HCCC and NJCU teams of faculty, along with representatives from their respective Admissions, Academic Affairs, Transfer, Institutional Research, and Advisement offices, engaged in the monthly Aspen Institute–AASCU meetings. Participants reviewed data, shared ideas, and planned HCCC|NJCU CONNECT with four primary components – Communication, Community, Connection, and Completion. A team of HCCC and NJCU staff continue to meet monthly to develop program implementation, and NJCU will dedicate a staff member to coordinate the program launch.
HCCC|NJCU CONNECT is modeled after the highly successful Northern Virginia Community College–George Mason University ADVANCE program. HCCC|NJCU CONNECT will create a singular student experience focused on addressing students’ holistic needs, diminishing equity gaps, and promoting students’ goal and credential attainment.
“HCCC|NJCU CONNECT provides students with a seamless experience from the time they apply at HCCC until they graduate from NJCU,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “Together with NJCU, we are implementing a best-practice model and goals that expand and improve opportunities for our students; provide ESL instruction to NJCU students; offer NJCU housing to HCCC international students and others outside of commuting distance of HCCC enrolled in distinctive programs such as Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management; establish collaborative initiatives in Continuing Education and Workforce Development; and coordinate HCCC’s potential engagement in the Small Business Development Center at NJCU.”
NJCU Interim President Andrés Acebo said, “NJCU recently announced the most significant overhaul of its general education program in decades. The historic announcement alongside our partners at Hudson County Community College will only further the distinction that NJCU is now the most transfer-friendly university in the State of New Jersey. The partnership between NJCU and HCCC provides tools to change the trajectory for students who enroll in the community college, make the transition to the four-year institution, and engage fully in the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. Data suggest that only 32 percent of community college students transfer toa four-year institution within six years. We will change that narrative. NJCU is in the business of transforming lives for the better, and we are proud to partner with HCCC on a research-based solution to the needs of our community.
Each year, about one-quarter of HCCC graduates – more than any other community college –transfer to NJCU. HCCC|NJCU CONNECT will provide support for students who may be the first intheir families to attend college, work at least one job, and commute to and from classes bycultivating an essential sense of belonging at both institutions. HCCC and NJCU have committed the time, personnel, and financial resources to construct the program’s infrastructure, enhance and leverage student services, build awareness of the CONNECT program, and engage with prospective students and their families.
“Once fully implemented, the HCCC|NJCU CONNECT program will be the pride of Hudson County, providing graduates who will contribute to the local workforce and benefit from upward social and economic mobility. We look forward to replicating this framework with our other four-year college and university partners,” Dr. Reber stated.