Holyoke Community College’s mission is to serve the Pioneer Valley by providing comprehensive, high-quality educational opportunities that are responsive to community needs and meet the intellectual, esthetic, and practical needs of a diverse student body. The college offers the full range of programs and services appropriate to a community college, as defined by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s generic system-wide community college mission statement. In addition, the college will continue to focus upon the following strengths that distinguish Holyoke Community College from other colleges.
Since its inception over half a century ago, the college has excelled at serving transfer-oriented students and is today widely recognized for the quality of its liberal arts, fine and performing arts, and career transfer programs. Building upon this strength is a major goal of the institution. The college values its leadership position in the development and implementation of collaborative transfer and joint admissions programs with public and private four-year colleges and universities in the region. The college will continue to offer one of the broadest arrays of exemplary transfer options in the system, making it an exceptional avenue of access to the Commonwealth’s flagship university and other public and private colleges in the area.
Holyoke Community College is committed to career programs responsive to the economic and social needs of the region. A wide range of career-oriented programs, in areas such as business, health, and technology, are designed to prepare students to enter and advance in their chosen field. Through active collaboration with industry, government, and community groups, the college constantly increases the strength, currency and variety of its programs. All areas of study provide a basis for transfer, since all Associate Degree programs include a common core of courses designed to expose students to diverse fields of knowledge.
At Holyoke Community College, concern for the success of the individual student is paramount, an institutional quality that is widely recognized in the community and that permeates every program and service. Holyoke Community College’s innovative approach to student success is reflected in the culture of the institution, as demonstrated by campus facilities, the wide variety of service delivery methods, and the assortment of services to address the specific needs of individual students and groups of students.
As a learning-centered institution, the college encourages and supports a contemporary assortment of instructional strategies. These include interdisciplinary courses, Learning Communities, experience-based education, community service learning, self-paced learning, web-based instruction, distance learning, and the use of instructional technology in a full range of subjects and at instructional levels ranging from pre-college to honors level offerings.
Serving an economically, educationally and linguistically diverse population, the college has a special commitment to public school partnerships and adult literacy. Holyoke Community College is the site for vital educational opportunity programs, such as Gateway to College, and houses the regional center for a System for Adult Basic Education Support for Western Massachusetts.
Philosophy of the First Year
Holyoke Community College intentionally cultivates a foundation for college success. The college community is committed to helping new students:
- successfully transition to college;
- access resources and support services;
- explore and identify academic, career, and personal goals;
- understand academic expectations and apply strategies for academic success; and
- enhance core competencies: critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, effective communication, and knowledge of diversity.