Dominican College (Sacred Heart Dominican College) was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1945 by the Sisters of St. Dominic of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart (see DOMINICAN SISTERS), which Mother M. Agnes Magevney founded in Galveston in 1882. The college was an outgrowth of the congregation's teacher-training school. In 1945 it was formally organized as a junior college and was affiliated with the Catholic University of America. The Texas State Department of Education approved the work of the college in June 1946. The Texas secretary of state granted the institution a charter to operate as a senior college in September 1946. Approval by the State Department of Education was received in 1948, and the first degrees were awarded by Bishop Christopher E. Byrne in May 1949.
In June 1947 St. Joseph's School of Nursing, conducted by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, transferred its affiliation from the University of Houston to Dominican, and plans were initiated for an integrated four-year collegiate course leading to the bachelor of science degree in nursing. The programs of Dominican College focused on the modern woman. The general aim was to provide a climate in which the academic community could grow in Christian commitment through study, work, recreation, and prayer.
The college granted bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees, with majors in eighteen fields. Dominican was especially strong in art, music, elementary and secondary education, foreign languages, humanities, and nursing. In 1967 the Dominican Institute of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, began to accept Dominican College art majors for their junior year abroad. Students in the Humanities Honor Program had the same opportunity. Dominican College also established the first competency-based bilingual teacher education degree in Houston.
The college was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Texas Education Agency. The Department of Nursing was approved by the Texas State Board of Nursing and was accredited by the National League of Nursing. The Department of Medical Records Administration was accredited by the American Association of Medical Records Librarians. In addition, the college held membership in many state and national organizations. Dominican College closed in 1975.