My Simmons

SLIS West Community

Intimate classroom settings and lasting relationships between students, faculty, and staff is what SLIS West is known for. While the program is not situated within a metropolitan area like Boston, students will find plenty to do in the surrounding Pioneer Valley and a strong community to support them during their stay. Many times through out the year the SLIS West student group, LISSA West, hosts social events both on and off campus throughout the Pioneer Valley.


For questions about local housing, please feel free to contact SLIS West Coordinator Eric Poulin.

Housing for students can also be found on Craiglist or rental sites such as RentNoho and Eagle Crest Management.

The Willits-Hallowell conference center on the MHC campus is also a hotel. For information about hotel reservations please call 413-538-2217.


Public Transportation

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) runs public buses all over the region, including a bus that connects South Hadley to Amherst and Northampton (route ) Check the schedule and fare information carefully; bus service stops at night and does not run during holidays and school breaks. The PVTA site also includes a trip planner.

There are also a number of available taxi services available including Uber and GoGreen Cab Company.

Students may also take advantage of ZipCar Car Borrowing Service with several pick-up and drop-off locations in South Hadley, Amherst, and Northampton.

Parking on Campus

SLIS West students may park in the lower level of the Village Commons parking lot. Do not park in the two hour spaces in front of the Village Commons; these spaces are maintained and monitored by the South Hadley police and are not part of the Village Commons parking area. In addition to the Village Commons lot, on Saturdays when classes are taking place students can park in any Faculty/Staff parking space on the MHC campus.

Where to Eat

The Tailgate Café in the Village Commons is a popular spot to grab some lunch between classes for SLIS West students. The Tailgate serves traditional deli style fare. Students will often gather in the SLIS West office for lunch. For a quick pick me up between classes the Thirsty Mind is a popular coffee shop and study spot. Rao’s Coffee is located in the lobby of the MHC Library. Students can also get food at the Blanchard Center on the MHC campus.

Twice a semester on the first and last day of classes LISSA West hosts a lunch. Several other lunch events take place on campus throughout the semester.

The Pioneer Valley

Ringed by mountain ranges and bisected by the meandering Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts consists of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hamden counties.

Less than two hours from Boston, less than three from New York City, and one hour from the heart of the Berkshires, the Valley is home to more than 25 colleges and universities, as well as writers, musicians, artists, artisans, and hundreds of nonprofits. The Pioneer Valley is also known for the Five College Consortium — Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges, and UMass Amherst, the flagship of the state university system. The New York Times has called the Pioneer Valley “arguably the most author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating place in the nation.” Resources of all sorts await discovery by those who live and work here, or simply attend classes.T

For more on what to do in the Pioneer Valley and Hampshire County, please visit