'A real eye-opener'


Individual Enrichment Program students recently toured MASS MoCA. Seen here are (l-r): Caitlin Vasquez of Middletown, NY; Paul Miranda of Boston, MA; Christine Brandao of Fall River, MA; Matt Kahn of Rensselaer, NY; and Deyana Walker of Hudson, NY.




Classes don't begin until September 9, but a group of incoming freshmen already has experienced much of what MCLA has to offer. Because they attended the College's Individual Enrichment Program (IEP), 36 first-year students should have an easy transition this fall because the three-week summer program gave them a jump-start on college.

As part of the program, these students lived in the dorms, earned college credits by taking classes, and were introduced to the campus and the surrounding area through cultural and recreational activities.

Christina Brandao of Fall River, MA, says that because the IEP offers a structured experience, it taught her how to manage her time more efficiently.

"The college writing course that I took prepared me for the fall and gave me a chance to get a feel of how much writing we will be required to do," Brandao says. "The work load is different from high school, so it's a wake-up call of how intense college is going to be. This experience has made me a better student than the one I was in high school."

Paul Miranda of Boston says the strategies he learned for both English and math benefitted all of the program participants. 

"I did well in all of my classes and got great output because of what I put into it," Miranda says. "IEP allows the student to feel like he or she is in control and that doing well in school is up to them. The best part is that we did it on our own and saw the improvement almost instantaneously."

At IEP, "I was pushed far out of my comfort zone, and for the better. The program as a whole really benefitted me. I have learned so many new study skills," says Matiqua Liles, also of Boston.

Nalaja Caesar of Highland Mills, NY, called the program "a real eye-opener" that allowed her to discover her limits and capabilities. "I now know what I both need and could do during the fall," she says.

Shauchalinette Capo of Lawrence, MA, notes that while the IEP experience was both rigorous and demanding, it afforded her the opportunity to better herself as she became acclimated with college life and met future classmates.

"We are all here struggling and succeeding together," Capo says. "We all come from different backgrounds and have distinct personalities but are united with the idea of doing well in and out of the classroom. Meeting everyone, including staff, has been one of my favorite parts of this program."

Quincy Goodwin, another Boston native, agrees. "I enjoy getting to know new people and learning how to live in harmony with others," he says. "So far, it has been great getting to know these hard-working people."

"I feel like we are going to be friends for a very long time," says Brandao. "The program brings people from different places and different backgrounds which made us into a huge family."

"The work was intriguing and the program provided me with a sense of reassurance that I can actually make it successfully through college," Capo says. "With the enrichment activities, workshops, tutors, teachers, and resources, there is no possible way that a student cannot succeed here."

For more information, contact the Learning Services Center at (413) 662-5389 or the Admissions Office at 800-969-6252.