Skip to main content

Message From The President


This is an auspicious time: The start of the Fall 2023 semester at Hostos Community College.

In-person or virtually – or, more than likely, both – you will begin or continue your studies in your chosen field. Your determination to bring new meaning and opportunity to your life has impelled you to take an active part in shaping your life, your vocation, and your destiny.

Hostos has received exceptional support from local, state and federal sources. In January, the Howard Gilman Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (HCAC) to assist with operational costs for 2023. In February, the Hostos Community College Foundation was awarded $150,000 from Libra Group Social Responsibility (LSR) to support the Hostos Family Empowerment Program (FEP) and additional student educational experiences. Then, in April, Hostos received a $2.86 million Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution (DHSI) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The DHSI Program provides grants to assist HSIs in expanding educational opportunities to improve student access, increase retention, and better graduation rates. We are also very fortunate to have a great supporter in the form of Congressman Ritchie Torres who championed a $1 million congressional earmark that will allow Hostos students in the NextGen Public Health Program, to continue their studies in engineering and arts administration programs into corresponding programs at Columbia University, City College and Queens College where those students will complete their bachelor's degrees. We owe a great deal to Congressman Adriano Espaillat and US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer in helping make this possible for our students.

April also saw Hostos celebrate its 55th anniversary, affording us the opportunity to take a fond look at our history... and make plans for the future. Last year saw the highly successful completion of the rigorous Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation process. With that taken care of, we focused our energies on developing our next five-year Strategic Plan. Close to 100 students, faculty and administration members served as part of a steering committee or in mission-themed working groups.

Opportunities were provided for the entire Hostos community to participate via campus-wide forums. The MSCHE accreditation process equipped us with exactly the right tools to examine and sharpen our focus on social justice and equity matters. Creating gains in retention is a major element of our approach and we are planning to build on innovative approaches to developmental education, Gateway courses, cohort offerings, and advisement investments. The 2023-2028 Strategic Plan will go into effect in Fall 2023.

We’re also extending our thinking beyond graduation and will address important employment and transfer issues. Ms. MacKenzie Scott’s extraordinary $15 million gift to the College plays a decisive role in this. Indeed, thanks to Ms. Scott’s fervent belief in Hostos and the community college system, we have created a number of pilot initiatives and will develop many more. Such initiatives as the Families United in Education, the Hostos Research Center, CEWD’s non-credit-to-credit opportunities, Educating in Diversity programming, NexGen Public Health Scholars and other 2 + 2 +2 transfer opportunities, Jobs on Campus, and a variety of scholarships.

The College has provided a path to a brighter future and served as a source of life-transforming education since its founding in 1968. Though our mission remains the same as it was over five decades ago – making affordable and high-quality secondary education accessible for all who seek it – we have always looked for the most effective means of achieving that mission. The global pandemic prompted a quick and successful turn to digital instruction, and a variety of learning options are available. The return to in-person classes and events has been carefully planned and implemented to protect the health and ensure the safety of all.

Hostos takes pride in its history and in its namesake: Don Eugenio María de Hostos, the Puerto Rican philosopher, educator, man of letters and fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico. The College arose from the vision and activism of many Puerto Rican, Latino, and other supporters who believed the South Bronx deserved its own community college. We are proud of the quality of teaching and learning at Hostos, and of our work with community agencies to promote educational, labor, economic and community development initiatives. To that end, we offer programs designed to promote engagement both on campus and in our communities.

The Hostos catalogue presents a rich offering of career and academic programs, including allied health sciences, digital design and animation, education, engineering, liberal arts and sciences, theater arts, and many other disciplines. Our talented and highly accomplished faculty, staff and administrators support the goals of new and returning students alike.

A new academic year brings exciting new opportunities for students, and I know this will be a challenging and rewarding experience for you. You are here to excel – and we are here to help you do exactly that.

I wish you all the very best, whether this is your first day at Hostos or your final semester on the road to graduation.

It is a joy to welcome you to Hostos.

Your future starts here.

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.