Special Programs

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ABE Transition to College and Careers Program and Bridge to ABE TCC 

The ABE Transition to College and Careers Program (ABE TCC) and Bridge to ABE TCC help students prepare for college once they have completed their High School Equivalency (at any time) or have a high school diploma from at least four years ago. Applicants must be at least 18 years-old (there is no maximum age) and planning to enter college in pursuit of a certificate or degree after the program. We offer a supportive learning community environment and classroom instruction. The instructor will focus on math, algebra, reading, writing and development of critical thinking skills, computer skills in a college context and study strategies. We offer extensive hours of mentoring/ tutoring in addition to in-class instruction. Our mentors are program graduates as well as volunteers from local colleges and agencies. Mentors serve one-on-one as assistants in the classroom as well as being available outside of class hours. 

The day program is based at HCC and the class is given on campus. The evening Bridge to ABE TCC and ABE Transition to College and Careers classes are held at the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center (PAFEC) in downtown Holyoke. These free (non-credit) programs are offered spring, summer and fall semesters. The program offers intensive support, counseling in English and Spanish, and transition services to eligible students enrolled in Adult Basic Education programs (advanced ESOL and High School Equivalency) in Hampden and Hampshire counties as well as to other college-bound individuals. Career counseling is an integral part of the ABE TCC program, with a speaker series featuring guest professionals, faculty from different departments and career development workshops and field trips. Staff assists participants with admissions, financial aid, and connecting students to college resources and services. 

For more information about these classes, or if you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Mary Martone, ABE TCC Career Counselor, at 413.552.2245 or mmartone@cepholyoke.org.

English as a Second Language (ESL) 

HCC offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses and an array of services to help English language learners succeed in college. ESL courses prepare students for Associate Degree or Certificate programs. 

ESL Academic Courses 

Four levels of instruction are offered in the following areas: reading and writing, speaking and listening, grammar, and pronunciation. Students enrolled in advanced levels of ESL may also take courses in their chosen field of study when appropriate. 

Assistance Available 

  • Bilingual services 
  • Individual and group tutoring 
  • Academic advising 
  • Student advocacy and referrals 
  • Orientation seminars 
  • Academic and career counseling 
  • Language assessment/placement 
  • Self-directed and computerized lab instruction 

For More Information 
To learn more about the ESL Support Program stop by the office in the DON 203, or call 413.552.2553 or 413.552.2234 or email gmontero@hcc.edu

HCC Adult Learning Center at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center

The HCC Adult Learning Center is a community-based ABE program located at The Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center, 3rd Floor, 206 Maple Street, in Holyoke. The Center offers Basic Literacy, Pre-High School Equivalency Preparation, High School Equivalency  Preparation and "Fast Track" Math. The Center offers a High School Equivalency Practice Test, which is available for qualified students. All learners receive career counseling, academic counseling, and referrals as needed. To learn more about our services, contact the Program Coordinator at 413.552.2912. All services are free.

Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center

The Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center is a community-based ABE program that offers of English for speakers of other languages. Classes are held during the day and evening, The Center also offers individual or paired tutoring for those who cannot attend evening classes . New to the center are computer skills workshops, assistance with citizenship issues, and transitioning learners to college. All learners receive career counseling, academic counseling, and referrals as needed.

The Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center is located at 54 Winsor Street, 2nd floor in Ludlow. For more information, contact the Program Coordinator at 413.583.0320. All services are free.

MAS - Multicultural Academic Services

Multicultural Academic Services is a transitional support program for English as a Second Language, Avanza2College and international students. MAS advisors assess individual student needs, identify academic and career goals, and engage each student in the strategies and resources that engender success in the college environment. MAS promotes academic and campus participation through peer mentoring, workshops, student conferences, and one-on-one sessions. Students challenged by issues of language, cultural identity, and isolation learn the tools that inspire self-authorship, self-advocacy, and leadership, within the broader context of community.

For more information about MAS, please call Myriam Quinones at 413.552.2539 or email mquinones@hcc.edu.

New Directions

New Directions is a college success program for veterans, students age 24 or older and young mothers of any age. Comprehensive services include admission counseling, information about financial aid, academic advising, workshops and career and transfer guidance. Transfer assistance includes information about programs for non-traditional students at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass.

For more information about New Directions, please call 413.552.2346 or email cmacdonald@hcc.edu.

Office for Students with Disabilities

The Office for Students with Disabilities provides assistance to students with documented disabilities through assessment of individual academic needs and implementation of accommodations for both classroom and campus access. Students are encouraged to contact the office immediately following their acceptance to the college to obtain timely services and arrange for equipment.

Typical accommodations available to students include: academic and advocacy counseling, arrangement of alternative testing services, and supplemental note takers, ASL interpreters and oral transliterators and introduction to the HCC assistive technology center. These individualized services are developed in conjunction with faculty and community support services as well as HCC campus services.

Additional support services such as electronic/alternative texts, tutorial assistance, and transfer counseling may be arranged through other campus or community service providers. For information about services, contact the office at 413.552.2417, Donahue 139.

Pathways Program

The Pathways Program is devoted to helping promising students to succeed at HCC and prepare for transfer to earn their bachelor's degree from selective liberal arts colleges like Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire, and Amherst Colleges. It provides academic support services such as, academic advising, assistance with the FAFSA and scholarship processes, assistance with the transfer process, mentoring, the Math Transition seminar, and Learning Community courses. For more information call 413.552.2857.

Senior Waiver

The Senior Waiver offers Seniors 60 years and older have the opportunity to take credit classes offered at HCC on a space-available basis through its Senior tuition and fee waiver. Eligible seniors may register only during the two weeks before the start of classes and pay a non-refundable educational service fee of $50 per semester. Those electing to use the waiver must enroll through the Advising Center in FR 273. For more information on the Senior Waiver policy, please call Jossie Valentin at 413.552.2829.


STRIVE (Students Together Reaching Individual Visions of Excellence) is a federally funded TRiO Student Support Services program designed to assist participants in graduating from HCC and transferring to a four-year institution by providing a range of academic support services. To be eligible for STRIVE, students must be enrolled in three or more classes (9 credits or more) and be in need of academic or financial support. Students must qualify under one or more of the following three categories: low income, first generation (parent(s)/guardian have not earned a Bachelor's Degree), or have a documented disability. Applications are available at Donahue 240. For more information, please contact the STRIVE Administrative Secretary at 413.552.2505.

Student Activities

The Student Activities Office helps build community and foster college involvement through social and educational programming and leadership development. Opportunities for involvement include the Student Senate, the student member of the Board of Trustees, and over 25 active clubs and organizations (see the Student Handbook for a complete list). Students, faculty and staff participate in a wide variety of programs (multi-cultural events, music, dance, speakers, campus celebrations) during the weekly Wednesday Activity Period. Anyone wishing to participate in Student Activities is encouraged to call 413.552.2418 for more information.


Bridge to Business

Bridge to Business is a collaborative project between Holyoke Community College and the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The program is devoted to helping Latino, African American, Native-American and Asian-American students earn a bachelor's degree from UMass. The program provides counseling and academic support services, such as individual tutoring and guidance from teaching assistants, as well as a weekly Bridge to Business seminar, and participation in events hosted by the Isenberg School of Management.

For additional information, contact the Welcome Center at 413.552.2321, or email your questions to admissions@hcc.edu.

College Enrichment Opportunity (CEO)

The college Enrichment Opportunity (CEO) is an academic support program for students wishing to pursue a business degree, and who place into developmental courses. CEO participants become part of a learning cohort in which success is fostered through individual counseling, group study sessions, and discussion groups linked to business courses that students often find challenging.

School-to-Career Transition

School-to-Career Transition (STC) provides an opportunity for a seamless path of work and learning beginning in high school and continuing through community college, with students entering the job market upon graduation or continuing on to a four-year college or university. Students choose a major in high school, complete a work experience in grades 11 and 12, and continue with a major-related work experience through the Cooperative Education Program while at HCC. Two components related to School-to-Career transition are Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) Linkages (formerly Tech Prep), and Cooperative Education.

Transition to College

The Transition to College (TTC) program provides tuition-free summer courses for HCC students who need to complete developmental English and math before they can register for college-level fall semester courses. The intensive summer courses are linked with SSN 100 courses and are enhanced with support services that include supplemental instructors, academic and ESL tutors, computer labs, guest speakers, and workshops in study skills and career development. The TTC program is part of the First Year Experience initiative at HCC. For further information, please call 413.552.2311.

Secondary/Post-Secondary CVTE Linkages (formerly Tech Prep)

Secondary/Post-Secondary CVTE Linkages is a federally funded program under the Carl V. Perkins legislation. It begins in high school, parallels the college course of study, and continues at a post-secondary institution. It leads to an Associate Degree, Certificate, apprenticeship, or further post-secondary study in a specific career pathway.

HCC Administrators and CVTE Linkages is part of the Hampden-Hampshire Consortium along with STCC and a number of area high schools. The Consortium is part of a statewide network of consortia composed of secondary schools and post-secondary institutions. Collaboratively, member institutions develop and implement a contextual curriculum that integrates academic and contextual learning along with articulated academic and career pathways from secondary to post-secondary education.

HCC has Articulation Agreements with approximately twenty area secondary schools in many program areas. Their purpose is to build upon students' past learning experiences, eliminate unnecessary duplication of course work, establish a clear and continuous education path, and facilitate progress at HCC. College credits are awarded to students within carefully defined guidelines for specific competencies in course work done in high school. Students should consult their high-school counselors, or the Secondary/Post-Secondary CVTE Linkages Office in the Cooperative Education and Career Services Department to determine whether they meet the requirements necessary to be awarded credit.

All juniors who are in Career Vocational Technical Education Perkins-Approved Programs in high school are automatically considered to be in CVTE Linkages. If they are unsure whether they were in an approved CVTE program, students should contact their high school Guidance Office or call the Hampden Hampshire CVTE Linkages Consortium Office at 413.552.2387.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040