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Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs

College Overview

The first two-year institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College was founded in 1946 by faculty from some of the nation’s most distinguished private colleges— Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges— to meet the needs of working adults, many of whom were recently returned veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill. Classes were held in the evening, in classrooms made available by Holyoke High School.

Today, HCC occupies a beautiful 135-acre campus in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, where it serves approximately 11,000 students annually through 90+ degree and certificate programs, as well as numerous non-credit workforce and professional development courses.

In keeping with its liberal arts heritage, HCC is known for its rich academic offerings as well as its collaborative transfer and joint admissions programs with public and private four-year colleges and universities in the region. The largest community college feeder to both the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Westfield State University, HCC also sends graduates to Amherst, Smith, and Mount Holyoke Colleges, as well as Brandeis, Brown, Cornell and many other distinguished colleges and universities.

HCC supports an array of instructional strategies, taking particular pride in its Integrative Learning programs, which offer interdisciplinary curricula, honors, and experiential learning opportunities that enable students to build connections not only within the classroom, but also with local communities, businesses, nonprofits, and colleges and universities statewide.

Responsive to the economic and social needs of the region, the college actively collaborates with business, government, and community groups to enhance the strength and efficacy of its programmatic offerings. In recent years, HCC has invested in a Center for Health Education to meet the demand for workers in the field of healthcare; a Center for Life Sciences (equipped with biotechnology suites and an ISO-certified clean room) to prepare students for careers in biotechnology and related sciences; and the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, to support the region’s growing hospitality and tourism sector.

HCC is dedicated to providing an affordable, high-quality education that prepares students for career and transfer opportunities that enrich their lives and lift up the communities in which they reside. Located in a city that is home to the largest Puerto Rican population, per capita, of any city in the United States outside Puerto Rico, HCC is a designated Hispanic Serving Institution, with a student body that is 26% Hispanic as of fall 2018.

Serving an economically, educationally, and linguistically diverse population, the college has a special commitment to public school partnerships and adult literacy. In addition to its campus on Homestead Avenue, the college offers English for speakers of other languages and a variety of adult education programs at four other locations in the region.

The college recently completed a year-long strategic planning process that resulted in new mission and vision statements, the college’s first Student Experience Statement, and a comprehensive plan that will guide HCC through 2022.

The strategic plan articulates HCC’s commitment to enhancing innovative educational practices, developing culturally responsive pedagogies, aligning programs with workforce demand and transfer opportunities, and promoting student success by addressing the academic and life challenges of underrepresented students.

Holyoke Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The college has received the endorsement of the Massachusetts Department of Education and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and is a member of the American Association of Community College Council.

For more information please visit the HCC FAST FACTS page.

Mission, Vision & Values


Educate. Inspire. Connect.


Holyoke Community College aspires to be a college of academic excellence known for helping students overcome barriers to success.


  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Kindness
  • Inclusion
  • Trust

Kindness, inclusion, and trust are the foundations of the work that we do together. Innovation and collaboration enable us to explore and implement the ideas that will shape our future.

Leadership Opportunity Overview

The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (VPASA) role is new to Holyoke Community College and combines two historically separate positions to create an opportunity for a more unified approach to academic excellence and student success. Guided by the College’s strategic plan, this new leadership structure will encourage increased collaboration and communication across the College. In addition to the following qualifications and characteristics, the successful candidate will possess the ability to inspire and unite faculty and staff in a shared vision to best educate, serve, and support all students. This executive-level VPASA will be key in promoting a college-wide climate that is consistent with HCC’s Values: Innovation, Collaboration, Kindness, Inclusion, and Trust.

Demonstrated Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
The ideal candidate must have the ability to promote an inclusive environment that reflects the broad diversity and backgrounds represented by our students, employees and our local community, one in which every individual feels respected and valued. The VPASA must demonstrate cultural humility and the ability to work with a college community with diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including those with disabilities and veterans.

The VPASA must have a proven record of effective and innovative leadership in diversity programming and first-generation student engagement programming. As a designated Hispanic Serving Institution, HCC seeks a VPASA with experience in the recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to students from racially underrepresented backgrounds and English language learners.

The VPASA will oversee major areas of the institution that are highly impacted by the HCC Strategic Plan. Key components of this plan are focused on equity and professional development. The VPASA must demonstrate proven success in the development, support, and enhancement of diversity/equity initiatives, specifically in curriculum development (e.g., culturally responsive pedagogies) and in recruiting and sustaining a diverse faculty that contributes to and complements the academic experience.

Required Qualifications

  • An earned terminal degree from an accredited university.
  • Demonstrated effective leadership in areas relating to academic planning, program development, advising, student orientation, student mental health and behavioral support, veteran’s services, and student life/government, preferably at a community college.
  • A distinguished record of teaching, preferably in higher education, scholarship and collegiate service with a thorough knowledge of higher education principles and practices and future trends.
  • Demonstrated experience serving a diverse, non-traditional, first-generation student population, preferably at a Hispanic Serving Institution, which includes evidence-based practices for the promotion of student success (including improved retention and graduation rates).
  • Experience working with a diverse faculty, staff and student body and an ability to promote a campus climate that supports HCC’s values and encourages equity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated experience in curriculum development, pedagogy, student learning outcomes assessment, distance learning, honors, integrated learning, use of technology in instruction and institutional research data.

Desired Characteristics

  • A doctoral degree in an academic discipline is preferred.
  • Success in supporting college strategic and divisional plans with large budgets; ensure continuous and measurable improvement in student life cycle benchmarks including enrollment, retention, persistence, completion and post completion success; effective resource allocation in alignment with strategic initiatives and operational needs.
  • Success in building collaborative relationships that promote a culture of student-centeredness and a record of developing programs and services that encourage transfer to four-year universities.
  • Prior experience establishing and/or improving a strong collaborative relationship between academic and student affairs.
  • Experience working within a collective bargaining environment.
  • A data-informed problem solver with experience collaboratively moving initiatives forward and implementing change within a complex organization.
  • Experience collaborating with workforce development programs and an understanding of the concept of receiving credit from prior learning.

Application Process

Printable Text Profile

Please direct inquiries and nominations to the College’s search consultant: Angela Provart, President Pauly Group, Inc., 3901 Wood Duck Drive, Suite E Springfield, IL 62711, Phone: 217-241-5400, E-mail: aprovart@paulygroup.com

Please submit electronically to aprovart@paulygroup.com the following documents as Adobe Acrobat or MS Word attachments: (1) a cover letter that addresses the LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY OVERVIEW listed in the position profile; (2) a current résumé; and (3) names and contact information of five professional references.

The committee will begin review of applications immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with materials submitted by Monday, February 25, 2019 receiving priority consideration. All applications are confidential and references will not be contacted without the expressed authorization of the applicant.

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