Community Connections

The ties between Five Colleges and its surrounding communities are varied and extensive. In many cases the resources of the consortium and its member campuses are made available to the general public, such as the rich diversity of our museums and the literally hundreds of campus events each month that can be found on the Five College Calendar of Events. In other cases the consortium serves as a vehicle for bringing people together, such as with the Women’s Studies Research Center, at the hub of what is considered to be the world’s largest concentration of feminist scholars. The distance between higher education and K-12 students and teachers is bridged with the Five College Schools Partnership and the Center for East Asian Studies, among other examples. Literally hundreds of students from consortium campuses each year work with schools and community organizations throughout the Pioneer Valley through America Reads and Community Based Learning. Even hopping on a bus or catching All Things Considered on the radio can mean being touched by the consortium, through the PVTA-Five College bus system and WFCR/NEPR public radio. Moving forward, consortium-community ties will only increase as the campuses and consortium explore community development opportunities in Holyoke, improving human interactions with the Connecticut River and pursuing sustainability projects throughout western Massachusetts.