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Hudson County Community College Celebrates  497 Students Who Progressed from English as a Second Language Studies to College Graduation

Hudson County Community College honored graduating students from the Classes of 2020-22 who began their journeys in Hudson’s ESL Program during the “ESL to Graduation: A Celebration” event.

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) is one of the most ethnically diverse higher education institutions in the United States, with students who were born in 119 different countries and speak 29 different languages. Many are recent arrivals to the United States coping with unfamiliar surroundings, cultural differences, and a new language. The College’s commitment to students’ success often begins by helping them overcome language challenges through the Academic English as a Second Language (AESL) program. 

On Tuesday evening, May 24, 2022, the College honored graduates from the Classes of 2020-22 who began their academic journeys in the HCCC ESL Program. The “ESL to Graduation: A Celebration” event was held at the HCCC Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City. The celebration featured welcoming remarks by Jed Palmer, Interim Director of ESL and Academic Foundations English (AFE); and “Tales of Immigration: Past and Present” presented by Linda Joy Miller, Associate Professor, ESL. 

HCCC 2005 graduate Bahmini Ketheesan, Manager, SERV Finances and Accounts Group, Stevens Institute of Technology, spoke about “Student Success Stories: Past”. 

Simone Ebeid, a member of the Class of 2021 who earned her Associate in Science, Medical Sciences degree, and Elie Natuwila, Class of 2022 who will receive his Associate in Science, Criminal Justice degree at commencement ceremonies on May 26th, spoke on “Student Success Stories: Present.”

HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber, and Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Yeurys Pujols offered congratulatory remarks to the graduates who are receiving degrees in Business, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Digital Arts, Early Childhood Education, Engineering, English, Health Services, Hospitality Management, Human Services, Mathematics, Medical Assisting, Medical Coding, Nursing, Psychology, Radiography, Studio Arts, and several other disciplines.

“The Classes of 2020-22 include 497 students who came to the United States from all around the world and began their higher education journey in the HCCC ESL program,” Dr. Reber said. “Attendees hail from Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, and Senegal. We are enormously proud of them for the courage, determination, and persistence they demonstrated in navigating the challenges of learning to read, write, and speak a new language, and then continuing on to earn their associate degrees.”

The HCCC Academic ESL program provides students with the high-level English language skills needed to study at a United States college or university, and to succeed and advance in careers.
Classes focus on academic essay writing, grammar, reading, and speaking and listening skills. Overall, HCCC ESL students are from 45 different countries. Students enrolled in the Academic ESL program are eligible to apply for the Johanna Van Gandt (JVG) Scholarship for ESL Students that provides tuition support.

For more information on the Academic ESL program, please email [email protected]or call 201-360-4384.

About Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College serves more than 18,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers nearly 80 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 the 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 and economic 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.

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; and the INSIGHT Into Diversity2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award honoring HCCC as one of nine community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity.” The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), in collaboration with Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, named HCCC as a “2022 Most Promising Place to Work in Community Colleges.” HCCC was a finalist this year for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) “Advancing Diversity Award of Excellence.”
Hudson County Community College Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

HCCC one of just eight community colleges in the country 
to be awarded this national honor.