Daily News

AIC Welcomes HCC Officials for Tour, Brainstorming Visit

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) welcomed representatives from Holyoke Community College (HCC) to its Springfield campus on March 2 to celebrate a transfer agreement they signed last summer and brainstorm ideas for future partnerships.

President Christina Royal and a cadre of faculty and staff from HCC toured the AIC campus with President Hubert Benitez and other AIC officials and then sat down to talk over lunch.

“We were excited to visit AIC to learn more about their academic programming and student services and identify pathways for our students,” Royal said. “One of the things I noticed is how similar our demographics are, so I know that students who start at HCC will feel at home when they transfer to AIC. President Benitez and AIC have a strong commitment to supporting the community-college transfer student.”

Last June, the two colleges signed an articulation agreement to make it easier and less expensive for HCC students to transfer to AIC through the latter’s Direct Connect program.

Direct Connect transfer students automatically receive a $4,000 scholarship, in addition to earned merit scholarships, before any need-based aid is awarded. This means Direct Connect students can earn up to $18,000 in financial gift aid — not loans — before being evaluated for additional need-based aid. Unlike other transfer articulation agreements, the Direct Connect program at AIC allows students to study and major in their area of interest while attending HCC.

“We believe that AIC offers HCC students a great opportunity for advancing their education through a seamless transition from HCC to AIC,” Benitez said. “We welcome the opportunity to serve community-college students and look forward to a strong relationship between our two institutions.”