College Student Expectations

Being a college student comes with a set of expectations that includes your responsibilities as a student, the way communication and information is handled, and the format and frequency of your classes. Keep the following in mind and you will be better prepared to succeed in college.


  • Student is responsible for following the course syllabus, organizing study time, completing assignments, taking examinations.
  • It is up to the student to read and understand assigned materials.
  • Student must be aware of own progress in the course.
  • Attendance is student's responsibility. Student accepts consequences of non-attendance according to attendance policy in course syllabus. Attendance may not be based on "excused" or "unexcused" absences but upon maximum number of absences allowed. It is the prerogative of the instructor in cases of extended illness or serious accident whether or not the student will be allowed to continue in the course.
  • Student is expected to be aware of sources of help and obtain help as needed.


  • Correspondence, including academic information and deadlines, bills, financial aid information, grades, and disciplinary issues are addressed with student. Student may inform parents of content.
  • College communication is directed to the student unless a FERPA Waiver Form is signed.


  • Classes will meet at least once a week or more according to course requirements.
  • Online classes require students to be organized and self directed.
  • Teacher-student contact is less frequent; students must seek out instructors during office hours for extra attention and support.
  • Student arranges own schedule.
  • Most work is done outside of class.
  • Student must obtain and pay for course books and materials.
  • Student is expected to obtain work missed from other students or make request of instructor.
  • Exams usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.

Civility in the Classroom

Getting along with people in the classroom is a key to college success! So, what is civility?

The college respects and defends the right of each member to exercise free speech and assembly; however, there rights are properly exercised only when due respect for the rights of others is assured. Therefore, at HCC, students and faculty are expected to maintain a free and respectful learning environment.

How can I get my viewpoint across if it is controversial or different from others?

  • Present your ideas in a respectful manner and at an appropriate time and place.
  • In a debate, remember to focus on ideas, not on individuals. 
  • If you are unsure how to express your ideas while respecting others, discuss your concerns with your instructor or an advisor. 
  • Reach out to the division dean or dean of students:

Division Offices:

What are the consequences if I do not behave in a civil and respectful manner in my classroom?

Students are expected to follow all college policies while in the classroom. Students who violate college policies or detract from the learning environment may be directed by a faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. The faculty member may also contact campus police if there is a disruption. Further exclusion from the classroom may occur after a complaint is filed by the faculty member through HCC's Student Code of Conduct.

How do I know what kind of behavior is expected in my classroom?

  • Listen carefully to your instructor's classroom guidelines. Expectations about how you should interact with others may also be published in your course syllabus. 
  • Classroom expectations might include such issues as attendance, punctuality, respect for diversity, rules for discussions, academic integrity, respectful behavior, use of personal electronic devices, eating or drinking in class, or other guidelines.
  • By stating guidelines in the course syllabus, your instructor is alerting you to the importance of respectful conduct in the classroom and assuring you that everyone's right to learn will be protected. If misconduct occurs, you will have received adequate notification of any disciplinary response.

What are some behaviors I should avoid in the classroom?

You should avoid any actions that interfere with teaching or learning during a class session. A few examples of behaviors to avoid during class are:

  • Tardiness
  • Use of electronic devices
  • Cheating or plagiarism
  • Dominating discussion
  • Speaking out of turn
  • Inattentiveness/sleeping
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Offensive remarks
  • Verbal or physical threats
  • Computer abuse

What are Holyoke Community College's policies about behavior?

According to the HCC Student Handbook, all students are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the College and local, state and federal laws. HCC is committed to providing a collegiate atmosphere that is free of any conduct that could be considered harassing, abusive, disorderly, or disruptive. The College recognizes and will endeavor to protect the rights of all students, faculty, and staff members to be treated with respect, courtesy, and tact.

What are the consequences if I violate the college's rules and regulations?

Disciplinary proceedings may be brought against any student against whom a complaint for violating the college's rules and regulations has been made. Disciplinary proceedings are fully described in the HCC Student Handbook. Student disciplinary sanctions may be imposed if a violation of the college's rules and regulations is clearly established. Sanctions can range from a warning through expulsion.

What should I do if I have difficulty controlling my behavior or getting along with others?

HCC has many resources to help students succeed. Always discuss any classroom concerns with your instructor first. If you need help in resolving personal issues, the WellConnect Student Assistance Program is available to you and your family free of charge. 



  • Student Handbook: A reference guide with resources and support for students, policies, procedures, and code of conduct. It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with College policies and procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. If you do not have access to a computer you can request a hardcopy from Student Services (FR 224). 
  • Student Supportive Services
  • HCC At a Glance
  • Student Success Checklist


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040