Facts & History
Learn about HCC – where we came from, where we're going, and how you can be a part of it.
Click here to view Fast Facts about the college.
Holyoke Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The college has received the endorsement of the Massachusetts Department of Education and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and is a member of the American Association of Community College Council.
It is the policy of Holyoke Community College not to discriminate on the basis of sex, creed, color, race, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments and other Federal and State anti-discrimination laws.
Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX may be directed to Interim Title IX Coordinator Olivia Kynard, Interim Affirmative Action Officer at Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke, MA 01040, 413.552.2149.
The Holyoke Community College catalog contains current information regarding areas of study, career opportunities, student services, and admissions. However, it is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as, a statement of the college's contractual undertakings. The Holyoke Community College Board of Trustees and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education reserve the right to alter the college's academic policies, procedures, course offerings, and fees as set forth in this catalog.
Accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of the quality of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.
Inquiries regarding the status of an institution's accreditation should be directed to the administrative staff of the college. Individuals may also contact:
New England Commission of Higher Education
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, MA 02108-1696
All courses are constructed to allow students to achieve the stated outcomes/objectives. Lecture courses meet for 50 minutes per credit hour (one contact hour) each week of the semester. A typical onsite 3-credit lecture course would meet for a total of 150 minutes per week, either as three 50-minute class sessions, two 75-minute class sessions, or another configuration adding up to 150 minutes. For each hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, students should assume a minimum of two hours of additional work outside of class. For online courses, students are expected to devote the same amount of time as with onsite courses, and engage regularly with the instructor, such that course outcomes/objectives are achieved. Lab courses meet for a total of 300 minutes per week (150 minutes of lecture, 150 minutes of lab).
HCC began in 1946 as the city-sponsored Holyoke Junior College, a fledgling institution that lacked many of the resources traditionally associated with colleges. Nevertheless, the school flourished thanks to the perseverance of its small but dedicated staff. Dr. George Frost, the school's founder, and Ellen Lynch, his secretary, were the only full-time employees until 1958, sharing a tiny office in a former cloak room in the Holyoke High School building. Together they scavenged chalk, erasers, and pencils for the part-time faculty (many of whom were professors at area four-year colleges and universities), who taught classes in the borrowed quarters during the evenings. Innovation was, and continues to be, a cornerstone of the college's pursuit of excellence.
When Holyoke Community College's newly renovated campus burned to the ground on a bitterly cold day in January of 1968, it was the resourcefulness and innovative spirit of the college and community that enabled students to resume their studies in temporary facilities within a matter of days. Later, flooding the governor's office with hundreds of letters and phone calls, the community and college joined forces to insist that the school be rebuilt in Holyoke.
Today, Holyoke Community College is housed on a multi-million-dollar, 135-acre campus, equipped with state-of-the art technology in specialized learning facilities. HCC serves over 9,000 students annually, and provides a variety of recreational and cultural activities, from sports programs to music festivals, for students and community members alike. The college's strongest assets continue to be an innovative spirit, a sincere concern for students and a commitment to strive for even greater success. These are the values which have a created a tradition of excellence spanning more than six decades, and which are enabling Holyoke Community College to meet today's challenges.
Holyoke Community College's mission is to serve the Pioneer Valley by providing comprehensive, high-quality educational opportunities that are responsive to community needs and meet the intellectual, esthetic, and practical needs of a diverse student body. The college offers the full range of programs and services appropriate to a community college as defined by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education's generic system-wide community college mission statement. In addition, the college will continue to focus upon the following strengths that distinguish Holyoke Community College from other colleges.
Since its inception over half a century ago, the college has excelled at serving transfer-oriented students and is today widely recognized for the quality of its liberal arts, fine and performing arts, and career transfer programs. Building upon this strength is a major goal of the institution. The college values its leadership position in the development and implementation of collaborative transfer and joint admissions programs with public and private four-year colleges and universities in the region. The college will continue to offer one of the broadest arrays of exemplary transfer options in the system, making it an exceptional avenue of access to the Commonwealth's flagship university and other public and private colleges in the area.
Holyoke Community College is committed to career programs that are responsive to the economic and social needs of the region. A wide range of career-oriented programs, in areas such as business, health, and technology, are designed to prepare students to enter and advance in their chosen field. Through active collaboration with industry, government, and community groups, the college constantly increases the strength, currency, and variety of its programs. All areas of study provide a basis for transfer, since all Associate Degree programs include a common core of courses designed to expose students to diverse fields of knowledge.At Holyoke Community College, concern for the success of the individual student is paramount, an institutional quality that is widely recognized in the community and that permeates every program and service. Holyoke Community College's innovative approach to student success is reflected in the culture of the institution, as demonstrated by campus facilities, the wide variety of service delivery methods, and the assortment of services to address the specific needs of individual students and groups of students.As a learning-centered institution, the college encourages and supports a contemporary assortment of instructional strategies. These include interdisciplinary courses, "learning communities," experience-based education, community service learning, self-paced learning, web-based instruction, distance learning, and the use of instructional technology in a full range of subjects and at instructional levels ranging from pre-college to honors level offerings.Serving an economically, educationally, and linguistically diverse population, the college has a special commitment to public school partnerships and adult literacy. Holyoke Community College is the site for vital educational opportunity programs including the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Program, and the regional center for a System for Adult Basic Education Support for Western Massachusetts.
General Information: 413.538.7000
Assist students with academic success and faculty communication.
- Arts & Humanities 413.552.2270
- Business, Science, Tech, Engineer & Math 413.552.2274
- Health & Natural Sciences 413.552.2467
- Online Programs 413.552.2272
- Social Sciences 413.552.2278
Academic Affairs: 413.552.2770
For help changing your major or switching your advisor.
Center for Academic Support (CAPS): 413.552.2584
Problems with math or writing? Can't figure out English Lit? This is the place to call.
Center for Business & Professional Development: 413.552.2122
Training for business and industry, professional development, and more.
Multicultural Academic Services: 413.552.2539
Assistance for students transitioning to HCC from high school Avanza2College program and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and/or GED programs.
New Directions: 413.552.2346
Pre-admission counseling and services for adult women returning to school.
Student Affairs: 413.552.2100
Administrative office committed to making students' experiences at the college successful and oversees all direct student supportive services programs. Student Affairs Vice President is also the ADA Compliance Coordinator.
Student Services: 413.552.2390
Assists students with supportive services; Dean of Students administers the student code of conduct policies and student grievances.
Student Records/Registrar: 413.552.2319
For enrollment verification, course information, and transcripts.
Transcript Request Information Line: 413.552.2142
For recorded instructions to request an official HCC transcript.
Veteran Services: 413.552.2346
Support programs for veterans, current military personnel, and their family members, as well as provides VA benefits certification.
Weather Hotline: 413.552.2900, ext. 1418
Call this number during winter storms to find out about campus closings.