Category Archives: Education

Join Exchange Physical Therapy Group in the Fight Against Breast Cancer 

 Jaclyn Fulop (on left) Let’s Save Ma board member and organizer of the October 10th Breast Cancer fundraiser shares a moment with Deval Gadhvi, MD, Founder of Let’s Save Ma, during “A Taste of India” event in May, 2023.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

HOBOKEN, NJ – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Exchange Physical Therapy Group (EPTG), an innovative outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Hudson County, is proud to announce its upcoming fundraising event to support Let’s Save Ma, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. 

The fundraiser, organized by EPTG owners Jaclyn Fulop and Drew Nussbaum, will take place on Tuesday, October 10th at the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten in Hoboken at 7:30pm.

Hudson County Community College Offers High School Students 50% Tuition Savings and a Jumpstart on College Goals

11 of the 13 HCCC Early College graduates in May 2023

HCCC Early College Program is open to ALL high school students
who attend school or reside in Hudson County.

In 2021, Bayonne resident Kate Neal earned her high school diploma and Associate in Science (A.S.) in Environmental Studies degree at the same time. She attained this exceptional accomplishment as a result of the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Early College Program. Now a junior studying Civil Engineering at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ms. Neal said: “I am extremely grateful for the HCCC Early College Program opportunity. It has helped me feel better prepared to enter a four-year college.”

Hudson County Community College President Named to NJBIZ “Education Power 50” for Third Year in a Row 

 HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber is pictured here with new students in HCCC’s Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program.

September 18, 2023, Jersey City, NJ –  Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Board of Trustees Chair, William J. Netchert, Esq., announced that HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber has again been named to the NJBIZ â€œEducation Power 50” list.

Hudson County Community College Vice Chair Bakari G. Lee Named Recipient of ACCT 2023 Northeast Regional Trustee Leadership Award

 Bakari G. Lee, Esq., Vice Chair of Hudson County Community College’s Board of Trustees, is the recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Northeast Regional Trustee Leadership Award.

Vice Chair Lee is the sole nominee from the Northeastern United States for
ACCT’s prestigious M. Dale Ensign National Trustee Leadership Award. 

August 23, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – For more than 120 years, America’s community colleges have played a vital role in transforming lives by creating pathways to economic opportunity and financial security. Today, community colleges face myriad challenges such as funding issues, keeping apace of rapidly changing technologies, and, most importantly, developing the means to assist students in continuing and completing their studies. Community college trustees work with college administrators and staff, local and national government entities, and area industries to meet these challenges, and to ensure opportunities abound for those who wish to successfully pursue a community college education.

Op Ed: Supreme Court Recent Rulings-Our Resolve is Stronger than the Setback

Christopher M. Reber, President, Hudson County Community College

As a community college located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the most diverse city in the United States, Hudson County Community College serves and supports all who walk through our doors in pursuit of education and a promising future. Our college’s commitment to this open-access mission, anchored to our shared values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, is ironclad. Unfortunately, recent rulings by the United States Supreme Court, including the Court’s decision to strike down Affirmative Action, stand in stark contrast to this mission and our core values.

Hudson County Community College, and community colleges like us all over the nation, provide a vital onramp to the American Dream for those we serve. Our Journal Square campus is located in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, an inspirational symbol of our student’s dreams and aspirations. Our North Hudson campus serves Union City, one of the nation’s most densely populated cities and a diverse and thriving community with a large concentration of Hispanic and Latino citizens.

Our location in the heart of this diverse and vibrant region provides a unique vantage point for serving traditionally underrepresented and marginalized students and community members – people who are adversely affected by the Supreme Court’s recent decisions.

We are proud to support all students in achieving their goals and dreams for a better life. Like our community college peers, HCCC is an open-access institution, so the recent Affirmative Action ruling will not directly affect our admission of all students who come to us seeking a brighter future. But it will affect many of our graduates and employees who succeed at HCCC and go on to pursue baccalaureate and graduate education, including many who apply to highly selective colleges and universities including Ivy League and Research 1 institutions.

Most HCCC students place into English as a Second Language (ESL), Developmental English, and/or Developmental Math courses when they begin their education with us. Many of these students speak little or no English. Most navigate significant financial challenges. Additionally, we proudly serve many DACA and undocumented students.

In recent years, Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice twice surveyed our student body and found that two-thirds to three-quarters of our students reported challenges of food insecurity, housing insecurity, and even homelessness. I invite you to reflect on the immensity of the challenge of attending college while hungry or homeless, and the monumental commitment and drive these students have in seeking a brighter future. And many students are parents, struggling to navigate these life challenges while caring for children, and other family members, and working, often full-time.

Our students represent populations that are too often overlooked and ignored, but we are proud not to overlook anyone. We embrace all students. Through their hard work and with our guidance, support, and love, our students achieve transformational outcomes.

We have worked assiduously and collaboratively to create pathways that enable our students to transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions so they can continue their educational journeys and pursue their career and life goals. While our students endure significant hardships as they strive to complete their education, they consistently overcome these challenges to achieve remarkable outcomes and inspirational points of pride, year after year.

This past year, six of our students were chosen as semifinalists for the prestigious and highly competitive Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the most in our college’s history. In recent years, our high-performing graduates have continued their educational journeys at prestigious institutions like NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers, and Stevens Institute of Technology, sometimes with full scholarships. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions restrict and discourage selective colleges and universities from continuing to serve many of our graduates in spite of these institutions’ belief in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are proud that our students tell us repeatedly they feel cared about and “at home” at Hudson County Community College. Indeed, our students have coined a phrase that is now our college tagline – “Hudson is Home!”

At our most recent Commencement ceremony, a record 1,505 graduates, including recent immigrants, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and graduates from all races, ethnicities, and walks of life crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, united by their hard work in pursuit of a better life and supported by a loving and caring community. Nine of our graduates were incarcerated or reentry citizens, including two students who received their diplomas while incarcerated at the Hudson County Correctional Center.

Beyond the end of Affirmative Action, additional Supreme Court rulings that strike down previously announced plans for student loan forgiveness, and permit businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ citizens, create even more challenges for those we serve. These decisions are a setback to citizens all over the country who are striving to create a better life for themselves and their families and better communities for all.

The recent Supreme Court rulings throw new obstacles into the pathways our courageous and inspirational students traverse on their academic and life journeys, but it’s not only the Supreme Court that is making the world a more difficult and less welcoming place for many Americans. Book bans are being imposed in a growing number of states to clamp down on independent and critical thinking, the very skills we are trying to foster with a college education and the foundation that all democracies are built on. Members of our society’s marginalized communities have incredible and inspirational stories of perseverance and survival to tell. We can all learn from their courage and determination. But, sadly, book bans are being wielded as a weapon to erase these stories and silence their voices.

We have worked hard to mitigate the barriers to success that many of our students face, placing these students on pathways to the American Dream. Progress in creating a more equitable world has been hard fought, and while recent setbacks are discouraging, they ultimately strengthen our resolve to fight harder for the ideals of equity and inclusion for all. Our students are resilient, and with our full support, they will continue to pursue and achieve monumental outcomes.

We will keep going. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

We must redouble our efforts to ensure all have an opportunity for an education and a better life. The poem inscribed on the base of the nearby Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus,” famously tells the world to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Lady Liberty is a powerful metaphor for our college’s mission today.

HCCC will continue to serve all who enter our doors by providing them with educational opportunities, empowerment, and love to reach their full potential. Our nation’s community colleges and all of higher education embody the best our country has to offer in the spirit of inclusion, equality, equity, and hope.

Christopher M. Reber, President Hudson County Community College

Jersey City, Union City, and Secaucus, NJ

Hudson County Community College Students are First to Complete Nursing Degrees in New Jersey’s Pay It Forward Program

Nineteen HCCC graduates were honored at the celebration with a special toast and pinning ceremony.

Nursing is one of the most in-demand careers in the United States, but obtaining a college degree in this field can be cost-prohibitive for many students.

Caption: Graduates of the inaugural Pay It Forward Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing Degree Program at Hudson County Community College (HCCC) are toasted by (from center left) Dr.

Hudson County Community College and New Jersey City University Complete Year-Long Transfer Project to Design HCCC/NJCU CONNECT Program

Aspen-AASCU Student Success and Equity sessions provided best-practice support for the partnership and program’s development.

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) and New Jersey City University (NJCU) have collaborated to design HCCC|NJCU CONNECT, a transformational program that will provide highly visible, inclusive, and barrier-free transfer pathways to guide students and their families from high school, through studies at HCCC, and on to graduation from NJCU.

HCCC|NJCU CONNECT was developed during participation in the Aspen Institute–American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Transfer Student Success and Equity Intensive. HCCC and NJCU were selected as a team to participate in the externally funded national project, a one-year initiative comprised of monthly sessions to support community college and university members in advancing best practices for improved and more equitable student success. The strategy- and practice-focused workshops provided practical support in advancing transfer reform.

Hudson County Community College Hosts NJ Reentry Corporation’s Inaugural Summer Training Institute

Pictured: Participants in the press conference at HCCC announcing the launch of NJ Reentry Corporation’s inaugural Summer Training Institute, including NJRC founder and chairman, former New Jersey governor James McGreevey, HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber, and others.      

May 11, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – On Wednesday, May 10, the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) held a press conference to launch its Summer Training Institute for court-involved young adults at Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) Culinary Conference Center.   

HCCC Will Celebrate a Record 1,500 Graduates at Red Bull Arena May 17,2023


NJ Senate President Nicholas Scutari will deliver the keynote speech; Valedictorian Sally Elwir will address fellow graduates and their guests.

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will hold its 46th
 Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 10:45 a.m. at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Approximately 1,500 graduates, a college record, will be joined by family, friends, elected officials, the College’s Trustees, as well as HCCC faculty and staff. New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari will deliver the keynote address, and Sally Elwir will deliver valedictory remarks.
Among the graduates, there will be 13 students from Hudson County High School who completed their associate degrees while still attending high school. There are also nine graduates who are incarcerated or reentry citizens.  “As members of the Class of 2023 embark upon the next chapters of their lives, we know they will continue to demonstrate the fortitude, perseverance, and leadership that brought them success as HCCC students,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “We look forward to celebrating them and their families.” 

Representing the 22nd District, New Jersey State Senator Nicholas Scutari is a strong education proponent. He co-sponsored the New Jersey STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Scholars Grant Pilot Program which builds upon existing STEM educational programs and creates new ones. Senator Scutari received his undergraduate degree from Kean College (now Kean University), his Master’s degree from Rutgers University, and his law degree from the Thomas Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University. Currently the President of the New Jersey Senate, he serves as Chair of the Joint State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee. 
HCCC Class of 2023 Valedictorian Sally Elwir is a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Semifinalist who will receive her Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice. She is President of the HCCC Student Government Association and Vice President of the Beta Alpha Phi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. Ms. Elwir is a frequent speaker at HCCC Town Hall and Board of Trustees meetings. She interned for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and volunteered for “It’s On Us,” an advocacy group dedicated to combatting sexual assault. 
“I feel strongly about public safety and ensuring that people’s concerns are taken seriously. It is important that someone in the criminal justice field fight for social justice from the government and for the people, which I am confident in doing,” Ms. Elwir said.
Coming from a large family of Middle Eastern descent, Ms. Elwir speaks English and Arabic. She participated in a federal work-study program and serves on the HCCC JED Campus Team, supported by the nonprofit JED Foundation, an organization that helps protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults. She is also a member of the HCCC Student Affairs Committee of the All College Council (the HCCC participatory governance organization), and Student Conduct Board. She volunteers for the Hudson Helps Resource Center and Hope House, an emergency shelter for homeless women with children; and works for HCCC’s Office of Student Life and Leadership. Additionally, Elwir has served as an HCCC College Student Success Mentor. #   #  

#About Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College serves more than 18,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers nearly 90 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management; Nursing and Health Professions; and Humanities and Social Sciences. The HCCC Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. HCCC has partnerships with major four-year colleges and universities in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.The College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been recognized with the 2021 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Region Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021 and 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of seven community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” and the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. HCCC was a finalist last year for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) “Advancing Diversity Award of Excellence.” For the second consecutive year, HCCC was selected as one of 20 community colleges in the United States to be named among the “2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in collaboration with “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The College was one of 22 community colleges in the nation, and the only college in New Jersey, to be recognized by ModernThink LLC and the “Chronicle of Higher Education” as a 2022 “Great College to Work For® You.”  HCCC is one of two colleges in the United States to be named a Top Ten Finalist in all three program categories for the nationally recognized 2023 Bellwether Awards and received the 2023 Bellwether Award for the College’s cutting-edge “Hudson Scholars” program.  The College’s exemplary work in advancing student success has been recognized with the 2023 “Leader College” designation by Achieving the Dream, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC was also presented with the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention by Vector Solutions for demonstrating leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion.

Hudson County Community College Receives  ‘2023 Most Promising Places to Work in  Community Colleges’ National Award   

Pictured from left, Dr. Christopher Conzen, Executive Director, Secaucus Center and Early College Programs; Elana Winslow, Associate Professor, Business; Raffi Manjikian, Instructor, Chemistry; and Anna Krupitskiy, Vice President for Human Resources.  

The College is one of only 20 U.S. community colleges to earn this recognition.    

For the second year in a row, Hudson County Community College  (HCCC) has received the national “2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges”