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April 28, 2015
April 28, 2015, Jersey City, NJ – On Monday, April 20, 2015, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) was one of just four community colleges in the United States to be recognized for its diversity initiatives by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. accepted the honor at the 2015 Awards of Excellence presentation during a gala at the AACC annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. The AACC Awards of Excellence finalists were selected by the AACC Board of Directors, and the honors were presented by AACC President and CEO Dr. Walter G. Bumphus and AACC Board of Directors Chair Dr. Ken Atwater (President of Hillsborough Community College, FL).
The AACC Advancing Diversity category recognizes colleges that are dedicated to increasing diversity and advocating for social equity on their campuses and in the community. The makeup of the student body at Hudson County Community College is 57% female, 55% Hispanic, 14.88% Black/African-American, 11.02% white, and 7.35% Asian. HCCC students were born in 119 different countries and speak more than 29 different languages.
“Every department and division of our College – as well as our Board of Trustees, our elected officials and our generous Foundation supporters – works to ensure that attaining a college education is not just a possibility but a reality for every Hudson County resident, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical ability, gender preference or sexual orientation,” Dr. Gabert said. “We are devoted to ensuring that we are successful in fulfilling this goal.”
Among the initiatives Hudson County Community College utilizes are those that seek to dispel or diminish language and affordability barriers to higher education, and promote understanding and acceptance of all students and all members of the community. These include: partnerships with K-12 schools, as well as information sessions for students and their families that are presented in their native languages when appropriate; partnering with local governments and corporations to provide students with internships; and hosting a number of community events such as the HCCC Lecture Series, HCCC Foundation Arts Talk Series, Spring Family Reading Fair (a daylong event of books, entertainment and refreshments), plus several community cleanup and environmental programs, and most recently “Pridefest 2015” which included a fundraising breakfast sponsored by the College’s Georgia Brooks Stonewall Celebration Project. Other HCCC initiatives include: the Foundation Scholarship program; the College’s exceptional Financial Assistance program; the comprehensive six-level English-as-a-Second language program; the Student Early Alert System; offering bilingual classes in Math, Sociology, Psychology, Computer Science and College Student Success; and the College’s year-long “First Year Experience” program which helps students to successfully complete their first-year studies via counseling and mentoring.
“The diversity of our community and student body is enriching on so many levels. We are proud to have been honored with this recognition, which shines a light on everyone at the College and all who work with us in these efforts,” Dr. Gabert stated.
This is not the first time Hudson County Community College has been recognized with national honors. The College has also been awarded: the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 2015 New Good Neighbor Award for the HCCC Library Building; the Association of Community College Trustees 2012 Northeast Regional Charles Kennedy Equity Award; Association of Community College Trustees 2012 Northeast Regional Professional Board Staff Member Award; Association of Community College Trustees 2013 Northeast Regional Marie M. Martin Chief Executive Award; one of just five U.S. finalists for the American Association of Community Colleges’ 2013 Awards of Excellence Student Success Award; New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 2009 New Good Neighbor Award for the Culinary Conference Center; New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 2012 New Good Neighbor Award for the North Hudson Higher Education Center; and Hudson County Planning Board 2010 Smart Growth Gold Award.