Strengthening MCLA


Student engagement is a top priority as MCLA enters its fifth year of strategic planning, a long-term effort that serves to strengthen the College's position in the region and the Commonwealth by enhancing and expanding academic offerings, developing innovative new programming and forging new community partnerships.

Last year, the campus gathered at the annual strategic planning retreat to discuss student involvement and the high-impact activities that strengthen it. About 150 - including faculty and staff, students and members of the Board of Trustees - were in attendance.

We heard from Dr. George Kuh, of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University, which administers the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). He discussed "best practices" for student engagement and their implications for enhancing education. Brian K. Fitzgerald '75, executive director of the Business-Higher Education Forum, also spoke about the requirements for 21st century liberal arts graduates.

Next Wednesday, May 20, the campus will gather again. This year, we will hear from Bill Spellman, the executive director of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), who will share with us an update on COPLAC activities and offer his insights regarding opportunities that lie ahead for public liberal arts colleges. 

To date, these collective planning efforts have resulted in an array of accomplishments on campus including new majors, increased community partnerships, enhanced visibility and a greater attention to long-term sustainability.