Hudson County Community College Receives National Award for Student Success Initiatives

April 12, 2024

HCCC won the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2024 Award of Excellence for Student Success.

April 12, 2024, Jersey City, NJ
– Hudson County Community College (HCCC) students and alumni have seen the effects of HCCC’s commitment to student success firsthand while the College’s transformative efforts continue to garner national acclaim. Each year, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) honors a select group of its over 1,000 member community colleges with various Awards of Excellence at the organization’s national convention. This year, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) won the highly competitive award for Student Success. AACC’s National Awards of Excellence were announced at the convention’s concluding Gala in Louisville, Kentucky. The convention drew thousands of attendees from community colleges across the United States during the April 5-9 convening.

The AACC Student Success Award of Excellence recognizes a community college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to advancing student success.

HCCC’s Hudson Scholars Program is a shining example of the cutting-edge, data-driven approach that HCCC has utilized to drive a sustained impact on student success in new and innovative ways. The Hudson Scholars Program has also been honored with multiple prestigious awards, including the 2021-22 Innovation of the Year Award by the The League for Innovation in the Community College, the 2023 National Bellwether Award for Instructional Programs and Services, and, most recently, the 2024 Bellwether Legacy Award, the highest honor bestowed upon community colleges by the Bellwether College Consortium.


HCCC’s work to promote student success earned it the Student Success Award of Excellence at the AACC National Awards Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

HCCC’s work to promote student success earned it the Student Success Award of Excellence at the AACC National Awards Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Hudson Scholars Program expands academic access with a holistic approach that combines proactive student support, financial stipends, high-impact educational experiences, and early academic intervention.

Hudson Scholars counselors track academic progress; prompt students to complete assigned tasks; help students set academic and career goals; monitor outside impediments; and make referrals to on-campus tutoring and whole life services. Hudson Scholars also earn financial stipends for completing designated tasks and achieving academic milestones. This financial support helps students offset expenses for books, transportation, food, and other costs.

To further bolster student success, HCCC provides tutoring, peer and faculty mentoring, and the Hudson Helps Resource Center that addresses basic needs beyond the classroom with provisions including a food pantry, career clothing, emergency funding, a mental health counseling and wellness center, and more.

The impact of the Hudson Scholars Program on student retention and completion is significant, as Hudson Scholars who meet monthly with their academic counselors during the semester persist to the following term at a greater than 90% rate.

The impact of the Program has been particularly significant for students from traditionally underrepresented groups, including Hispanic and African American students. The term-to-term persistence rates of Hispanic and Latino students in the Hudson Scholars Program increased by over 40%, while Black and African American student persistence increased by over 60%.  

Furthermore, the two-year, on-time completion rate for traditionally underrepresented Hudson Scholars exceeds a threefold increase compared to 2018-20. The Hudson Scholars Program is helping students, particularly those from traditionally underserved groups, stay in school and graduate on time. The program has served over 2,500 HCCC students to date, and the College is further scaling the model to eventually serve all HCCC students.

The strides made in student success are further demonstrated by the College’s record of six HCCC students who were nominated for Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships in 2023, and the more than 1,500 students who graduated at HCCC’s Commencement ceremony in May 2023, another College record.

Building on this growth in student success and the increasing number of graduates, HCCC has signed multiple transfer agreements with four-year colleges over the past five years. These partnerships facilitate the seamless transfer of HCCC graduates to these four-year institutions, removing complexity and making it easier for students to navigate this transition.

This progress in student success led to HCCC’s designation as an Achieving the Dream Leader College in 2023 and an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2024. These honors are bestowed upon innovative higher education institutions that demonstrate sustained and significant outcomes in the advancement of student success. HCCC is one of only six institutions nationwide honored as Leader Colleges of Distinction in 2024.

On winning the AACC Student Success Award of Excellence, HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber stated, “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our faculty and staff. The award recognizes the College community’s belief in and commitment to collective values of student success and diversity, equity, and inclusion. HCCC is a truly special place that is transforming lives and enabling students to pursue their academic goals and career dreams.”

Student Success was one of seven AACC National Awards of Excellence for which HCCC was a finalist, the most of any college in the United States. In addition to the win in the Student Success Category, Dr. Reber was honored as CEO of the Year, while Professor of STEM, Dr. Clive Li won Faculty Member of the Year.