MCLA Offers Summer Course to Area Teachers on Historical, Industrial, Cultural and Environmental Influences of the Region


NORTH ADAMS, MASS - The Continuing Education Department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), invites teachers to participate in The Upper Housatonic Valley Experience: Summer 2010, July 6-9 and 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Pittsfield Intermodal Center.  

This three-credit graduate course is intended for Berkshire County and Northwestern Connecticut middle/high school teachers of history, social studies, English, science, business and industrial technology.  

The Upper Housatonic River Valley Experience integrates various aspects of the heritage of the Upper Housatonic River Valley - the social, cultural, economic and industrial history of the valley, the ecology of the river throughout that history, and the symbiotic relationship between that history and ecology.  Instructors will assist students in designing projects that will infuse this information into their classrooms while meeting state standards.   

Field trips to local cultural, environmental, and business sites and presentations by guest lecturers will be a major portion of the course. 

Participants will review their current curricula and develop standards-based lessons related to the Upper Housatonic River Valley content that integrate contextual applications and motivational instructional strategies.  Individuals, school-based and/or content-based teams will develop written lesson plans suitable for dissemination.   

Project proposals will be presented on the last day of class with final projects submitted electronically by Aug. 2.  

The course content can be applied to any river watershed area and will be team-taught by Nancy Ovitsky, MCLA business; Emily DeMoor, MCLA education; and Thomas Tyning, BCC environmental science.   

The course is sponsored by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, Inc., in cooperation with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Community College (BCC), MCLA, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Pipeline.  

The course cost upon registration is $750. A stipend that covers the cost of registration will be provided to participants who successfully complete the course. Enrollment is capped at 16 participants so those interested should register early. Deadline for registration is June 4. Note: Funding is available from the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area toward the cost of transportation for follow up student field trips; details will be made available during the course. 

More information and registration form can be downloaded off the Web site: uhrve .  Fax or e-mail registration to the MCLA registrar's office as indicated on the form.  For registration assistance, contact STEM Coordinator Lisa Provencher at MCLA, at 413.662.5525 or All other questions can be directed to Program Coordinator  Julie Hannum at