Hudson County Community College Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

October 10, 2023

HCCC honored with this prestigious national award for third year in a row.


October 10, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President, Dr. Christopher Reber, announced that the College has received the 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in America. The national award honors United States colleges and universities that demonstrate outstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

“We are honored to receive this award for the third year in a row,” Dr. Reber said. “It reflects HCCC’s commitment and contributions to developing best practices that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and student success in all we do.”

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes information about the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both; leadership support for diversity; campus culture and climate; supplier diversity; and many other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”


Group photo at the College’s annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summer Retreat

Hudson County Community College President, Dr. Christopher M. Reber (third from right), is pictured here with students, faculty, administrators, and trustees at the College’s annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summer Retreat.

Hudson County Community College serves one of the nation’s most ethnically and racially diverse communities. The College’s 2023 HEED Award submission detailed the practices and programs that make HCCC a leader in DEI and helping students successfully achieve their academic goals and dreams. These include:

  • HCCC President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACDEI), established by Dr. Reber in 2019, includes students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and external community members who develop partnerships and collaborations, and play an essential role in establishing and implementing DEI goals for an inclusive institutional climate. 
  • HCCC Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, including Accessibility Services, Cultural Affairs, Veterans Affairs, International Student Services, and the College’s Title IX oversight. The Office of DEI also leads and supports annual programs that engage HCCC students, faculty, staff, and community members, including a 9/11 Memorial, MLK Memorial, Juneteenth Celebration, and the College’s annual DEI Summer Retreat.
  • “Hudson Helps Resource Center” that provides essential services and resources focusing on basic needs beyond the classroom and including a Care Team, food pantries, nutritional counseling, assistance with SNAP applications, Career Closet, emergency financial assistance, Chromebook loaners, social services and mental health counseling, and “Single Stop” benefits screening.
  • “Hudson Scholars,” winner of the national 2023 Bellwether Award and 2021-22 League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovation of Year Award, providing proactive advisement, financial stipends, and early academic intervention to ensure 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.
  • HCCC English as a Second Language Program with various pathways for students to master English while learning, quickly advancing through their developmental education requirements, and accumulating credits that enable them to complete their associate degree studies and graduate sooner.
  • HCCC First Year Experience program that helps students transition into college smoothly, providing opportunities to become acquainted with fellow students, faculty, and staff; receive financial assistance; orient to class schedules, emails, and HCCC units; attend the College Student Success course and acquire skills to achieve academically; and take advantage of assistance provided by HCCC Peer Leaders and Mentors.
  • HCCC Summer Refresher Academy, the College’s summer bridge program that is offered free of charge to students who wish to improve basic skills, build confidence, and obtain higher course grades and finish their degrees more quickly.

“All of the awards we receive for DEI and student success result from the dedication and engagement of the entire College family, including our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Reber. “We are very proud of our HCCC culture that celebrates and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion in all forms, and offers our students and community members every opportunity to succeed by embracing and multiplying our shared strengths.”