Early College Graduates Receive College Degrees Ahead of High School Diplomas 

Among the 3,700 graduates who were awarded associate degrees at the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Commencement exercises on Thursday, May 26, were 38 who will not receive their high school diplomas until later this month. They are the 2022 graduates of HCCC’s Early College program.

“Graduating from the Early College program is a remarkable achievement, especially when you consider that these young women and men are now able to enter a four-year college or university with junior status,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber.

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“What they have attained requires concentrated effort and determination throughout their four years of high school studies. We are very proud of them and know they will continue to shine with exceptional achievements.”

Dr. Reber said the 2022 cohort includes 15 graduates from Jersey City’s William L. Dickinson High School, 14 from Hudson County Schools of Technology High Tech High School, five from Jersey City’s James J. Ferris High School, and four from the former Marist High School and other schools. They received associate degrees in Business Administration, Science and Mathematics, Environmental Studies, and Liberal Arts. They are transferring to New Jersey City University, New York University, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and other four-year institutions as juniors. Many plan to pursue graduate degrees.

Thanks to the HCCC Early College program, these students will earn baccalaureate and graduate degrees much more quickly than usual, and with far less student debt.

The HCCC Early College program allows high school students who reside or attend school in Hudson County to earn up to 36 college-level credits towards an associate degree. Credits earned in the program may be transferred for a baccalaureate degree at a four-year college or university.

Students who attend high schools that have special agreements with the College may earn more than 36 credits and, in instances such as those celebrated at 2022 Commencement, a full associate degree.

HCCC Executive Director of the Secaucus Center and Early College Programs, Dr. Christopher Conzen, noted that in addition to jump-starting their college educations, Early College program participants pay just half the in-County tuition rate – a huge savings in comparison to four-year colleges and universities.

The program is available to all Hudson County high school students, and additional opportunities, including dual enrollment, certificate, and associate degree tracks are available to students in Jersey City Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, and Bayonne, County Prep, Harrison, High Tech, Hoboken Charter, Hoboken, Kearny, Marion P. Thomas Charter, Memorial, North Bergen, Orange, Rising Star Academy, Union City, and West Orange High Schools.

Learn more about HCCC’s Early College program by emailing earlycollege@hccc.edu or phoning 201-360-5330.

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