HCCC Associates Degree Program


Arwa Ouali

The Class of 2025’s freshmen were given the opportunity to participate in a Dual Enrollment Program in connection with Hudson Community College (HCCC) with the end goal of earning an associate degree in conjunction with a high school diploma, once students graduate.

I had a chance to speak with Mr. Measso, who helped make this program possible.


  1. Has this program been around before this year?

The Early College Academy Program is in its first year as an articulation agreement with Hudson Community College. In the past we did have an articulation agreement that would allow students to earn an Associate’s Degree from Bergen Community College but we have ended that partnership in favor of this one. We also have had and continue to have our Project LEAP program which allows our students to take college credits while in high school.  

  1. Are students required to take specific classes at KHS to be a part of the program?

Students will be required to take particular classes while at KHS to fulfill the dual enrollment requirements. These classes have been predetermined and participating students will not only earn credit to their high school diploma but also their Associate’s degree by successfully completing them.

  1. How exactly does the process/credits work so that a student gets a high school diploma and an associates degree by the end of senior year?

All high school students need to complete certain requirements in order to earn a high school diploma. For example, 4 years of English, 4 of PE etc. The same rules apply when you go to college. Students need to take certain requirements in order to earn a degree. We have worked with HCCC to develop a sequence of courses that allows for dual enrollment and enables the participating students to meet both the requirements of KHS and HCCC at the same time.   Successful completion of pre-determined courses will allow for these students to meet the requirements of both diplomas. For the first 2 years of high school, participating students will take all of their courses at KHS but beginning in 11th grade certain courses will be taken at the HCCC campus during our normal school day. Students will continue to earn credits for both degrees even when taught by a HCCC professor.

  1. Through this program, what should students expect once they have completed this program in terms of future opportunities?

One of the great benefits of this program is that students will graduate with an Associate’s Degree prior to even receiving their high school diploma. Since they would already have 2 years of college under their belt, they would only have to do 2 more to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.  NJ has passed laws that allow for any student with an Associate’s Degree from a NJ community college to have all of their credits accepted by 4 year public colleges in NJ. Basically a student can graduate KHS at 17 or 18 and by the time they are 20 can potentially already have a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University for example. This gives them a leg up in terms of seeking employment in their career field of choice over their peers the same age. Another benefit for students is NJ recently passed a law making the first 2 years of college free if students go to a public college or university in NJ and their family makes under a certain amount of money. Since the Kearny Board of Education is covering the cost of the Early College Academy Program, this would not count towards the 2 years so for some students they can potentially go to college and earn a 4 year degree without incurring any costs.