Student Launches Early College Education


Christina Brandao '13 of Fall River, Mass., launched her college education earlier than many freshmen last summer when she participated in MCLA's Individual Enrichment Program (IEP). Brandao, who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in sports and event management, says her participation in IEP not only helped her become acquainted with the MCLA campus, she learned to develop skills such as time management and organization.

A federally funded program, IEP incorporates a three-week-long residential summer component for selected students who plan to attend MCLA in the fall.

"Academically, IEP gave me a jump start on how some of the workload would be instead of coming into the college atmosphere with no clue in the world," she says. "I've met some of the most amazing people that went through the journey with me that I am very close to and I know that we will all be close as the years come."

While still in high school and looking for the right college to attend, Brandao considered several campuses. At first, MCLA was not her first choice, but a visit to campus quickly changed her mind.

"When I saw the campus' size, met some people here, and realized that MCLA has a business department that fits my concentration, I felt like I was in the right place," Brandao says.

"MCLA is a good fit for me," she continues. "I feel that if I were in a bigger school I wouldn't be able to get things done and I wouldn't have much support as I do now," she explains. "Also, everyone is friendly and the campus has a strong community that many people are involved in. I like the fact that I feel like I belong and not have to feel like I'm just another person, that I am actually someone."

Brandao is involved with a number of organizations on campus, including the NeXXus Step Team, the college's dance company, the Multicultural Admissions Student Squad (MASS) and the Black Student Union.

Through her involvement with MASS, Brandao leads prospective students on tours of the campus and provides them with her perspective regarding MCLA. She also hosts youth through the Multicultural Overnight Program. This two-day experience for high school juniors and seniors focuses on multicultural experiences at MCLA and provides opportunities to connect with students, faculty and staff through a variety of activities.

"Being a part of these organizations makes me feel like I am a part of MCLA. It gives me the chance to meet new people and to do the things I love to do, like dancing," she says.

As a sophomore next fall, Brandao will continue to be involved as she serves as a resident advisor.

"I feel like I will be able to make a difference not only in the campus, but to help other students if they need it," she says.