As of March 30, all spring semester classes will be conducted remotely. Read more:

Apply Now

Wherever you want to go, HCC can help you get there. 


Lauren LeClair

Coord of Orientation & New Student Program

Retention and Student Success

Campus Center El Centro 2nd floor

413.552.2816 (Tel)

questions? contact us
CC 148

Becoming a Student

Download and print the Becoming a Student checklist. 

A screenshot of the registration checklist



New student orientation logo

Welcome to HCC! We are excited about your decision to come to HCC and start your educational career. New Student Orientation (NSO) provides you with information about academics, requirements, and student life that will help you make a successful transition. As a new student, it is mandatory to attend one full NSO session.

New students taking online and/or evening classes are required to complete their NSO online in Moodle. You will receive an email with the information to complete this requirement.

Note: At the educational planning session, the advisor will register you for your assigned NSO session. If there are extenuating circumstance that will prevent you from attending your assigned NSO session, please email as soon as you can.

Important Information
  • Check the NSO Agenda to get a breakdown of events.
  • Students with disabilities or who require special accommodations should contact the Office for Students with Disabilities and Deaf Services at 413.552.2417 as soon as possible.
  • Student ID is required. Please also bring your driver's license and vehicle registration in order to get a parking sticker. It’s recommended that you bring your class schedule.

Questions? Please see Frequently Asked Questions below, or email

New Student Orientation is mandatory for all new and transfer students, regardless of when or where your classes will take place (i.e., day, evening, online). We want to make sure you are able to access the support, programs, and resources that will help you succeed. After you're registered for your NSO session, you will need to set up your HCC email account by going to MyHCC. For instructions on how to log in, visit the HCC help page.

If you're taking at least one class on campus between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., you are considered a "day student," and you'll be scheduled for an on-campus orientation session. You'll be registered for a session according to your intended major. You can check your class schedule to see which orientation session you need to attend. If you change your major, your orientation schedule may change. This will be updated on your class schedule, which you can find by logging into Online Services.

We will send you reminder emails in the weeks prior to the start of the semester, where you will find useful information about the steps you need to complete before the first day of classes.

Who should attend New Student Orientation?
How long is NSO?
When is NSO?
If I'm only taking online classes, is NSO mandatory for me?
What if I'm unable to attend NSO?
What happens if I leave NSO early?
Where is NSO held?
Where do I park?
What should I bring?
Will Dining Services be open?
Is there a meal plan?
Will there be PVTA transportation during NSO?
What is FERPA? Can I sign the student information release form at NSO?
What if it snows?

Who should attend New Student Orientation (NSO)?

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

How long is NSO?

A day session is about three-and-a-half hours long. Plan on participating in your mandatory NSO program for the length of the session to which you are assigned. For further details on the length of the session, check out the NSO Agenda.

When is NSO?

NSO dates and times differ based on your major. Check your HCC email regularly for invitations and reminder notices.

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

Yes. As an online student, you are required to complete your orientation in Moodle. We have prepared an orientation course to help you be a successful online student at HCC. After you are registered for classes, you will need to set up your HCC email account by visiting MyHCC. For instructions on how to log in, visit the HCC help page.​

What if I'm unable to attend NSO?

Faculty provide specific information about your academic program on your scheduled session day. If you are unable to attend your scheduled session, please email

What happens if I leave 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.

Where is NSO?

Check-in will take place on campus on the second floor of the Campus Center, which is located in the center of the campus between the Marieb building and the Kittredge Center. After the welcome and a general presentation of the college, academic sessions will take place at various locations across campus. If you require special accommodations, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities & Deaf Services at 413.552.2417 or

Where do I park?

Park in student lots (A, B, C, D, M, N, O, P, and R). Bring your vehicle registration in order to get your parking permit at HCC Express Services. Do not park in Faculty/Staff lots; you will be ticketed!

What should I bring to NSO?
  • Your HCC student ID
  • Your schedule
  • Your driver’s license and vehicle registration
Will dining services be open during NSO?

During Orientation, food services are very limited. You will be able to find grab-and-go options at the POD in the Frost Building until 2 p.m., and in the vending machines throughout campus.

Is there a meal plan?

A Cougar Cash account 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 your HCC ID to purchase Cougar Cash. More information on Cougar Cash.

Will there be transportation from PVTA during NSO?

The P11 bus will be operating during NSO. Please click here for more details.

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

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) helps protect the privacy of student education rights. 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 the Student Success Exchange at NSO.

what if it snows?

If the campus is closed for the day due to severe weather, students will be notified through their email with an updated NSO date and time. If campus opening is delayed due to snow cleanup, afternoon orientation will still be held. The HCC website will have the most up-to-date information.

Being a college student comes with a set of expectations that includes your responsibilities as a student, the way communication and information is handled, and the format and frequency of your classes. Keep the following in mind, and you will be better prepared to succeed in college.

  • Student is responsible for following the course syllabus, organizing study time, completing assignments, and taking examinations.
  • It is up to the student to read and understand assigned materials.
  • Student must be aware of their own progress in the course.
  • Attendance is student's responsibility. Student accepts consequences of non-attendance according to attendance policy in course syllabus. Attendance may not be based on "excused" or "unexcused" absences but upon maximum number of absences allowed. It is the prerogative of the instructor in cases of extended illness or serious accident whether or not the student will be allowed to continue in the course.
  • Student is expected to be aware of sources of help and obtain help as needed.
  • Correspondence, including academic information and deadlines, bills, financial aid information, grades, and disciplinary issues are addressed with student. Student may inform parents of content.
  • College communication is directed to the student unless a FERPA Waiver Form is signed.
  • Classes will meet at least once a week or more according to course requirements.
  • Online classes require students to be organized and self directed.
  • Students must seek out instructors during office hours for extra attention and support.
  • Student arranges own schedule.
  • Most work is done outside of class.
  • Student must obtain and pay for course books and materials.
  • Student is expected to obtain work missed from other students or make request of instructor.
  • Exams are usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
Civility in the Classroom

Getting along with people in the classroom is a key to college success! So, what is civility?

The college respects and defends the right of each member to exercise free speech and assembly; however, their rights are properly exercised only when due respect for the rights of others is assured. Therefore, at HCC, students and faculty are expected to maintain a free and respectful learning environment.

How can I get my viewpoint across if it is controversial or different from others?

  • Present your ideas in a respectful manner and at an appropriate time and place.
  • In a debate, remember to focus on ideas, not on individuals.
  • If you are unsure how to express your ideas while respecting others, discuss your concerns with your instructor or an advisor.

Reach out to the division dean or dean of students:

What are the consequences if I do not behave in a civil and respectful manner in my classroom?

Students are expected to follow all college policies while in the classroom. Students who violate college policies or detract from the learning environment may be directed by a faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. The faculty member may also contact campus police if there is a disruption. Further exclusion from the classroom may occur after a complaint is filed by the faculty member through HCC's Student Code of Conduct.

How do I know what kind of behavior is expected in my classroom?

Listen carefully to your instructor's classroom guidelines. Expectations about how you should interact with others may also be published in your course syllabus.

Classroom expectations might include such issues as attendance, punctuality, respect for diversity, rules for discussions, academic integrity, respectful behavior, use of personal electronic devices, eating or drinking in class, or other guidelines.

By stating guidelines in the course syllabus, your instructor is alerting you to the importance of respectful conduct in the classroom and assuring you that everyone's right to learn will be protected. If misconduct occurs, you will have received adequate notification of any disciplinary response.

What are some behaviors I should avoid in the classroom?

You should avoid any actions that interfere with teaching or learning during a class session. A few examples of behaviors to avoid during class are:

  • Tardiness
  • Use of electronic devices
  • Cheating or plagiarism
  • Dominating discussion
  • Speaking out of turn
  • Inattentiveness/sleeping
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Offensive remarks
  • Verbal or physical threats
  • Computer abuse

What are Holyoke Community College's policies about behavior?

According to the HCC Student Handbook, all students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the college and local, state, and federal laws. HCC is committed to providing a collegiate atmosphere that is free of any conduct that could be considered harassing, abusive, disorderly, or disruptive. The College recognizes and will endeavor to protect the rights of all students, faculty, and staff members to be treated with respect, courtesy, and tact.

What are the consequences if I violate the college's rules and regulations?

Disciplinary proceedings may be brought against any student against whom a complaint for violating the college's rules and regulations has been made. Disciplinary proceedings are fully described in the HCC Student Handbook. Student disciplinary sanctions may be imposed if a violation of the college's rules and regulations is clearly established. Sanctions can range from a warning to expulsion.

What should I do if I have difficulty controlling my behavior or getting along with others?

HCC has many resources to help students succeed. Always discuss any classroom concerns with your instructor first. If you need help in resolving personal issues, the WellConnect Student Assistance Program is available to you and your family free of charge.

  • Student Handbook: A reference guide with resources and support for students, policies, procedures, and code of conduct. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with college policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. If you do not have access to a computer, you can request a hardcopy from Student Services (FR 224).
  • Student Supportive Services

Remember your first days on campus? Want to help new students feel welcome and comfortable as they begin their journey at HCC? We're looking for current HCC students who want to become Orientation Leaders and join the New Student Orientation Leader program!

Orientation Leaders facilitate NSO activities, and provide guidance to incoming students. As an Orientation Leader, you will have great impact on new students' first impression of HCC, as well as their successful transition to college. You will also have the opportunity to develop skills like leadership, effective communication, and teamwork, among many others.

Orientation Leaders are current Holyoke Community College students in strong academic standing (minimum GPA of 2.5) who have completed at least 24 credits and exhibit strong leadership and public speaking skills.

Working as a team with other Orientation Leaders, you will be expected to successfully complete responsibilities related to each program activity you are assigned to. In all tasks and interactions with incoming students and their families, excellence in customer service is a top priority.


You have a couple options:

We'll contact you soon to let you know more about trainings and meetings.

College means different things to different people, but the encouragement of family and friends is key to student success! Younger or older, students will have to learn how to balance college with other responsibilities.

Wonder what to expect and how you can help? We offer a special session at orientation just for you! You are invited to attend your student's orientation and find out more about Holyoke Community College.

Apply Now

Wherever you want to go, HCC can help you get there. 


Lauren LeClair

Coord of Orientation & New Student Program

Retention and Student Success

Campus Center El Centro 2nd floor

413.552.2816 (Tel)

questions? contact us
CC 148

Becoming a Student

Download and print the Becoming a Student checklist. 

A screenshot of the registration checklist