Ray room, panoramic X-Ray room, dental workbench, storage room, and workroom. The simulation center includes a mock nurse station and medication-dispensing alcove, four adult simulation examination rooms, an obstetrics simulation and baby room, a pediatric simulation room, simulation control rooms, debriefing and classroom, storage rooms, and administrative offices. The building also features two general use classrooms, two teaching theaters, three computer labs, a faculty and administration office suite, a conference room, patios, and 200 student lockers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the health care jobs today require less than four years of college education. Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care related. By 2018, 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs will be generated in this industry alone.

San Jacinto College health sciences faculty work closely with medical professionals across the greater Houston region. In result, needs of the clinics and hospitals are identified and addressed to provide the highest quality of training available to increase health care job opportunities for SJC students.

“The new eye care technology addition is an eco-friendly designed facility that allows anyone pursuing excellence as an eye care professional the very best in education and training," said Dr. Denetrice Coleman, a local eye physician whose husband is enrolled in the San Jacinto College's eye care technology program.

The eye care technology program at San Jacinto College enjoys a 100 percent job placement rate and is the only accredited ophthalmic technician program in the state of Texas. Many students in the nationally-accredited medical imaging/radiology program are hired before they graduate. The dental assistant program will begin in Fall 2012. Recently, the College obtained a $4.7 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to financially assist students in such programs as electrocardiogram, phlebotomy, certified nurses’ aide, and for licensed vocational nurse, transition or mobility associate degree nurse, and medical laboratory technology.

"The health sciences expansion is a marvelous facility and a testament to the incredible team work of San Jacinto College faculty, staff, and administration with the singular focus of serving the students in our region and providing state of the art educational opportunities,” said Dr. H. Neil Matkin, SJC Central Campus president.

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, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

Photo: (from left to right) Brandon Meyers, project manager, SpawGlass; Calvin Powitzky, principal, Bay Architects; Brad Hance, member, San Jacinto College (SJC) Board of Trustees; Jay Guerrero, regional director - Southeast Texas, representing Sen. John Cornyn; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, SJC Chancellor; Louis Rigby, mayor, City of La Porte; Dr. H. Neil Matkin, president, SJC Central Campus; Dr. Barbara Hanson, vice president for learning, SJC Central Campus; Veronica Jammer, dean of health sciences, SJC Central Campus; Edna Robinson, former interim dean of health sciences, SJC Central Campus; Tim Culp, president and CEO, Deer Park Chamber of Commerce; Tony Vistein, design manager, Tech Knowledge; and Dr. Ron Rucker, co-owner, Rizzo & Associates. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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