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September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – In 2021, Bayonne resident Kate Neal earned her high school diploma and Associate in Science (A.S.) in Environmental Studies degree at the same time. She attained this exceptional accomplishment as a result of the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Early College Program. Now a junior studying Civil Engineering at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ms. Neal said: “I am extremely grateful for the HCCC Early College Program opportunity. It has helped me feel better prepared to enter a four-year college.”
The HCCC Early College Program enables all high school students who attend school or reside in Hudson County to earn up to 18 college-level credits per academic year. Participating students save 50% on tuition, and credits earned may be applied to a college degree at HCCC or transferred to a four-year college or university when they graduate. “I used a large number of my transfer credits to eliminate general education requirements and fulfill some major classes such as geology,” Ms. Neal stated.
HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber stated that Early College students like Ms. Neal, who are in specific programs with partnering high schools, can earn enough credits to complete a full associate degree while still in high school. “Those students who earn associate degrees while in high school have two pathways open to them almost immediately: they may transfer their credits and enter four-year schools as juniors, or they can begin their careers in the workforce,” he said.
The HCCC Early College Program has partnerships with dozens of high schools in Hudson County and beyond, including Bayonne High School, Harrison High School, Hoboken Charter School, Hoboken High School, Hudson County Schools of Technology, Jersey City Public Schools, Kearny High School, Marion P. Thomas Charter School, Memorial High School, New Public High Schools, North Bergen High School, Nutley High School, Orange High School, Rising Star Academy, Union City High School, and West Orange High School. Curricula offered vary from school to school.
Dr. Christopher Conzen, HCCC Executive Director of the Secaucus Center and Early College Programs, said that more than 8,000 students have taken at least one college-level course as part of the HCCC Early College program. “In total, 100 students have earned associate degrees in our program while attending high school, and each year we add more partner schools and offer more courses,” he said.
Information on the Early College Program may be obtained by consulting high school counselors at participating high schools, or by contacting HCCC directly: students attending one of the Hudson County Schools of Technology may email secaucuscenterFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE or phone 201-360-4388; all other students may email earlycollegeFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE or phone 201-360-5330.
An overview of the HCCC Early College program is available at https://www.hccc.edu/programs-courses/academic-pathways/early-college/index.html.