Orientation FAQ's

Who should attend New Student Orientation (NSO)?

NSO is mandatory for all new students to HCC and transfer students.  Adult family members and other support networks are welcome to attend special programming in both, English and Spanish. HCC is unable to provide childcare.  As a result, please make childcare arrangements for the duration of the NSO programming.  Please refer to the NSO Agenda for a detailed breakdown of each session.

How long is New Student Orientation (NSO)?

A day session is usually about 3.5 hours long. Plan on participating in your mandatory NSO program for the length of the session you are assigned to on the HCC campus. Please refer to the Orientation Schedule to find the day assigned to your major.  For further details on the length of the session, refer to the NSO Agenda.

When is New Student Orientation (NSO)?

NSO dates and times differ based on your major.  Please refer to the Orientation Schedule to find out when your Orientation will be.  Also check your HCC email for invitations and reminder notices.

If I'm only taking online classes, is Orientation mandatory for me?

Yes. As Online student you are required to complete your orientation in Moodle. We have prepared an Orientation course that will give you the right information for you to be a successful online student at HCC. After you register for New Student Orientation, you will be getting an email to your HCC email with instructions to access your Orientation course in Moodle.

How do I look up my major?

To find your major, go online to "My HCC" and access My Online Services.  There you will find this information under Student Program & Advisor. If you do not have an assigned advisor, after checking your My Online Services, you can receive advising through the Advising Center (FR 273).   You can also contact: Academic Affairs (Frost 315) at 413-552-2770.   

Do I need to register for New Student Orientation (NSO)?

Yes. When you meet with an Academic Advisor to schedule the classes for your first semester, one of those classes will be your New Student Orientation session. You will receive more information regarding your mandatory NSO session via mail and email. Also, students will check-in a half hour before the session begins for each orientation session, which is how attendance will be tracked.

What if I'm unable to attend New Student Orientation (NSO) when my major is scheduled to occur?

We encourage all students attend their assigned session, as you will be meeting with faculty from your direct major. However, we understand conflicts may arise.  If you are unable to attend your assigned session, please call the Student Affairs office to make arrangements at 413-552-2100 or email answers@hcc.edu.  Please refer to Orientation Schedules for the dates and times by major.

Is New Student Orientation (NSO) required for non-matriculated students or for those taking courses that are not for credit?

We welcome students who are non-matriculated to attend New Student Orientation, but it's not mandatory.

What happens if I leave New Student Orientation (NSO) early?

Please arrange your schedule to allow complete participation in the entire program.  If a student leaves early, their attendance will not be considered complete.  Please call the Student Affairs office to make arrangements at 413-552-2100.

Where is New Student Orientation (NSO)?

Check-In and the initial welcome will take place on campus in the Fine & Performing Arts Building - Leslie Phillips Theater, 2nd floor (building is located in the center of the campus between Donahue Building and Kittredge Building).  After the welcome and a general presentation of the college, academic sessions will take place throughout the campus.  If you require special accommodations contact the Office for Students with Disabilities and Deaf Services number at (413) 552-2582.

Where do I park?

You can go online to "MyHCC" and access My Online Services to print out a temporary parking pass.  If you are unable to do so, park in student lots (A, B, C, D, M, N, O, P, Q R, and S) and make sure to bring your car registration to get your parking pass at the HCC Express Services after NSO.

What should I bring to New Student Orientation (NSO)?

  • Your HCC student ID to check-in and for identification purposes when you are accessing information from any office on campus.
  • Your schedule to access your bus pass.
  • Your license and car registration to receive a parking permit.

Will dining services be open during New Student Orientation?

Yes. The Food Court will be open during the days of NSO from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 

Will dining services be available at the NSO for students to purchase Cougar Cash?

Dining services will be available at the Forum Café during the NSO.  You can purchase Cougar Cash, which works just like cash at any dining location on campus.  This allows you the convenience of not having to carry cash, or having to incur any credit card fees when you make a purchase. You will need an HCC ID to purchase Cougar Cash.

For more information, go to HCC Cougar Cash.

Will there be transportation from PVTA during New Student Orientation (NSO)?

The P11 bus will be operating during the days of NSO. More detailson the arrival and departure times coming soon.

What is FERPA and can I sign the Student Information Release Form at NSO?

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) helps protect the privacy of student education rights. Holyoke Community College considers all students to be independent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The College will not disclose non-directory information of any student except where the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requires or allows disclosure without consent. Students can request that their information be released to a third party (parents, state agency, etc.) by completing the Student Information Release form. Forms will be available at NSO.

Students must sign the forms in front of a staff member of the Welcome Center, Student Records, Financial Aid Office, or Student Affairs; otherwise the signature will have to be notarized.  A notary is available for free in the Administration and Finance Office; Student Accounts and Student Affairs.

More info can be found at Student Records.

Didn't find the answer to your question? Email us at answers@hcc.edu


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000