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HACC Graduates Ready for Bright Future
Graduating students at HACC's spring 2023 Commencement ceremony
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, welcomed the College’s newest alumni during its May 9, 2023, Commencement ceremony. More than 560 of the 1,192 students eligible to graduate in spring and summer 2023 walked across the stage at the Giant Center to receive their associate degrees, certificates and diplomas.

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05 July 2023

HACC will continue to support diversity in higher ed, despite the Supreme Court ruling

Published by PennLive, June 30, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 29 is disappointing on many levels. Most importantly, it assumes that there is equity in experiences and opportunities for all citizens. Also, some may believe that affirmative action is an act of discrimination and that it isn’t needed because of equal protection because of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

However, we understand that there has not historically been equal access to educational opportunities, which undermines equal protection. We must all consider these laws were originally created to right the course after historic inequities and atrocities and provide equality to minoritized citizens. While the affirmative action policy was not perfect, it offered opportunities to level the field and include those who had traditionally been excluded.

What makes the Supreme Court’s decision most troubling for higher education is the premise that educational opportunities are equal for all.

We have witnessed the disparity in wealth and achievement gaps in our communities of color. As a result, we are focused on ensuring that experiences of our diverse students will be honored at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. We will continue to strive to be inclusive while creating an environment that welcomes, affirms and celebrates diversity, inclusion and belonging. Because of the recent decision by the Supreme Court, our work will certainly be harder. However, we stand steadfast and will seek new opportunities to embrace our historically underrepresented and diverse communities and welcome them to the College.

At HACC, we view inclusion and diversity as integral to the educational success and continued professional growth of every student and employee. With this focus on fostering success for all, the HACC Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging was founded in 2016. Keeping with our core values, our work implants the value of inclusivity to our institutional identity and creates an atmosphere of belonging in our institutional narrative.

Our aim is for HACC to be a truly welcoming, equitable and affirming environment where everyone is empowered as lifelong learners. We strive to break down barriers and promote equity and belonging throughout the College.

We will continue to be the college that changes the lives and destinies of our students!

John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D., is president and CEO of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

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