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Founded in 1974, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) is a comprehensive, award-winning, student- and community-centered urban institution focused on fostering understanding, attaining success, and building better lives. HCCC serves one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse areas of the United States, with County residents representing more than 90 different nationalities. The College operates from three, state-of-the-art locations: the primary campus in the Journal Square section of Jersey City; the full-service North Hudson Campus in Union City; and the Secaucus Center, on the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus of Hudson County Schools of Technology, in Secaucus.
HCCC was created as a “contract” college – one dedicated to providing career- and occupational-focused certificates and degrees. In 1992, Dr. Glen Gabert was brought on as President. He inherited a distressed institution. HCCC had a total enrollment of just 3,076, and owned only one building in Jersey City. The HCCC Board of Trustees, Dr. Gabert, and state and local officials partnered and focused on excellence that resulted in providing structure, stability, and success. Today, HCCC is the largest of the four higher-education institutions in Hudson County, serving 18,000 credit and noncredit students annually. The College now owns a dozen buildings, all of which are newly constructed or completely repurposed.
The College’s physical growth in Jersey City has served as the catalyst for the revitalization of the Journal Square area. HCCC buildings include the 72,000 square-foot Culinary Conference Center; 112,000 square-foot Gabert Library (with 33 classrooms, an award-winning library, three group study rooms, café, meditation room, Makerspace, Benjamin J. Dineen and Dennis C. Hull Gallery, and rooftop plaza with a 9/11 monument); and 70,070 square-foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Building. In March 2020, the College completed work on 71 Sip Avenue. The 26,100 square-foot building was completely renovated and transformed into the first, dedicated Student Center building in the College’s 47-year history.
The 92,250 square-foot North Hudson Campus in Union City serves 3,000 students and features classrooms, computer labs, media center, language and science labs, offices, seminar/event spaces, enrollment/registration and bursar’s offices, outdoor courtyards, and a glass-enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting to a public transit center.
The College’s Secaucus Center is located on the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus of the Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST), a 350,000 square-foot vocational/technical school set on 20 acres of land in Secaucus, NJ. A unique partnership with HCST provides access and opportunities to a college education for the high school students attending HCST High Tech High School through the HCCC Early College program. HCCC holds evening classes at the Secaucus Center for the general public.
In July 2018, Dr. Chris Reber was installed as the College’s sixth president. Dr. Reber has infused the College community with the principles of servant leadership; stressed the values of openness and transparency; renewed commitment to student success, and diversity, equity, and inclusion; and advanced addressing students’ needs in a holistic manner. He conducts monthly town hall meetings for the entire College community, as well as events specifically focused on student engagement.
Under Dr. Reber’s leadership, the College joined Achieving the Dream, an organization dedicated to community college excellence and the continuous improvement of student retention, completion, transfer, and gainful employment; expanded partnerships and collaborations with K-12 and university partners; developed entrepreneurial and workforce alliances; and completely redesigned the College’s website. Most importantly, two nationally distinctive programs have been developed during Dr. Reber’s administration: Hudson Helps, which provides information about and access to services, programs, and resources that address students’ basic needs beyond the classroom, and includes a food pantry, Career/Clothing Closet, Mental Health Counseling and Wellness Center, social services office, and financial aid for everyday emergencies; and the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, that develops new levels of understanding and access within the College and the greater Hudson County community.
Dr. Reber has also stressed the importance of expanding external revenues available to the College, a critical component in developing future opportunities for students while maintaining affordability at HCCC.
HCCC continues to build on its successes, meeting the challenges ahead as the community of Hudson County grows and transforms.