Five College News

New releases and other announcements from Five Colleges.

Davis Educational Foundation grant will make Five College language learning resources available to thousands

June 17, 2024: Thanks to a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, language learners from around the world will soon have access to new and improved resources for learning dozens of less-commonly taught languages. 

Since 1991, the Five College Center for World Languages has helped more than 5,000 students at its member campuses study more than 60 less-commonly taught languages, preparing them for study, research, and employment opportunities around the globe. The Center is a program of the Five College Consortium, made up of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In 1999 the Center began developing video and audio recordings of authentic speech to enhance its curriculum and putting those resources, along with course syllabi, study guides, and other supplementary materials, on the web. This online repository, known as LangMedia, has since supported thousands of language learners internationally as they have studied languages ranging from Albanian to Kazakh to Yoruba. The award-winning site attracts nearly 3,000 visitors a month, the majority of them from outside the United States. 

The Davis Educational Foundation award, totalling just under $85,000, will support the Center in redeveloping LangMedia, making the site easier to find, navigate, and keep updated. In addition, its videos will eventually be integrated with LangMedia’s YouTube account, making its resources more discoverable by millions. 

“This very generous grant from the Davis Educational Foundation will help us create a more accessible platform for sharing language learning resources with students among our campuses and anywhere in the world,” said Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher. 

The Five College Center for World Languages has already begun the upgrade, and expects to have the new LangMedia site live by January 2025. 

The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc.


Five College Campuses Collaborating for Third Annual Job Fair

May 29, 2024, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., 
Smith College Indoor Track & Tennis Complex, 106 Lower College Lane, Northampton 

May 14, 2024: The Five College campuses of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and UMass Amherst are collaborating to offer job seekers one-stop shopping for hundreds of jobs at a late May event in Northampton.

The third annual Five College Job Fair, taking place from 1 to 4 pm on May 29 at Smith College’s Indoor Track & Tennis Complex, will feature high-priority openings in a wide variety of departments. Attendees will be able to talk with campus representatives and explore job opportunities. Refreshments will be available and gift bags of campus souvenirs will be raffled off to attendees. 

“Our first two job fairs attracted hundreds of job seekers from our communities, so we’re excited to offer it again this year,” said Kim Kenney-Rockwal, director of talent acquisition at Smith. “Something for people to keep in mind is that residential colleges are self-contained communities, with the same range of jobs found in most towns and cities. There may be openings for electricians, landscapers, hospitality staff, security personnel, and nurses, as well as professors and provosts.  So if you’re looking for a job in a certain field, there’s a good chance we’ll have that job on one of our campuses.”

The campus departments with the most openings include:

  • Administration
  • Campus Safety (security officers)
  • Dining Services (cooks, kitchen assistant, cashiers)
  • Facilities/Custodial Services
  • Financial Services
  • IT technicians

For more information about this event, visit


Spring 2024 End-of-Semester Bus Schedules Announced

PVTA bus driving down the road


PVTA’s Five College buses will maintain full regular service through the end of spring semester final exams. For details about times and bus stops, click on the links below, or visit the PVTA schedules page.

38; UMass-Amherst-Hampshire-Mount Holyoke: Will maintain full service through May 17, the last day of exams at any campus. 

39; Hampshire-Smith: Will maintain full service through May 10, the last day of exams at Smith. 

39E; Mount Holyoke-Smith: Will maintain full weekday service through May 10, the last day of final exams at Smith.

B43; Smith-UMass-Amherst: Will maintain full service through May 18, when it will switch to its “No School” schedule.

Five College Jazz Festival returns, featuring quality, quantity, and variety

April 5-6 at UMass’s Bezanson & Tillis Halls
Free and Open to the Public

March 29, 2024: The 2024 Five College Jazz Festival, the first since 2019, will feature performances from big bands, small combos, vocal ensembles, and improvising orchestras. These groups will feature the interpretive and improvisational skills of Five College students under the direction of the jazz faculty of the Five College campuses.

“The festival is a celebration of the many creative ways we approach the jazz continuum at our  campuses,” says David Sanford, a music professor at Mount Holyoke College. “Attending the Five College Jazz Festival offers music lovers on our campuses and in our communities a great opportunity to hear what our students are doing.”

Hosted this year by the UMass Jazz and African American Music Studies program from the Department of Music and Dance, the bands will be performing at the Bezanson Recital Hall and at Tillis Performance Hall, both located in UMass’s Fine Arts Center. The Five College Jazz Festival is free and open to the public. 

Dates, Times and Locations
Friday April 5th 
6:30 PM - 10:00 PM in Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass Fine Arts Center

Saturday April 6th 
8:55 AM - 12:15 PM in Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass Fine Arts Center
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM in TIllis Performance Hall, UMass Fine Arts Center

For more information contact
Matt Padula 

two people singing

Mount Holyoke Big Band
Mount Holyoke Vocal Jazz Ensemble
UMass Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Smith College Jazz Ensemble
UMass Jazz Lab Ensemble 
UMass Graduate Quartet
Amherst College Combo Pinnacles
UMass Chapel Jazz Ensemble
UMass Chamber Jazz Ensembles
UMass Jazz Ensemble I

Spring Semester 2024 Bus Update

All Five College buses will be running for the spring, 2024 semester. Here are details on the start-of-semester schedules for each:

B43: Smith - Hampshire Mall - UMass - Amherst College
Operating on the “No School Schedule” until Sunday, January 28, 2024, when it returns to its full schedule

38: UMass - Amherst College- Hampshire - Mount Holyoke
Operating on a limited schedule with no weekend service from January 23 through January 31, 2024. Then returning to full service schedule

39: Smith - Hampshire - Hampshire Mall
Begins its regular schedule on January 24, 2024. 

39E: Mount Holyoke - Smith Express
Begins its regular schedule on January 23, 2024. 

R29: UMass - Amherst College - Hampshire - Mount Holyoke - Holyoke Mall - Springfield
Maintains its regular schedule year-round.

FCI Announces New Dir. of Development and Sponsored Programs

January 4, 2024: Ina Clark, a veteran nonprofit development leader, has been named the director of development and sponsored programs for the Five College Consortium. 

Clark’s nonprofit background is extensive, including development work at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum; Ms. Foundation for Women; and Sesame Workshop. She also recently served as interim director of SPCA International. 

“Ina’s broad experience in nonprofit development will serve her well at Five Colleges, where at any given time she may be working on funding for museum technology, arts collaborations, language instruction, student engagement, K-12 teacher training, or emergency preparedness,” said Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher.

At Five Colleges Clark will oversee the consortium’s broad portfolio of sponsored programs, which most recently has included grants from the Mellon Foundation for expanding the Native American and Indigenous Studies curricula of its member campuses and for creation of a faculty leadership development program, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for increasing inclusion and accessibility of museum collections. In addition, she will oversee several long-standing externally funded Five College programs: the Center for East Asian Studies, Five College Partnership Programs, and Learning in Retirement. 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my background and experience to serve Five Colleges and the important institutions it works with,” said Clark. “The programs Five Colleges enables and the funding it obtains speak extensively to my own deep interests and values, and the structure that is core to its mission demonstrates the very best in collaborative work. It’s an honor to join Sarah Pfatteicher and the Five College team.”

Clark will begin work at Five Colleges on January 16. 

Final Exam Bus Schedules Announced for Fall 2023 

December 12, 2023: PVTA buses servicing Five College routes will follow the below schedules from the end of fall 2023 classes through finals: 

  • R29 (Springfield-Holyoke-Mount Holyoke-Hampshire-Amherst-UMass): Regular service continues.  
  • 38 (UMass-Amherst-Hampshire-Mount Holyoke): Regular service ends at the end December 15, shifting to the exam schedule. Scroll to end of the linked schedule to find the finals schedule. Open PDF.  The 38 returns to full service on January 23.  
  • 39 (Hampshire-Smith): Regular service ends at the end December 15, then shifts to the exam schedule. The 39 returns to full service on January 24. Open PDF. 
  • 39E (Mount Holyoke-Smith): Regular service ends at the end December 15, shifting to the exam schedule. Open PDF. The 39E returns to full service on January 23.  
  • B43 (Smith-UMass-Amherst): Full service through December 16, “No School” schedule December 17–January 27, return of full service January 28.

Go to the Five College bus page for details.

Questions: contact Kevin Kennedy at 413-542-4017 or PVTA at 413-781-7882.


Changes Announced to PVTA Bus Schedules During Mid-Semester Break

October 3, 2023: PVTA buses servicing Five College routes will follow the below schedules on October 9 and 10 of the mid-semester break:

  • R29 (Springfield-Holyoke-Mount Holyoke-Hampshire-Amherst-UMass): No change in schedule. 
  • 38 (UMass-Amherst-Hampshire-Mount Holyoke): No change in schedule.
  • 39 (Hampshire-Smith): No runs on October 9 or 10, but normal weekend runs on October 6, 7, & 8. 
  • 39E (Mount Holyoke-Smith): No runs on October 9 or 10. 
  • B43 (Smith-UMass-Amherst): Weekday no-school schedule on October 9, and normal schedule on October 10.  

All PVTA buses will return to their normal schedules on October 11. 

Questions: contact Kevin Kennedy at 413-542-4017 or PVTA at 413-781-7882.

All Five College Buses will Operate in the Fall 2023 Semester

See details of Five College bus routes

August 28, 2023: Each of the regular Five College/PVTA bus runs will be operating during the fall 2023 semester. Students and employees of the Five College campuses–Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, and UMass Amherst–may ride these buses fare-free when classes are in session. Members of the public may ride any PVTA bus, with the exception of the 39E between Mount Holyoke and Smith, which is privately contracted. Most PVTA buses will charge a fare to anyone who does not have an ID from a Five College campus. 

The following are the Five College/PVTA buses, with the routes they cover and the dates they operate. For route schedules, visit Keep in mind that PVTA posts upcoming schedules on the day service begins. Additional details and updates regarding Five College/PVTA buses can be found at

The B43: Smith - Hampshire Mall - UMass - Amherst
The B43 runs between Smith, UMass, and Amherst, with stops at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley. It runs all year, and is free to those with an ID from a Five College campus during the academic year beginning September 3, 2023. Outside the academic year and during winter break, the fare is $1.50. 

The 38: UMass - Amherst - Hampshire - Mount Holyoke
The 38 runs between UMass, Amherst, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke. It is free to all when it runs, and it runs only during the academic year, beginning September 5, 2023.

The 39: Smith - Hampshire - Hampshire Mall
The 39 runs between Hampshire and Smith Colleges on weekdays, and between Hampshire College, Smith College, the Hampshire Mall and Mountain Farms Mall on weekend evenings. It runs only during the academic year, and service begins September 6, 2023.

The 39E: Mount Holyoke - Smith Express
The 39E is an express run between Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, running during the day during the week when classes are in session. It is free and only available to riders with an ID from a Five College campus. Service begins September 6, 2023.

The R29: UMass - Amherst - Hampshire - Mount Holyoke - Holyoke Mall - Springfield
The R29 runs year-round between UMass and the City of Holyoke Transit Station, with stops at Amherst, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke Colleges. It also has stops at the Holyoke Mall, and at Union Station in downtown Springfield. It is free during the academic year to those with an ID from a Five College campus. Outside the academic year and during winter break, it costs $1.50. Fare-free service begins September 5, 2023.

Buses leading to and from UMass
UMass Transit operates a number of PVTA buses that travel within its campus and between its campus and such surrounding communities as North Amherst, Sunderland, and Belchertown. These buses are free to all riders and operate only when classes are in session. See all UMass Transit Bus Routes.

Federal Agency, Five College Consortium, and Local Partners Conduct Exercise to Keep Community Safe

Aug. 2, 2023 The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Five College Consortium, and local partners held a tabletop exercise on August 1 to test incident response efforts focused on a hypothetical natural disaster incident. The multi-agency event focused on coordination between public and private sector partners, incident response and recovery efforts, and business continuity operations following a severe weather event affecting Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst.

Dozens of representatives from multiple organizations, government agencies, and the community practiced organizational response, shared best practices, and worked to improve coordination to help keep the community safe.

“Five Colleges and our member campuses have a long history of collaborating with our host communities to prepare for natural disasters and health emergencies,” said Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher. “Those long-standing relationships bore fruit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we were able to quickly and easily reach out to community partners to share information and coordinate our responses. Exercises like this with CISA help us build on those relationships to respond effectively to emergencies.”

Tuesday’s exercise provided invaluable feedback for each participating emergency response team due to its complex scenarios. Participants tested responses to multiple cascading threats making the multifaceted event a challenge for all involved.

“In today’s complex security environment, it is essential that organizations not only build contingency response plans but that they regularly work in partnership exercising such plans,” said CISA Region 1 Director Matt McCann. “The collaboration between the Five College campuses and the multiple agencies engaged in this exercise will only serve to enhance the community’s resiliency to any future incident.”  

CISA works with municipalities, sports leagues, critical infrastructure partners, schools, and other organizations around the country to develop and exercise response plans for all potential threats in today’s complex security environment. CISA participates in approximately 30 exercises a year, and the agency has staff strategically positioned throughout the U.S. to advise on ways to enhance security and resilience. Additional resources and tools are available on the agency’s website.