Tag Archives: Community College in Jersey City

How Hudson County Community College’s Hudson Scholars Program Became a National Student Success Model

The game-changing retention and completion model resulted from the bold choice to pursue a rare opportunity and develop an innovative idea.

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President Dr. Christopher Reber (back row center) is pictured here with Hudson Scholars students.

 Recently, Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) innovative and transformative Hudson Scholars program was presented the prestigious Bellwether Legacy Award for impacting student success in retention and college completion, particularly for those from traditionally underserved groups. The Legacy Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Bellwether College Consortium, is just one of many national accolades Hudson Scholars has received in the past two years. Others include the League for Innovation in the Community College’s 2022 Innovation of the Year Award, Bellwether 2023 Instructional Programs and Services Award, and Provident Bank Foundation’s prestigious 2023 Signature Grant ($100,000).

Hudson County Community College NamedLeader College of Distinction by Achieving the Dream

Hudson County Community College has substantially increased student retention and completion over the past five years. Pictured here, are joyful members of the HCCC Class of 2023

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has earned “Leader College of Distinction” designation from Achieving the Dream (ATD), the national reform movement of high-achieving community colleges. The honor is bestowed upon innovative higher education institutions that demonstrate sustained and significant outcomes in the advancement of student success. HCCC is one of six Leader Colleges to receive this honor.

ATD is the acclaimed national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as hubs of equity and mobility in their communities. ATD created the Leader College of Distinction Award in 2018 to recognize colleges that meet challenging student success goals. It is the highest designation of institutional success outcomes in the ATD network of colleges.

“This recognition is important to our colleges. It affirms to their faculty and staff and communities the importance of their student success work and that they are making progress on important milestone metrics in their journeys,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Hudson County Community College is an exemplar of excellence within the ATD Network. It is driving accelerated and scaled gains in equitable student success results, which affect substantive improvements for students, families, and the community HCCC serves. Their dedication and hard work both inform and inspire other colleges, and we admire them for their work.”

HCCC joined the ATD network of 300 colleges in January 2019 and achieved Leader College status last year by demonstrating continuous improvement in retention and graduation rates, especially among Hispanic and African American students; attending annual ATD DREAM meetings; filing annual student success action plans and reports; and serving as an invited presenter at ATD national meetings and webinars.

“We’re proud to be named a Leader College of Distinction, and thank our Trustees, faculty, staff, and students for helping produce transformative results that empower our students and our community,” said HCCC President, Dr. Christopher Reber. “ATD’s mission aligns with our College’s mission of opening new pathways for our most vulnerable learners and helping ensure that students achieve their academic and professional goals. Seeing our students complete degree and certificate programs, become gainfully employed, and engage in civic participation is inspiring, and compels us to continue building upon our successes.”

Hudson County Community College utilizes evidence-based data and programs and ATD best practices to shape policy and practices that result in student success:

Hudson County Community CollegeNames Danielle Lopez Inaugural Director of Accessibility Services

 Pictured here, Danielle Lopez, who has been named Hudson County Community College’s first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for Accessibility Services.

–  Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has appointed Danielle Lopez as the College’s first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for Accessibility Services.
“The entire HCCC family is delighted to welcome Danielle Lopez to the College,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “She will lead and support our accessibility and accommodation programs for students and employees. In addition to serving as our Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Section 504 Coordinator, Danielle will be our primary compliance and content expert for all accessibility matters. She will play a key role in advancing our culture of care and our overarching priorities of student success and diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Ms. Lopez will manage and supervise the HCCC Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). A key component of her work is to reduce systemic barriers and promote disability awareness and a culture of accessibility. In her new position, Ms. Lopez will collaborate with multiple campus constituents, including faculty; the Offices of Academic Affairs; Student Affairs and Enrollment; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Human Resources; Counseling and Wellness; Registrar; Public Safety and Security; Facilities; Communications; Information Technology; Legal Counsel; and others.
A dedicated and enthusiastic higher education professional, Ms. Lopez is highly experienced in accessibility and disability services, advisement, and administration. For the past ten years, she served as Assistant Director and Academic Counselor at City University of New York (CUNY) Center for Student Accessibility. There, she developed and implemented best practices to help students with disabilities and diverse needs achieve academic success. In addition, Ms. Lopez served as an Adjunct Lecturer at CUNY, teaching psychology courses. As a Project REACH mentor, she assisted individuals with autism, coordinated curricula and service plans, and facilitated meetings related to academic, social, and professional development. Ms. Lopez also mentored students with disabilities to support their campus initiatives at the College of Staten Island.
Ms. Lopez received her Master of Science degree in Disability Services in Higher Education from the School of Professional Studies at CUNY, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Her professional affiliations include the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), New York State Disability Services Council (NYSDSC), and CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities (CCSD). She holds certification in Mental Health First Aid from the National Council for Behavioral Health.
“I am very happy to be a part of Hudson County Community College, where diversity, equity, and inclusion is valued and lived,” Ms. Lopez stated. “I look forward to working with our students and my new colleagues to further advance opportunities and accessibility for everyone at HCCC.”

Ndaba Mandela to Speak at Hudson County Community College’s 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Memorial  

Grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, renowned author, activist, and advocate, will bring his inspirational message to HCCC on January 18  

It’s not every day that the grandson of a world leader and renowned champion for human rights visits a community college. But that’s precisely what will happen on January 18, 2024, when Ndaba Mandela, grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela, will speak at Hudson County Community College (HCCC) as part of the College’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.   

While Mandela is the grandson of Nelson Mandela, he is also an accomplished advocate for human rights and social justice in his own right.  

Ndaba is the Founder of the Mandela Institute for Humanity, an organization continuing the legacy of Nelson Mandela by inspiring and uniting people to build a fair and just world. He is also the Co-founder and Chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting a positive image of Africa worldwide. Furthermore, he is the longest-serving ambassador to UNAIDS, a United Nations organization focused on combatting the HIV/AIDS pandemic and ending discrimination towards people living with HIV and AIDS.  

Ndaba was recently recognized for his efforts in these areas when Black Entertainment Television (BET) named him one of its “28 Men of Change.” 

Ndaba is also the author of Going to the Mountain: Lessons from my Grandfather, Nelson Mandela, which tells the story of Mandela’s life through the eyes of his grandson. Part of Ndaba’s mission is to introduce the teachings of his grandfather to the younger generation, who didn’t grow up watching Mandela fight against the injustices of and ultimately overcoming South Africa’s apartheid government.  

HCCC President Dr. Christopher stated, “Nelson Mandela inspired a generation with his tireless fight for dignity and equality for all South Africans, ultimately overcoming the unjust apartheid regime and showing the world that true change can be achieved through peaceful measures. We are thrilled to welcome Ndaba Mandela to HCCC, where the next generation will have the opportunity to hear his inspiring message that one person can make a difference.”   

The event will take place on Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and is open to all HCCC students, faculty, staff, and community members.  

Individuals interested in attending can register for the event online here

Caption:   Advocate, author and activist Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, will speak to members of the HCCC community at the College’s 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. annual memorial. 

About Hudson County Community College 

Hudson County Community College serves more than 20,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers over 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. The College’s School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development offers cutting-edge, industry recognized, stackable credentials in alignment with high-priority workforce needs. 

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 Regional Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021, 2022 and 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of six community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” and the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 and 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. HCCC was a recent finalist 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.” HCCC 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 and 2023 “Great College to Work For®,” this year achieving Honor Roll status for top ratings in seven of ten categories.  

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 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 recognized 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 Keeps a College Education Within Reach for All  

Ensuring that College Remains the Doorway to the American Dream  

 HCCC continues to break down the barriers to obtaining a college degree by making a high-quality education affordable and accessible to all Hudson County residents.  

There are one million fewer students on college campuses than there were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the causes can be debated, this decline is alarming because earning a college education is still the doorway to the American Dream for millions. The wage gap between college graduates and those with only a high school diploma recently reached a record high, and multiple sources report that, over the course of their careers, college graduates will earn significantly more on average than their counterparts with a high school education.     

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 to Hold Virtual Commencement Ceremony and In-Person Graduation Walks

Wes Moore, best-selling author, Robin Hood CEO, and noted entrepreneur,
to deliver the keynote address; Pedro Moranchel named Valedictorian.

May 20, 2021, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will honor graduates with a combination of virtual and in-person 2021 Commencement celebrations. They include the Virtual Commencement that will premiere on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 12 p.m. on YouTube; and in-person Grad Walk events Monday, May 24 through Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m., at the HCCC Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City.

“We worked diligently to ensure that the May 2021 Commencement experience will be exciting, celebratory, and, above all, safe for our graduates, their families, and the entire community,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. The format for the events was determined utilizing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), and input from a survey of graduating HCCC students.

The pre-recorded Virtual Commencement will feature speeches and customized slides for graduates. The speakers include Dr. Reber; HCCC 2021 Valedictorian Pedro Moranchel; and entrepreneur, veteran, best-selling author, and CEO of Robin Hood, Wes Moore, who will deliver the keynote address. Robin Hood is one of the largest anti-poverty forces in the nation.

The optional Grad Walk events will allow members of the HCCC Class of 2021, as well as those who graduated in 2019-2020, to celebrate in cap-and-gown with up to three guests each. Graduates will process across the stage in the HCCC Culinary Conference Center Banquet Room, where they will be cheered on by a small group of faculty and staff. Each graduate will have the opportunity for traditional diploma photos.

The Grad Walk events will be live-streamed. Participants will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing. The schedule includes:

  • HCCC Divisions of Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management; and English and ESL, on Monday, May 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m.

  • HCCC Division of Humanities and Social Sciences on Tuesday, May 25, 11 a.m. to
    1 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m.

  • HCCC Divisions of Nursing and Health Sciences; and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), on Wednesday, May 26, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m.

  • All Divisions on Thursday, May 27, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m. Early College graduates will also be featured during the day’s 4 to 6 p.m. event.

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About Hudson County Community College

Hudson County Community College serves more than 18,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Fine and Performing Arts. The HCCC Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. Over 94% of HCCC Nursing program graduates passed the NCLEX first time out, placing the program’s graduates in the top tier of two- and four-year nursing programs nationwide. In 2017, the Equality of Opportunity Project ranked HCCC in the top 5% of 2,200 U.S. higher education institutions for social mobility.

HCCC has partnerships with every major four-year college and university in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.

Hudson County Community College Adds Nine Degree Programs that are Fully Available at the North Hudson Campus

Utilizing new ITV technology, the College now offers a
total of 19 associate degree programs at the Union City campus.

May 1, 2021, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) now offers 19 degree programs that can be completed from start to finish, on site, at the College’s North Hudson Campus in Union City.

“To better respond to the community’s needs and to offer more flexible options, the College has integrated Interactive Telepresence Video (ITV) into classrooms at our North Hudson Campus,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. “This technology has enabled us to significantly increase the number of degree programs offered in totality at North Hudson, so students never need to leave that Campus to complete their degrees.”

Hudson County Community College Extends Moratorium on Tuition and Fee Increases for Second Consecutive Year

Hudson County Community College Wine Pairing event

April 1, 2021, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Trustees have voted unanimously to freeze the costs of tuition and fees for the second consecutive year.

HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber said the Board voted to maintain the current level of tuition and fees with no increases continuing throughout the 2021-22 academic year. The extension will include this year’s Summer II and Fall semester classes, as well as the 2022 Winter, Spring, and Summer I sessions.