Jun 18, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

Online and Hybrid Learning

Flexible and Convenient

HCC’s online degrees and certificates make it easier for busy people to earn a degree, and our partnerships with four-year colleges and universities make transfer simple! In addition to our 100% online programs, many degrees and certificates can be completed 50%-80% online.

At HCC, our goal is to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students, whether on campus, hybrid, or online. HCC online courses are taught by the same highly qualified faculty that report to the academic departments, and the classes are of the same high quality as our face to face offerings. 

How it works

Students use a variety of devices in taking online classes, but you’ll need access to the internet on a device that can perform basic functions such as word processing, document uploading, and viewing of video materials. HCC currently uses the learning management platform Canvas to deliver its online classes and provide a digitally-engaged space for students. 

Online classes are not self-paced, so students have due dates similar to an on campus class. Online classes do not require students to be online together at a specific time but do provide asynchronous opportunities for students to interact with each other. Hybrid classes are a combination of scheduled on campus meetings and online coursework. For additional information about Canvas, please review our Canvas Use Policy.

Are you a good candidate for Online Courses?

Successful students are organized, self-directed, and able to work well independently. Though you may be working online, you are never alone. There is always someone who can help if you get stuck! In addition to your professor and classmates, online tutoring, academic advising, career guidance, and our Help Desk are all available to assist students.

Degrees (100% online)

Certificates (100% Online)

Ready to Start the Process?

Contact Admissions: admissions@hcc.edu, 413.552.2321.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The U.S. Department of Education requires higher education institutions to be authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance, and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state.

Holyoke Community College is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories of the United States. It establishes national standards for the interstate offering of distance education courses and programs. It simplifies the process of taking online classes at an institution of higher education based in another state. The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) is one of four regional education compacts and is the compact that administers SARA for institutions located in Massachusetts. A national council (NC-SARA) oversees SARA and the regional compacts.

Holyoke Community College (HCC) was approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to participate in SARA, and became a SARA institution in 2019. At this time, only California is not a member state. If you reside in California and are interested in taking an online class at HCC, please contact Admissions by email.

Complaint Procedure

HCC is required to provide current and prospective online learning students with contact information for filing complaints. Students who desire to resolve a grievance should use this HCC Online Student Complaint Form.

For other complaints, please click on the relevant link below to contact each office for more information, or email kcholeva@hcc.edu.

For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories

Online students from Massachusetts or non-SARA member states may also file a complaint using the HCC Online Student Complaint Form.  As well, the student may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) by using the general complaint form at any time. The DHE general complaint form should be used by students who are located in:

  • Massachusetts
  • Non-SARA Member States or Territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.)

For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories

After the student has exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Holyoke Community College, located on this webpage, if the complaint has not been resolved, the student may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.

Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below:

The SARA complaint process is as follows:

  1. Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
  2. After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via the URL below.
  3. The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint;
  4. Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.

More information about DHE’s complaint processes can be found Mass. Dept. of Education Complaint Policy and Process.