HOUSTON – Dr. Charles Grant, San Jacinto College graduate and former president of the North Campus, holds four college degrees and is a firm believer in the value of education.
In fact, he has spent almost all of his 35 professional years in the field of education. For San Jacinto College, Grant served as a professor and administrator for 25 years before changing careers. He then worked for three years as education and special projects liaison for Harris County Pct. 2 before joining the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce as its president and CEO. Dr. Grant returned to the education field, launching his own organization – Continuing Education Association International (CEAI), an association that provides training and certification services for continuing and professional development educators.
“I launched CEAI because I feel there is a real need to improve the quality of continuing education worldwide,” commented Grant, who worked at San Jacinto College from 1983 to 2008. “Most continuing education teachers are proficient in their career fields, but many have little or no formal training as educators. It’s one thing to know a subject, but it’s another thing to be able to convey and impart that knowledge to students.” During his tenure at San Jacinto College, Grant served as a director of continuing education, and later as a dean of continuing education. The College’s continuing education division is now called the Continuing and Professional Development division to more accurately reflect its wide range of training and education services.
Grant is not only a former employee of San Jacinto College, he is a San Jac Certified alumnus, having earned an associate degree in general studies in 1967. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Stephen F. Austin State University, a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Sam Houston State University, and a PhD in higher education from Texas A&M University.
Grant avidly supports San Jac Certified, a campaign that encourages students to complete what they start by earning associate degrees, or one-year technical or occupational certificates. “Becoming San Jac Certified, earning that certificate or degree, proves to yourself and to a potential employer that you have what it takes to stick to it,” he said. “There are also practical benefits to becoming San Jac Certified. It leads to a seamless transfer to a university. And sometimes, in certain career fields, an occupational certificate or an associate degree from San Jacinto College can lead to a job that offers better pay than a job that requires a four-year degree.”
Grant says it’s more important than ever for people of all ages to attend college. “Thirty years ago a person could find a good job with just a high school diploma, or even sometimes without graduating from high school,” he said. “But in today’s global economy, many companies will only hire people who have at least a two-year college degree. People need college training to compete in today’s job market and the competition caused by the global economy is becoming even more intense.”
Reflecting on his career success, Grant points to his years as a student at San Jacinto College as an important foundation. “I believe I would not have had the success I had on the university level, and then later in the business world if it had not been for the solid education I received at San Jacinto College,” he remarked. “I had great professors. The thing I remember most is the individual and personal instruction. The professors were always accessible and helpful.”
As a way of providing support, Grant recently became a member of the San Jacinto College Alumni Association, where he now serves as co-chair of the advisory committee. “I decided to get involved with the alumni association as a way of giving back,” he commented. “San Jacinto College means that much to me. It has been the key to success.”