MCLA Women's Soccer Team to Play Fellow COPLAC School Minnesota Morris This Friday


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - In a first for the women's soccer team at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), the Trailblazers will compete against a team outside of its playing region when they battle the University of Minnesota, Morris this Friday at 3:30 p.m., on the College's Ron Shewcraft Field at the Joseph Zavattaro Athletic Complex.

Like MCLA, Minnesota Morris is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). This Friday's game is but one of the collaborations MCLA engages in with other COPLAC-member institutions: This fall the College once again will host the Northeast Regional COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference, October 25 and 26.

Women's Head Soccer Coach Deborah Raber said the idea for the soccer match came about after Minnesota Morris' soccer coach, Dan Magner - whom she knows through her association with  the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) - decided to bring the Minnesota Morris team to New England.

"We are very excited," Raber said. "It's pretty cool that this COPLAC school coming to play us is from the upper Midwest. We have a lot in common. It'll be fun."

According to Joslin, COPLAC institutions have developed many collaborative initiatives that present exceptional opportunities for students. These experiences range from undergraduate research and distance mentoring to study away opportunities.

Later this fall, students at COPLAC institutions once again will have the opportunity to present the results of their undergraduate research at the Northeast Regional COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference, which will be held at MCLA.

"This is a powerful experience for students to be able to present and discuss their research with faculty members and peers from the other institutions," said Joslin.

In addition to providing a public liberal arts experience, close faculty-student interaction and innovative curriculum, COPLAC schools provide experiential learning and a commitment to civic engagement, according to Joslin.

"MCLA's strategic plan emphasizes the value of high impact activities, such as the Undergraduate Research Program," Joslin said. "Engaging students in undergraduate research is an important educational experience with multiple benefits for students, from increased confidence to an understanding of the process of science - emphasizing liberal arts skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and presentation skills." 

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