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About Strategic Planning

Strategic Plan

Building a sustainable future for HCC and the communities we serve through four frameworks with corresponding strategies and objectives:

1. teaching & learning    2. equity & student success   

3. workforce & transfer    4. sustainability

read the full plan

mission, vision & values


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 foundation of the work that we do together. Innovation and collaboration enable us to explore and implement the ideas that will shape our future.  

Student Experience

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 engages 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.

Headshot of HCC President Christina RoyalDear HCC community:

We have come a long way since our year-long planning effort in 2017-18 when we developed the frameworks, strategies, objectives and action items necessary to reach measurable outcomes that would close the achievement gap, increase retention, boost graduation and transfer rates, decrease the number of students taking developmental classes, utilize technology and data to advance operational effectiveness and seek new revenue streams to support college priorities.

As I write this in Spring 2020, we are living a new normal of remote teaching and learning, online student services, and virtual campus operations—however, our faculty, staff and administrators continue to live our mission, vison, and values. Together, we are all moving the college and our Strategic Plan forward. 

While the Strategic Plan team meetings have been suspended for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, the work has been and continues to be infused into our culture and daily activities. Professional Development & Inclusion is taking place through the myriad of programs and training offered by the Center for Excellence. Course Offerings & Placement is offering creative scheduling and anticipating summer and fall classes, Student Success is enhancing online orientation, External Alignment is extending support to our community partners and offering remote non-credit programs and the Resources team has created a campaign of caring with #togetherHCC. 

Despite the challenges being presented at this moment in time, it is clear that the HCC community has embraced all that we created in our plan and we are determined to achieve our measurable outcomes. We may do so in a manner that looks different than what we envisioned in 2017-18, but our commitment to Teaching & LearningEquity & Student Success, Workforce & Transfer and Sustainability remains unwavering, and I could not be more proud.


Christina Royal

Approved by the HCC Board of Trustees on October 23, 2018, the full FY19-22 Strategic Plan was sent to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education for approval on October 29, 2018.

Setting specific, measurable goals and objectives is key to the success of an institution's strategic plan. HCC's strategic plan is outcome-focused and data-driven. To assess the success of each objective, 21 measurable outcomes along with annual targets for each key metric were established. The college's Office of Institutional Research tracks these metrics in order to evaluate progress toward established goals.


Team Strategies, Objectives & Action Items

Based on the dominant themes that emerged from the FY2019-22 Strategic Plan, five teams were created to implement the 4 Strategies, 9 Objectives and 21 Measurable Outcomes of the plan. Team leaders were chosen by President Royal and the Cabinet and invited to serve in this capacity. A campus-wide invitation was sent for participation on the teams and everyone who volunteered was given a team assignment. Team leaders provided strategic plan updates to the President, Board of Trustees, and HCC community. Through this broad-based engagement, the Strategic Plan has become part of the daily activities as well as the culture of the College. By connecting college priorities to community needs and enacting specific strategies to fulfill institutional objectives, leaders can help campus constituents make meaning of their roles at the institution as they focus on improving college outcomes (Eddy, 2010).

Strategic Plan Implementation Teams
Team A: Professional Development & Inclusion 

Team Leaders
Idelia Smith, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs
Tricia Kiefer, Faculty in Residence Center for Excellence/Chair Education Department

Cabinet Sponsor
Rachel Rubenstein, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs  

Team Members
Pesha Black, Director of Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center
Maureen Conroy, Director of Disability & Deaf Services
Clara Elliott, Dean of Human Resources
Olivia Kynard, Interim Affirmative Action Officer/Title 9 Coordinator
Monique Nelson, Academic Counselor, TRIO Student Support
Mary Jane O'Connor, Senior Academic Counselor
Michelle Robak, Staff Associate Human Resources
Elsie Rodriguez-Garcia, Program Director (Bilingual Spanish) STRIVE
Denise Roy, Learning Specialist Disability & Deaf Services
Sarah Schmidt, Staff in Residence Center for Excellence/Director of Programming Picknelly Education Center
JoAnne Wrobel, Clerk IV Business & Community Services

Team B: Course Offerings & Placement 

Team Leaders
Kristine Ricker Choleva, Interim Dean of Business & Technology
Linda Scott, Director of Academic Advising Services
Allison Wrobel, Interim Registrar

Cabinet Sponsor
Rachel Rubenstein, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs  

Team Members
Mark Broadbent, Coordinator of Transfer Affairs & Articulation
Elizabeth Busker, Student Senate President
Jenilee Cochran, Dual Enrollment Coordinator
Karen Derouin, Director of Financial Aid
Kermit Dunkelberg, Assistant Vice President ABE & Workforce Development
Eric Farrell, Coordinator of Student Records
Jenifer Keenan-Jolie, Associate Director of Financial Aid
Kim Hicks, Dean of Arts & Humanities
Frank Johnson, Coordinator of Writing Center
Andrea Picard, Coordinator of Experiential Learning
Shannon Sarkisian, Community Outreach/Admissions Counselor (Bilingual-Spanish)
Lori Wayson, New Directions Coordinator
Renee Tastad, Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Enrollment Management 

Team C: Student Success

Team Leaders
Andrew Fletcher, Director of the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS)
Stephanie Marcotte, Learning Resource Coordinator Health Sciences
Mark Hudgik, Director of Admissions (consultancy role)  

Cabinet Sponsor
Rachel Rubenstein, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs    

Team Members
Susan Bacchiocchi Miso, Senior Financial Aid Counselor
Kelly Champagne, Senior Application Specialist IT
Mary Dixey, Dean of Library Services
Margaret Downing, Coordinator of Career Planning & Placement
Rosemary Fiedler, Coordinator of Thrive Student Resource Center
Liz Golen, Coordinator of Student Engagement
Lauren LeClair, Coordinator of Orientation & New Student Programs
Irma Medina, Coordinator Pathways & Senior Special Programs
Bryn Nowell, Senior Admissions Counselor (AVANZA)
Rebecca Osborn Lewis, Chair, Foundations of Health
Jamie Perrino, Student
Myriam Quiñones, Coordinator of Multicultural Academic Services
Karen Rock, Veteran Services Coordinator
Andy Sanders, Student
Anthony Sbalbi, Dean of Student Services
Carol-Ann Smalley, Learning Specialist (Bilingual-American Sign Language) Disability & Deaf Services
Kimberlee Straceski, Senior Financial Aid Counselor
Linda Szalankiewicz, Chief Information Officer
Migle Vidugiryte, ACAD Advisor (Bilingual, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish)
Tracye Whitfield, Director Contract Sales (Manufacturing-Trade Industry)
Renee Tastad, Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Enrollment Management 

Team D: External Alignment 

Team Leaders
Michele Cabral, Executive Director -Center of Business, Corp. & Prof Dev. MCCTI and TWO
Heidi Rademacher, Perking Grant Manager 

Cabinet Sponsor
Jeff Hayden, Vice President Business & Community Services 

Team Members
Derek Estrella, Financial Aid Counselor
Sharon Grundel, Director, Contract Sales (Healthcare, Non-Profit, Government)
Christine Janik, Receiving Teller I
Nelson Lopez, Staff Assistant Student Services
Vivian Ostrowski, Director, Gateway to College
Melissa Paciulli, STEM Project Administrator
Richard Powers, Coordinator of Career Planning & Placement
JoAnne Rome, Director of Marketing & Communications
Kimberly Slepchuk, Career Development Counselor  

Team E: Resources 

Team Leaders
Amy Dopp, Dean of Resource Development
Narayan Sampath, Vice President Administration & Finance 

Cabinet Sponsor
Amanda Sbriscia, Vice President Institutional Advancement, Executive Director of HCC Foundation 

Team Members
Jennifer Adams, Coordinator of Library Services
Scott Conrad, Director of IT Services
Milissa Daniels, Career Development Counselor
Kori Petrin, Associate Director Financial Aid Technology Operations
Clare Lamontagne, Dean of Health Sciences
Jesse Lang, Faculty Biology
Edward Murch, Classroom Technology Manager
Julie Philips, Coordinator of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving
Robin Rondeau, Senior Financial Aid Counselor
Michele Snizek, Director, Retention & Student Success
Carole Sterritt, Research Assistant
Todd Wonders, Staff Assistant Financial Aid


Olugbemiga Adekunle, Science, Engineering & Math
Laura Christoph, Faculty
* Maureen Conroy, Disabilities and Deaf Services
* Karen Desjeans, President's Office
Veena Dhankher, Institutional Research
Mary Dixey, Library
Amy Dopp, Resource Development
Margaret Downing, Career Services
Kermit Dunkelberg, ABE & Workforce Development
Theresa Eccles, GED Testing
Clara Elliot, Human Resources
Bill Fogarty, Administration & Finance
Robert Gilbert, Board of Trustees
Liz Golen, Student Activities
Raúl Gutiérrez, Faculty
Jeff Hayden, Business & Community Services
Elizabeth Hayward, Faculty
Kim Hicks, Arts & Humanities
Kelly Keane, Faculty
Tricia Kiefer, Faculty
Joanne Kostides, Faculty
Olivia Kynard, Student Account Services
* Joseph Lavoie, Faculty
Holly Martin-Peele, Health Sciences
Vanessa Martínez, Faculty
Donna Mastroianni, Faculty
Sal Mateo, Information Technology
Keith McKittrick, Development
Irma Medina, Pathways
Petriana Monize, Faculty
Karin Moyano Camihort, Online Learning
Bryn Nowell, Admissions
Mónica Perez, Academic Affairs
Julie Pokela, Board of Trustees
Mariya Primako, Student
Lindsey Providenti, Science, Engineering & Math
Myriam Quiñones, Multicultural Academic Services
Kris Ricker Choleva, Business & Technology
Heidi Rademacher, Admissions
* JoAnne Rome, Marketing & Communications
* Lindsey Rothschild, Instructional Technology
Donna Rowe, Faculty
Christina Royal, President
Alison Sawyer, Faculty
Amanda Sbriscia, Institutional Advancement
* Sarah Schmidt, Workforce Development
Michele Snizek, Retention & Student Success
Kim Slepchuk, Health Sciences
Kimberlee Straceski, Financial Aid
Linda Szalankiewicz, Information Technology
Renee Tastad, Enrollment Management
* Judith Turcotte, Planning & Assessment
Yanina Vargas, Student Affairs
Haley Woods, Student  

* Coordinators

View the Strategic Planning Steering Committee Charter.

we are hcc & we have a plan

During our Strategic Planning year of 2017-2018, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community came together to articulate a vision for HCC and lay the foundation for its future. We formed subcommittees, examined research documents, analyzed surveys, developed presentations, held workshops, and spent long hours in conversation. The result? New Mission, Vision, Values, and Student Experience statements that are the foundation for the FY2019-22 Strategic Plan.

ask a question

Got a question about HCC? Chat with us! 
M-F 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.


About Strategic Planning