Hudson County Community College advances to 2023 National Bellwether Awards Finals


Hudson County Community College advanced to the 2023 in the National Bellwether Awards Finals, making them one of two colleges to get to the last round of all three program categories.

Photo courtesy of Hudson County Community College.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Established in 1995, the Bellwether Awards recognize community colleges that have cutting-edge programs worthy of replication.

The award has been compared to college football’s Heisman Trophy because it is competitively judged and awarded by respected peers in leadership positions. 10 Bellwether Program Finalists have been selected to compete in each category.

“The significance of the Bellwether Award is that the winning programs are replicable, scalable, equity-focused, and demonstrate evidence-based success,” Bellwether College Consortium Director Dr. Rose Martinez said in a statement.

“With the complexity of issues facing our community colleges today, these finalists are extraordinary examples of colleges providing scalable solutions to tough challenges.”

The HCCC “Hudson Scholars” program is a finalist in the Bellwether Instructional Programs and Services category that recognizes programs and activities designed and successfully implemented to foster exemplary teaching and learning in the community college.

The student support program uses elements of national best-practice models, and provides proactive advisement, financial support, and early academic intervention.

Increased revenue from improved retention can result in long-term sustainability and program expansion. “Hudson Scholars” has been recognized with the 2021-22 Innovation of the Year Award by The League for Innovation in Community Colleges.

The HCCC “Gateway to Innovation” project will compete as a finalist in the Workforce Development category that recognizes public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships promoting community and economic development.

“Gateway to Innovation” addresses workforce challenges by endeavoring to stabilize students’ basic supports, enhance financial health, engage alumni, expand access to short-term healthcare credentials, and create projects associated with recession-resistant careers and industries.

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has contributed over $1 million in support of this HCCC cutting-edge, workforce development project.

The College’s DEI Recruitment and Retention initiative is a finalist in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category that recognizes programs or activities designed and successfully implemented to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college.

With diversity, equity, and inclusion as the bedrock of its mission, HCCC engages employees with diverse perspectives to propel student success; offer pervasive and inclusive professional development, appreciation, and recognition; recruit and retain a diverse and committed workforce; and keep the community connected.

A Bellwether Finalist is a community college with a program that scores highest in the first round of competition.

The finalists’ teams will make presentations to a jury of anonymous judges and fellow community college practitioners and CEOs and share how they significantly addressed a critical issue affecting their educational institutions.

The rigorous awards competition is an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly where the finalists compete. The competition will be held February 26-28, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are very proud to be honored for these ground-breaking programs that illustrate the entire College’s dedication to our students and community. We are working diligently on our presentations for the February competition,” added HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber.

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