NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that approximately 1,300 local sixth grade students will visit college campuses across the Berkshires, April 7 through May 4, for “Berkshire County Goes to College Day,” an annual event held by The Berkshire Compact for Education and MCLA.
In addition to MCLA, students from throughout the region will visit Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Berkshire Community College (BCC) and Williams College.

“This Berkshire Compact initiative continues to be a milestone experience as our youth continue on the path toward higher education,” said Denise Richardello, executive vice president of enrollment and external relations at MCLA. “By exposing these students to college life in the sixth grade, we are helping them to understand the steps they need to take to attend college. We hope they will continue to explore their educational options for the future.”
The “Berkshire County Goes to College” initiative is part of the Berkshire Higher Education Passport – a plan to help improve access to a college education.  It provides the opportunity for every sixth-grade student in the County to visit a local college campus in April or May. It is part of an effort to raise awareness of college in Berkshire County residents at an early age.

On Tuesday, April 7, students from Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Sullivan Middle School, Richmond Consolidated School, and Clarksburg and Williamstown elementary schools will visit MCLA.

During 20-minute sessions held throughout the MCLA campus from 9:45 a.m. to noon, the students will engage in a wide variety of projects.  They will tour a residence hall, learn how to use equipment in the TV studio, learn about world cultures, watch physics and planetarium demonstrations, go on an interactive tour of the training room and watch chemistry experiments.

In addition, on Friday, April 10, students from Lee, Nessacus and Hoosac Valley middle schools will visit Berkshire Community College (BCC), from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Next, on Thursday, April 16, students from Gabriel Abbott Memorial, Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) Charter, Farmington River Regional and Herberg Middle schools will visit Williams College, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Friday, April 17, students from Reid Middle School will visit Bard College at Simon’s Rock, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Lastly, on Monday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., students from Brayton, Greylock and Lanesborough elementary schools and Lenox Memorial Middle School will visit MCLA.

The sixth grade college visits are funded through a grant from Berkshire United Way.

The Berkshire Compact for Education was developed to address the higher education needs of Berkshire County residents and employers. The Compact is comprised of members from key area employment sectors, including cultural institutions, finance, healthcare and specialty manufacturing, along with school superintendents, college administrators and faculty, municipal officials and representatives of nonprofit organizations.

For more information about “Berkshire County Goes to College Day,” contact Josh Mendel, associate director of admission, or (413) 662-5409.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.