The "Five Colleges" refers to the 5 colleges/universities sited within the communities of the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. The five colleges include Mt. Holyoke College (South Hadley), Smith College (Northampton), Amherst College (Amherst), Hampshire College (Amherst) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst totally approximately 28,000 graduate and undergraduates.
Bus service offered between the schools makes it possible for students to take advantage of the 5 College Consortium, creating a close-knit community and the expansion of course options and campus culture. A local legend purports that the characters in the cartoon, Scooby-Doo represent the 5 Colleges, denied, of course, by the producers of the show.
The rich academic offerings in the area attract many lifelong learners who take advantage of peer lead seminars and workshops in the 5 College Learning in Retirement program. Umass Amherst offers free classes to Massachusetts residents over the age of 60 years.
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