Early College Program coming to Bayonne High School

The program will offer the students the opportunity to earn an Associate's degree simultaneously

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A new program at Bayonne High School will allow students to enroll in an early college program at Hudson County Community College (HCCC).

The Early College Program at HCCC provides an opportunity for select Bayonne High School students to take credit-bearing, college courses and earn an Associate in Arts degree from Hudson County Community College free of cost, while earning their high school diploma.

HCCC and the City of Bayonne School District signed an agreement on Feb. 25 at the Bayonne Board of Education that will bring the HCCC Early College Program to Bayonne High School.

HCCC Executive Vice President Dr. Eric Friedman and City of Bayonne School District Superintendent John J. Niesz joined HCCC Vice President of External Affairs Nicholas Chiaravalloti, and HCCC Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Wahl to sign the agreement.

Superintendent Niesz said that Bayonne High School is the only public high school in Hudson County to introduce this type of rigorous academic program with a two-year college.

The HCCC Early College Program will be initiated this upcoming September, for 26 incoming Bayonne High School freshmen.

The program works by slowly immersing the students into the HCCC environment. Students will take all of their HCCC classes at Bayonne High School during their first two years. In their third year, students will travel to HCCC for half of their college coursework. Finally, in their fourth year, students will attend HCCC for the majority of their classes.

According to Superintendent Niesz, the Bayonne Board of Education is excited about the future of the new partnership. Niesz explained the program will benefit the Bayonne community by saving students time and money.

“It will not only save our students time, it will save them the cost of community college tuition as well,” Niesz stated. “The Hudson County Community College Early College Program will provide our students with a huge jump-start towards a career or a baccalaureate degree.”

HCCC’s educational footprint

President of HCCC Dr. Reber highlighted the program’s impact.

“We, at Hudson County Community College, are elated about this new partnership with the Bayonne Board of Education,” Reber said. “It will not only benefit the Bayonne High School Students, but, ultimately, it will benefit their families and the community.”

Hudson County Community College currently serves more than 17,000 credit and non-credit students each year.

According to HCCC, the college offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language, STEM, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Fine and Performing Arts.

In 2017, the Equality of Opportunity Project ranked HCCC in the top 5% of 2,200 U.S. higher education institutions for social mobility.

HCCC boasts partnerships with every major four-year college and university in the greater New Jersey area, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.

For additional information on the program, those interested can learn more by emailing Renae M. Bush, Director of Student Personnel Services at the Bayonne Board of Education, at rbush@bboed.org.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.