Courses & Programs

Transition to College & Careers

Three HCC students pose outside with the HCC Cougar mascot

Transition to College & Careers (TCC) is a free non-credit program offered both days and evenings that helps adult students 18 and older prepare for college and identify a career path. The program includes intensive academic preparation in English reading and writing, math, study strategies, and computers in a college context. We provide support with college navigation, career advising, and tutoring.

About TCC

TCC offers a supportive learning community and:

  • Instruction in math, reading, writing, computer skills, and study strategies;
  • Tutoring;
  • A regular speaker series including academic, career- and skill-building classes/workshops;
  • Help with college and financial aid applications, as well as navigating the college environment;
  • Career and educational advising.

We encourage all adult students, especially those whose placement test scores place them in English 085 or 095 and/or Math 011, to apply!

Many different kinds of students can benefit from the Transition to College & Careers program at Holyoke Community College. Here are a few examples.

Sammy dropped out of high school in tenth grade. At age 23, he earned his high school equivalency through HiSET. He is good at working with computers. He would like to go to college to get a certificate in computer networking, but he's not sure where to start.

Alicia is 45 years old and her kids are now grown. She has always wanted to start her own business, but she doesn't feel confident she can do it on her own. If she understood finances better, she would feel more capable of starting her own business.

Martin has worked for the same landscaping company for 20 years but his company has just laid him off. For years he has coached youth soccer as a volunteer. He thinks he would like to get a human services degree so he can work with at-risk youth.

Oscar just graduated from high school. He got good grades, but struggled with the work because of his learning disability. He has heard that the adaptive technology available at Holyoke Community College is more advanced than what his high school had. This makes him hopeful that college will be less of a struggle for him. 

Isabel's employer is encouraging her to attend college for an associates degree. Her employer values her work and says she can get a promotion once she earns her degree. Isabel took the college placement exam and was placed into English 095 and Math 011.

Under normal circumstances, classes meet on the HCC campus. During the pandemic, however, all TCC classes are conducted remotely. We can help you prepare to be a successful online learner!

Classes run September to December, January to May, and July to August. Seats are limited, however, so apply early!

We offer day and evening classes. Time spent in classes ranges from 4-10 hours per week. 

Applicants must:

  1. Have completed a HiSET or GED (high school equivalency), or have a high school diploma
  2. Be at least 18 years old (there is no maximum age)
  3. Plan to enter college to pursue a certificate or degree after completing the program

Under normal circumstances, application to TCC consists of a phone interview and an in-person interview, followed by an assessment of your reading, writing, and math skills, and a placement test. During the pandemic, however, the in-person interview will be replaced with an online meeting via Zoom.

Acceptance is based on your academic skills, motivation, level of commitment, and ability to meet attendance requirements. Full participation is a key to success!

There is no fee to apply and the program is free for all accepted students.

Please fill out this form if you are interested in learning more about the Transition to College & Careers (TCC) program for yourself. Contact with any questions or for more information.

If you are an Adult Basic Education partner, an internal HCC department, or anyone else interested in referring a student to the TCC program, please fill out this form.

"My Fears Were Put to Rest"

Hear from TCC grad Gabriel Santiago about his path to college.

"Best Decision I Ever Made!"

TCC grad Godknows Agbodo explains why he values the relationships he built with teachers and classmates in the TCC program.

"Best Price – It's Free!"

TCC Director Marie Troppe explains that students pay no money for the TCC class (no tuition, no fees, no book costs). 

"Math Doesn't Have to Be a Barrier"

TCC instructor Dorothy VanDeCarr offers advice and reassurance to students who have math anxiety or don't think they're good at math.

Student Experience

Learn about the TCC student experience.

Figuring Out the Best Path for You

Are you wondering, "What if I don't know what I want to study?" or "If I already know what I want to study, how can I benefit from career advising?"

Growth Mindset

Learn about the "growth mindset" that drives Transition to College & Careers' work!