About Us

The Five Colleges Consortium is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1984, the consortium established the Five College Schools Partnership, a collaborative effort to support K-12 public education in western Massachusetts and, in particular, to support the professional development of public school teachers.

Now known as Five College Partnership Programs, our activities include professional development programs for teachers, identifying resources for K-12 educators, building college-community-school collaborations in areas of mutual interest, and strengthening the link among educators across Western Massachusetts and from kindergarten to college. Beyond the Five Colleges, we also work with faculty members from other area colleges, museums and other community-based organizations, and local businesses. Learn about our guiding principles.

The Partnership is guided by an Advisory Council made up of Five College faculty members and western Massachusetts school administrators and teachers. Partnership programs are developed by planning committees of school and college faculty. If you would like to become involved or have ideas for the Partnership, please contact us at 413-542-4018 or msolomon@fivecolleges.edu.

The Role of the Partnership in Professional Development

Five College Partnership Programs offer a variety of professional development opportunities for teachers in the four Western Massachusetts counties and, occasionally, for teachers across the United States. These include recent or current programs in Teaching American History, as the higher educational partner to the Springfield Public Schools; the Western Massachusetts Mathematics Partnership comprised of ten school districts and ten higher education institutions in Western Massachusetts; and an NEH Summer Institute: Native Americans in New England, a national program directed by the Native American Studies Certificate faculty of the Five Colleges. For a more complete list of past programs, see our Programs page.

The Partnership as Resource Clearinghouse

The Partnership serves as a clearinghouse for information, resources, and technical assistance linking individuals and organizations with each other to benefit teachers and learners in public schools. Information is shared through the Partnership Facebook page, the Partnership webpage, and an e-newsletter. To join the mailing list, subscribe to the Five College Schools Partnership listserv.