Rockland Community College – A Proud Hispanic-Serving Institution

Rockland Community College is proud to be designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). We are fully committed to creating a diverse and equitable environment for all students. With about 30% of our student population identifying as Hispanic, RCC celebrates Hispanic culture and works to promote, support, and provide specialized programming for our students.

RCC has a long history of educating first generation college students, many of whom have immigrant parents. We are dedicated to providing support and guidance, in and out of the classroom, to help students successfully navigate their educational journeys and develop into engaged individuals who give back to the larger community. Our HSI designation is a testament to our commitment to creating a diverse and welcoming environment for all.

This HSI designation allows the College to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students. RCC is proud to be the recipient of three Title V grants since 2019, totaling almost $9 million. The funding was allocated through the Title V program, which provides resources for Hispanic-Serving Institutions to expand educational opportunities and enhance programs, facilities, and equipment for students. These grants are some of the largest allocated for RCC in the history of the Institution. Read more about the most recent Title V grant.

Recently, RCC’s President was featured in an article about New Leaders in Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.

three students sitting in front of a building smiling

What is an HSI?

An HSI is defined by the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division as an accredited, non-profit institution of higher learning that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. Institutions must apply for the designation.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of Fall 2020, there were about 2 million Hispanic students enrolled in 451 HSIs located in 24 states and Puerto Rico.

Celebrating Diversity at RCC

Each year RCC celebrates diversity through a series of events and activities for cultural heritage months, including Hispanic Heritage Month every September 15 – October 15. The month-long celebration honors individual Hispanic traditions while also recognizing what makes everyone similar.

The annual Black and Latinx Achievement Awards at RCC seeks to recognize and reinforce the academic and personal accomplishments of Rockland County middle and high school students from the Black/African and Latinx Diaspora.

Many of RCC’s students take part in the First-Generation College Student Day each year, and First-Gen graduates are recognized at a special ceremony at the end of the academic year.

Student waving an RCC flag

Student Programs at RCC

RCC offers a variety of programs to support students in and out of the classroom.

Educational Opportunity Program

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is designed to provide access to college education and improve college affordability for low-income students. This program offers financial aid, tuition assistance, and need-based scholarships to ensure that students from low-income families have access to quality education. We can provide you with the support services and financial assistance for college you need to succeed academically.

English Skills Academy

The English Skills Academy at Rockland Community College is an intensive college preparatory program for English language learners at various levels. Come to the English Skills Academy to improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Money Smart Program

The Money Smart Financial Coaching Program is an extra-curricular program that provides tools, resources, and customized advice to help RCC students manage their money and plan for success as they complete a college degree and pursue a career. The main objective of the Program is to provide a combination of resources, education, and one-on-one coaching that is focused on student’s individual goals and financial outcomes.

Somos El Futuro

Somos el Futuro (We are the Future) aims to deliver student success activities to Hispanic/Latino and underrepresented students in college. SOMOS also assists in the advisement, retention, and transfer of students. Workshops and fun activities, mentorship opportunities, leadership building, volunteer, become financially literate and make friends. You don’t have to be Hispanic/Latino to join. The club is open to all RCC students

TRiO Scholars

TRIO Student Support Services Scholar’s Program is a federally funded program offered at RCC targeted to serve and assist first-generation college students, low-income individuals (Pell Eligible), and individuals with disabilities, to progress through the post-secondary experience and transfer to four-year programs.

Partnerships to Promote Hispanic Diversity

RCC is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), an organization that represents more than 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and U.S. school districts. HACU offers a variety of programs for students and higher education professionals, including career readiness services, symposiums and conferences, and leadership training. As members, RCC students and employees have access to these offerings.

RCC also partners with Excelencia in Education, an organization whose goal is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and for civic leadership. Excelencia provides data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latinos, promotes education policies and institutional practices that support their academic achievement, and organizes a network of professionals with common cause for Latino student success. Through the partnership, Excelencia provides support for RCC’s efforts.

Additionally, RCC is a member of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC), the premier organization for Hispanic leadership development in community colleges. NCCHC’s mission is to increase the number of Hispanic leaders in America’s community colleges through leadership development.

Additional HSI Resources

International Language Resource

RCC is committed to providing resources to people with diverse backgrounds who speak different languages. Students and community members who wish to communicate in another language can visit our International Language Resource page that includes contact information for faculty and staff who speak a variety of languages. These individuals can help to connect students to the appropriate personnel or office on campus to provide assistance. Please feel free to reach out to anyone, regardless of department.