NJ Secretary of Higher Education Honored with Community College Spirit Award

On June 16, during its annual New Jersey Community College Awards Ceremony, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges presented the 2014 Community College Spirit Award to New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks for her exemplary support of New Jersey’s community colleges.

“Since its inauguration in 1993, the Community College Spirit Award has been an honor bestowed to those who embody the community college spirit – perseverance, dedication and excellence,” said NJCCC Chairman Bakari G. Lee, Esq.

Hendricks was recognized for awarding a $620,000 College Access Challenge Grant to the NJ Council of County Colleges and New Jersey’s 19 community colleges to fund College Readiness Now pilots throughout the state from January 1, to August 31, 2014.

Through College Readiness Now, community colleges are collaborating with at least one high school in their counties to offer programs that prepare seniors for college-level work.

“We are very grateful to Secretary Hendricks for her unwavering support of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence Nespoli. “This program is just one of many that she has supported to improve college-readiness, and ultimately student completion at our 19 community colleges.”

New Jersey’s first secretary of higher education, Rochelle Hendricks, has more than 20 years of experience working on education issues in the Garden State. Appointed to the Cabinet-level post by Governor Chris Christie in May 2011, Secretary Hendricks served previously as acting commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Education, having been named to that post in August 2010.

Prior to that assignment, Secretary Hendricks served in the Department of Education as assistant commissioner for the Division of School Effectiveness and Choice, overseeing key reform initiatives and areas, including the Offices of Board Development, Small Learning Communities and School Culture, District Schools, Turnaround Partnerships, Inter-District Choice and Opportunity Scholarships, Charter Schools, Career and Technical Education, and Online Education.

She also served in the Department of Education in other capacities, working as director of the Professional Development Office, manager of the Office of Policy and Planning in the Administration Division, assistant to the deputy education commissioner, and director of the Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Innovative Programs.

Prior to joining the staff of the Department of Education, she worked for more than 15 years at Princeton University as assistant dean of students, director of the Educational Opportunities Program, and interim director of the Women’s Program.

Secretary Hendricks began her career as a teacher in the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School District before joining the Department of Education in 1987.

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