Holistic Learning Program

The Holistic Learning Program is an affirming and supportive space for you to work on your academic goals with peers and staff who specialize in learning access.

The Holistic Learning Program

The Holistic Learning Program (HLP) is an opt-in academic support community for Hampshire College students, led by the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS).

We know that each student navigates college and finds their learning path in their own way. Together, we work on the core skills that students need to succeed academically and unpack what being at college means for you.

If you have a disability or receive accommodations, we also talk through equitable access to your education, being on campus with a disability, and communicating with your professors about accommodations.

The Holistic Learning Program meets with students one-on-one and opens its group meetings to anyone who would like to join.

Our mission is to create space to:

  • Cultivate introspection into the ways we can bring our whole selves into our navigation of college and community
  • Encourage exploring skills and techniques needed to support our capacities for meeting our academic and personal goals.
  • Collectively build trust and non-judgmental approaches to challenges through connection and co-regulation.
  • Support students’ growth as self-advocates and empowered institutional navigators, and as trusted experts of their own lived experience.
  • Embolden a community of learners who value navigating the world together with many different types of abilities, and celebrate the diversity of our bodies and minds.

We provide support around:

Academic Tools and Strategies

  • Getting Stuff Done: Building and organizing a schedule, making daily routines, problem-solving procrastination, and managing time.
  • Learning Skills: Capturing information in the classroom (note-taking), processing that information (study skills and reading support), and manipulating ideas and information to meet the objectives of your courses (your academic process).
  • Project Management: How to set a goal, identify action items to work towards it, and problem-solve possible barriers before they come up.

Navigational Skills

  • Holistic Strategies: Identifying strengths and strategies that work best for our learning at college, and approaching growth areas with support.
  • Relational Advocacy: Talking to professors about accommodations and knowing your rights and responsibilities as a student.
  • Community Connections: Learning about student groups on campus, getting involved in student activism around disability justice and neurodiversity.

Group Sessions

  • Holistic Learning Program (HLP) group sessions are open to all Hampshire College students who would like to connect around academic support and strategies, not only those registered with the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services.
  • Groups meet regularly and occur most weeks of the semester.
  • Group themes are decided based on participant interest:
    • In the beginning of the year, we might be working on our weekly schedules for the semester and establishing study routines. 
    • During quieter times in the semester, we might have workshops on academic writing or processing challenging reading assignments. 
    • During busier times, we may choose to focus on quiet group study and body doubling / co-working sessions.
  • Interested in trying out HLP? We recommend attending group sessions a few times to see if this support would help you meet your goals.

Individual Meetings

As available, one-on-one academic coaching sessions are open to students who apply and qualify for this additional support as a reasonable accommodation through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS). If you would like to meet individually with HLP staff, registering with the OARS office is the first step.

  • Coaching involves working one-on-one with a staff member or peer mentor. It is non-clinical, is not therapy, and is not a replacement for those services.
  • If you are approved for individual meetings as a reasonable accommodation through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS), you are able to meet individually with HLP staff.
  • Individual meetings are generally an hour long and occur as needed* and within the capacity of the OARS office.
  • Our first meeting will involve getting to know each other. We discuss what brings you into HLP and what the program offers. 
  • From this discussion, we make a plan for the semester and work on the specific things you want to focus on.
  • HLP mentors can suggest small, incremental tweaks that add up to a substantial change over the semester, or students may benefit from meeting once regarding a particular tool, strategy, or problem.
  • Throughout your time with HLP, your goals and experiences will change. We will be consistently responsive to how we work based on your desires.
  • Seeking ongoing or weekly coaching meetings? Holistic Learning Program staff can offer information on referrals to learning and access coaches in our region. 

*HLP is a small program in development with budding peer mentorship opportunities. At this time, limited one-to-one coaching meetings are scheduled based on availability. If there is not currently space to schedule a one-to-one meeting that suits your schedule, we encourage you to come to drop-in group sessions and view our resources online.

Connect with us

The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) developed the Holistic Learning Program (HLP) with the goal of increasing access to a Hampshire education and supporting students in navigating the process of college learning.

Schedule a meeting:

Can't make a drop-in? Call 413.559.6277 or email us oars@hampshire.edu


Send your questions about the Holistic Learning Program to Griffin Leistinger, Assistant Director of OARS, at oars@hampshire.edu