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February 16, 2023
February 16, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has been designated a Leader College by Achieving the Dream (ATD), the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC is one of only 16 Leader Colleges in the 300-college ATD network.
“We are honored that Achieving the Dream has recognized Hudson County Community College with this designation. HCCC joined the Achieving the Dream network because their mission aligns with ours,” said HCCC President, Dr. Christopher Reber. “ATD is dedicated to reaching deep into communities to open new pathways into and through colleges for the most vulnerable learners, moving the focus from whole college transformation to whole community transformation. HCCC is committed to reaching new levels of success by empowering our students to achieve their personal, academic, and professional dreams and goals. We remain steadfast in maintaining our focus on equity in student success, including degree completion, transfer pathways, gainful employment, and engaged civic participation.”
ATD Leader Colleges play an important role in accelerating the adoption of effective practices within the ATD Network and across higher education. Leader Colleges are recognized for the quality of their work in whole-college reform, resulting in increased completion rates for all students. Leader Colleges develop innovative methods to work with other colleges, share knowledge, and exchange ideas about evidence-based reform strategies.
In December 2018, ATD President and CEO, Dr. Karen Stout, visited HCCC and made a presentation about the ATD mission. Shortly after, a survey was distributed to the entire College community and the overwhelming majority of respondents endorsed HCCC joining ATD. In January 2019, the College’s Board of Trustees approved the resolution for HCCC to join the 2019 cohort of ATD New Member Colleges.
HCCC utilizes evidence-based data and programs to inform policy and practice in helping students bring their academic and career goals to fruition. The College has interwoven Achieving the Dream best practices into the work of the HCCC President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACDEI), which provides leadership and counsel in fostering a welcoming, diverse, equitable and inclusive environment; the HCCC “Hudson Helps” program, a compendium of wraparound services, programs, and resources that focus on basic needs beyond the classroom and result in greater student success; and “Hudson Scholars,” the College’s innovative, national award-winning program that utilizes proven best practices, and provides proactive advisement, financial stipends, and early academic intervention to ensure that a greater number of students facing financial challenges, language barriers, employment concerns, and family responsibilities complete their college education, achieve their goals, and realize their dreams.
Since joining the ATD Network, Hudson County Community College has demonstrated continuous improvement in retention and graduation rates. HCCC has frequently attended annual DREAM meetings, filed annual student success action plans and reports, and has served as an invited presenter at ATD national meetings and webinars.