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

Business and Community Services


The Business and Community Services Division offers Adult Education, including but not limited to Adult Basic Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Workforce Development, Transition to College and Careers, Gateway to College, Workforce Testing and Assessments, Personal Enrichment and more. The division serves over 3,000 individuals a year with a primary purpose to Educate. Empower. Employ.

Adult Basic Education

The HCC Adult Learning Center is a community-based ABE program located at The Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center, 4th Floor, 206 Maple Street, in Holyoke. The Center’s programs are partially funded by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and offers Pre-HiSET Preparation, HiSET and GED exam Preparation leading to jobs and/or higher education. All learners receive career counseling, one on one tutoring, academic counseling, and referrals as needed. Classes are offered in the evening hours only. All services are free.
To learn more about our services, contact Marisol Fontanez at 413.552.2990 or Marisol Fontánez mfontanez@hcc.edu.

Are you interested in obtaining your high school credential? For exam preparation and Testing (HiSET, GED) please contact Christine Scott cscott1@hcc.edu or Adlyn Colon, our Juntos Collaborative Intake Specialist acolon@hcc.edu

HISET/GED Preparation

High School Equivalency Test: HCC provides an opportunity to earn your high school equivalency certificate through the HiSET Exam. The tests are online, though a paper test option is available. Sample questions and practice tests are available to help you prepare.

Test takers can also access career counseling and learn more about furthering their education. Information regarding testing fees and requirements can be found on the HiSET website at hiset.ets.org. If you feel you would benefit from classes to prepare you for the HiSET exam, please contact Marisol Fontanez at 413.552.2990.

What’s on the HiSET/GED Exam?

In order to obtain high school equivalency, you can take the HiSET or GED exams. Each test is timed differently and is offered on the computer or a paper version. Please visit the websites listed below for detailed test information. To register for the HiSET test, you must visit the HiSET website at www.hiset.ets.org and create an account. After creating an account, you can register for the test. You may also download free preparation materials and information about HiSET testing procedures.

For preparation classes please contact 413.552.2500.

For more information, please contact Maria Vargas, Chief Examiner & Test Administrator, at mvargas@hcc.edu

Cannabis Education Center

Prepare for a new career in a growing industry–the Cannabis Education Center provides career skills training to prepare participants for positions in the cannabis industry as employees and entrepreneurs. We connect industry experts and growing businesses with a skilled workforce, and create events to educate and include the public. For more information, please contact us at kittredgecenter@hcc.edu or visit cannabiseducationcenter.org

Community Education (Community Services Department)

Community Education provides programs, services, and support that make a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether it be professional development, enrolling in a fun evening or weekend course, preparing for the HiSET Exam, summer programs for youth, or lifelong learning for seniors, Commu­nity Education provides memorable learning experiences that address both the personal and organizational lifelong educational needs of all residents. We offer a wide variety of programs that offer tremendous value. Community Education also helps forge strong community partnerships and collaborations. We provide:

Computer & Technology Courses

Community Education offers over 35 different non-credit courses for both novices and technologically-savvy lifelong learners that run from 1 week to 5 weeks. Choose from programs utilizing Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint software. We offer both beginning and advanced levels of these courses. For more information, please email kittredgecenter@hcc.edu

Continuing Education Units (CEU’S)

CEU’s are a measurement and a record keeping device for certain offerings and cannot be converted to credit. A CEU is equivalent to ten hours of planned learning activity having responsible sponsorship, capable direction, qualified instruction and some form of evaluation of the student. Grades recorded for CEU’s are “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory). A grade of “S” can be obtained only if the student satisfactorily completes the attendance and course requirements.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

In addition to the ABE and ESOL efforts of the Juntos Collaborative, HCC offers free, community-based ESOL classes for adult English language learners through the Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center and the Springfield Adult Learning Center (As a subcontractor of Springfield Technical Community College) and classes in West Springfield at the Public Library. As part of the Juntos Collaborative, Community Education Project is our partner in delivering ESOL programming at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in downtown Holyoke. Skilled teachers offer morning and evening classes for beginner through advanced ESOL students at both locations. In addition, all locations offer wrap-around advising and other academic support that help students persist in the program and transition to further education or training. Students range in age from 18 - 80 and are from 30+ countries each year. For more information, contact Pesha Black at pblack@hcc.edu. HCC also has an academic ESL program as well. 

(https://www.hcc.edu/courses-and-programs/areas-of-study/arts-and-humanities/academic-english-as-a-second-language-(aesl) )

In addition, HCC offers three ESOL Workforce Development career-focused programs: Accelerated Career English (ACE), MASS STEP ESOL Culinary and MASS STEP ESOL Nursing Assistant. For more information, contact Pesha Black pblack@hcc.edu.

Gateway to College

Gateway to College is a dual enrollment program at Holyoke Community College in which high school students for whom traditional high school was not a good fit have a college schedule with a combination of credit and noncredit classes. The goal is for participants to achieve their high school diplomas while exploring careers and interests and earning some college credits at the same time. This is not a high school equivalency program; students who complete the Gateway program earn a high school degree from their school district, and often graduate with some college credit.


Part of a national network that includes 31 programs in 18 states, HCC’s Gateway program has earned national recognition for its extraordinary success. More than 600 students from 14 different local school districts have graduated from Gateway to date. Before entering Gateway, most had a high school GPA below 2.0. Some had left school entirely, while others were behind their cohort and unlikely to complete. There are many reasons why students struggle in traditional high school: anxiety, family responsibilities, sleep issues, housing insecurity, complex lives, medical situations, etc. Gateway provides a smaller environment, more flexibility and independence, academic and social support, and all the resources and opportunity and hope of a college campus.


Students complete an in-depth application process with Gateway, including essays, testing, and a personal interview. The two most critical pieces of the application process are the genuine desire to finish high school, and a commitment to the changes necessary to become successful college students.


Gateway is both rigorous and very kind. Students take a fulltime course load, with classes that match their high school requirements, MCAS needs, and career interests. They may attend classes in three terms: fall, spring, and Maymester. They need to meet the same standards as students on federal financial aid: successful completion of 67% of attempted courses, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Most Gateway graduates continue in college.


Gateway students are college students, and have a flexible college schedule. Gateway applicants need to have the maturity to handle this flexibility, as well as the rights and responsibilities of college life. Attendance, communication, and the openness to using resources are key components of college success. Gateway is an amazing opportunity that requires tremendous effort and commitment. Gateway asks each student to move beyond their high school identities and begin a new chapter in their lives. Gateway students are college students who transform into scholars and leaders who fully expect to make a difference in their communities.


Gateway is open to students ages 16-20 years of age (must complete by 21, or 22 if they have an IEP). Interested students MUST attend an information session to start the application process. Students must come from school districts with a contract with Gateway to College. For more information, contact Vivian Ostrowski at vostrowski@hcc.edu.

Holyoke Works! - Corporate Training

HCC offers affordable, custom employee training and organizational planning and assessment and is a one-of-a-kind collaboration serving for profit and non-profit businesses in the Pioneer Valley. Services include: 

  • Employee training & coaching skills
  • Supervisor & management training
  • Customized workforce training
  • Organizational planning
  • IT training
  • Skills Development

HCC Corporate Training equips organizations of all sizes to succeed–and thrive–through a variety of professional development training and services. More information can be found at Business and Community Services at 413-552-2320 or kittredgecenter@hcc.edu

We are a certified Workforce Training Fund vendor. For a free consultation or to learn more about how we can assist you with training, please contact Jeffrey Hayden at 413.552.2587 or jhayden@hcc.edu.

Jump Start-Occupational Skills Training

Jump Start offers practical professional development and employment-focused educational opportunities in several high-demand fields.
For more information contact Jump Start at jumpstart@hcc.edu or call 413.552.2005.

https://www.hcc.edu/courses-and-programs/workforce-development/free-job-training-
programs/jump-start

Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development

The Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development is the Pioneer Valley’s premier resource for workforce training, professional development, and personal growth. It provides innovative and affordable programming that helps businesses, organizations, and incumbent workers and job-seekers to achieve their goals.

A variety of workforce skills training programs, professional development, and grant funding training courses are available at www.hcc.edu/workforce or by calling 413.552.2500. Courses include, but are not limited to: Pharmacy Technician, Nursing Assistant, User Support Technician, Cybersecurity Technician and Analyst, EMT, Medical Interpreter, Hospitality Occupations, Customer Service Professional, Cannabis Occupations and more.

In addition to housing HCC’s Business Department’s degree and certificate programs (popular for a career or transfer), the Kittredge Center also houses various adult education programs–including, but not limited to: workforce development, ESOL, HiSET and GED preparation, and contract training. The Kittredge Center’s “smart” classrooms and state-of-the-art training facilities, meeting, and conference rooms are available for use by companies and community organizations. For more information, contact the Kittredge Center at 413.552.2500.

Personal Enrichment (Non-Credit) Courses

Community Education offers something for everyone. These courses do not have grades or exams–just life-enhancing learning experiences in a fun, enjoyable environment. A diverse array of students of all ages enroll in our courses, so attending is an excellent way to get acquainted with new people who have similar interests and talents to your own. For a complete listing of offerings, check the HCC Course Bulletin published every semester or check the college website under Publications. We are located in the Kittredge Center, Room 221. For more information, or to inquire about new offerings, contact Christine Scott at 413.552.2168.

500 or explore the website at www.hcc.edu/bcs

Transition to College & Careers

Transition to College & Careers (TCC) is a free, non-credit program offered both days and evenings that help adult students 18+ 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 offer college navigation, career advising, and tutoring in an environment conducive to learning.

For more information, please contact Marie Troppe at 413.552.2728 or tcc@hcc.edu.

Workforce Development:

E2E (Education to Employment)

The Education to Employment (E2E) Quaboag Region Workforce Training & Community College Center is a collaboration between HCC and the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation. The initiative is supported by the Ware Business Association, Country Bank, Baystate Health Eastern Region, and many other area businesses. Workforce training programs, personal enrichment classes, civic events, and student support activities are available to persons interested in college online certificate and degree programs. The learning commons has public computer access, support for HCC’s online students, workforce development programs, personal enrichment classes, and a variety of student support services.

Programming at the E2E Center includes professional developmentpersonal enrichment, and free workshops. For more information please call 413.552.2500.

ED2GO - Online Courses

In partnership with ed2go, we offer a wide range of highly interactive non-credit courses that you can take entirely online. Courses include expert instructors, many of whom are nationally known authors. Ed2go online courses are affordable, fun, fast, convenient, and geared just for you! These practical and highly effective ed2go online courses cover just about every topic you can imagine. Some examples:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business
  • College Readiness
  • Computer Applications
  • Design and Composition
  • Healthcare and Medical
  • Language and Arts
  • Law and Legal
  • Personal Development
  • Teaching and Education
  • Technology
  • Writing and Publishing

For more information and to register, go to http://www.ed2go.com/holyoke/

Training Programs

A variety of workforce skills training programs, professional development, and grant funding training courses are available at www.hcc.edu/workforce or by calling 413.552.2500. Courses include, but are not limited to:

  • PharmacyTechnician
  • Nursing Assistant
  • User Support Technician
  • Cybersecurity Technician and Analyst
  • EMT
  • Medical Interpreter
  • Hospitality Occupations (Bartender, Line Cook, Hotel)
  • Cannabis Occupations

Mindedge Online Non-Credit Certificate Programs

MindEdge Online courses are developed by business school professors, industry professionals, and subject matter experts. Available 24 hours a day, they are designed to enable web-based learning and the development of management skills and competencies through interactive exercises, mini-cases, video, and focused readings.
Some examples:

  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management (with Simulation)
  • Certificate in Business Communications
  • Certificate in Innovation & Critical Thinking
  • Certificate In Cyber Security
  • Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Security Awareness Training

For more information and to register, go to https://hcc.mindedgeonline.com/partner/courses/

Professional Development for K-12 Educators - VESI

Community Services offers online, VESI® interactive courses, which are convenient, superior quality courses packed with practical applications for the classroom. Earn MA PDPs in these accredited, self-paced, and user-friendly programs and you will have six months to complete the course.

Workforce Development Testing and Assessment Center

HCC’s Testing & Workforce Certification Center is a state-of-the-art testing site that provides HCC students, area businesses, and the community at-large with an optimal testing experience. The center offers a range of testing and test preparation services, ranging from high school equivalency exams to occupational analyses. Testing can help you evaluate the skills you have-and need-to advance your academic and career goals. It also is essential for licensure and certification in many fields.

Our mission is to ensure that all test candidates are treated with respect and dignity, and are provided with national test vendor-required accommodations in a clean, quiet, and accessible space that offers flexible testing hours. Our testing center staff strives to consistently provide informative, accurate, and friendly customer service to all, and strictly adheres to the Professional Standards and Guidelines as set forth by the National College Testing Association (NCTA). For more information please contact the Center at 413-552-2112.

Youth Summer Programs

Community Education offers a variety of programs for youth ages 7-16 during the months of June, July, and August. Families can select from separate 1-week programs in basketball, soccer, as well as a variety of academic offerings. For more information on the summer youth programs, visit their website: https://www.hcc.edu/youth or call 413.552.2500