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:
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 created a tradition of excellence spanning more than six decades, and which are enabling Holyoke Community College to meet today's challenges.
Educate. Inspire. Connect.
Holyoke Community College aspires to be a college of academic excellence known for helping students overcome barriers to success.
Kindness, inclusion, and trust are the foundations of the work that we do together. Innovation and collaboration enable us to explore and implement the ideas that will shape our future.
Holyoke Community College commits to delivering a transformational student experience characterized by:
- A “connection network” that draws people, services and knowledge together to address students’ fundamental needs and thus ensure their readiness to succeed at HCC
- An affordable, relevant education provided by talented faculty and resulting in career and transfer opportunities that enable students to thrive
- An approach to educating the whole person that continuously meets students where they are — socially, financially, educationally, and geographically — and engaging them in real-world learning experiences
- A vibrant, connected college community that enriches the learning experience, delivers relentless encouragement, and builds life-long connections
Faculty and staff of Holyoke Community College commit to support this transformative experience through:
- Accessible, guided, and intuitive services that support students and their families
- Efficient and effective processes supported by contemporary technologies
- Data and predictive analytics that enable HCC to deliver personalized, proactive, and responsive programs and services
- An agile and supportive culture that recognizes the importance of training and professional development to build knowledge, skills, and abilities