Courses & Programs

First-Generation Students Resources & Support

First-generation students, we are here for you.

Many students at HCC are first-generation college students, meaning they are the first people in their families to go to college. But did you know many of our faculty and staff were first-generation students too? 

Explore this page for resources that will help you succeed as a first-generation college student at HCC.

virtual backgrounds

Download a first-generation student background!

How to Use a Virtual Background

  1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Virtual Background
  4. Click on an image to select the desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking +Add Image
  5. To disable Virtual Background, choose the option None

To learn more about Zoom virtual backgrounds, visit the Zoom Help Center.

hcc resources

Thrive Center

The Thrive student resource center offers an array of free services for students and community members facing non-academic barriers like houselessness or food insecurity.

thrive center

Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS)

The Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS) provides free assistance to all HCC students through tutoring, writing, ESL, and math centers, study groups, ongoing study skills workshops, and more.


TRIO Student Support Services 

TRIO Student Support Services is a federally-funded program designed to assist students who are first generation to college (neither parent or guardian has received a bachelor's degree), have a financial need (low-income), and/or have a documented disability. Our overall goal is to increase college retention and graduation rates for program participants.


HCC Library

Learn about the location and staff of the HCC Library, plus frequently asked questions (and printing information).


Financial Aid

More than half of HCC students receive financial aid. Find out if you're eligible!

Financial Aid

Valley Opportunity Council

The Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is dedicated to eliminating poverty by providing the opportunity for low- and moderate-income community members in the Greater Hampden County area to achieve greater independence and a higher quality of life. Read about college access programs here.