13:32 PM

Letter of Intent Pledges Pathway Toward Maritime Careers

UHD, HCC, HISD, Port of Houston Authority Partnering on Academic Initiative


By Mike Emery

Houston students seeking maritime careers can now chart an academic course that begins in high school and continues through community college and at the city’s second largest university.

Today, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) hosted a Letter of Intent signing with Houston Independent School District (HISD), Houston Community College (HCC) and the Port of Houston Authority.

The Letter outlined a collaborative agreement in which HISD students could enroll in maritime-related courses in logistics and supply chain management in high school. They would earn college credits that are transferable to HCC’s Associate of Applied Science in either Logistics or Global Supply Chain Management. Ultimately, students could then apply all of these credits to UHD’s Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences (BAAS) in Applied Administration (ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best in the nation).

Those putting their pens to paper at this event included UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz; HISD Interim Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan; HCC Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Dr. Janet Wormack; and Port of Houston Authority Chair, Janiece M. Longoria.

According to Longoria, the idea of a partnership such as this came about during a lunch with the UHD President.

“The topic of maritime education came up … and how important it is in our region,” she said. “At the Port of Houston, we want the best people to fill these maritime careers, and we want to tap local talent. That’s why it’s important that we work with HISD, HCC and now, UHD to create a cohesive partnership.”

Muñoz added that UHD continues to seek out new opportunities to prepare students for the Texas workforce, and he is grateful for the teamwork of organizations such as HISD, HCC and the Port.

“We have world-class faculty and talented students,” Muñoz said. “We’re doing things that no one ever imagined, but we can’t do it alone. We succeed because of partnerships such as the one created today between these institutions.”

After delivering remarks, Muñoz, Lathan, Wormack and Longoria signed four copies of the prepared Letter of Intent.

“We need our students to be the next-generation workforce,” Wormack said. “This partnership establishes a baseline for that to happen.”

“HISD is proud to partner with UHD, HCC and the Port of Houston Authority to offer our students greater opportunities and pathways for successful maritime careers,” added Lathan.

The Letter of Intent signing complements UHD’s existing partnerships with HCC, Lone Star College and San Jacinto College that also are committed to helping students transfer credits seamlessly into bachelor’s programs. And, UHD has worked with HISD during the past year as President Muñoz has visited more than 30 high schools to discuss higher education opportunities with students.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.