MCLA Receives Approval for Student Support Services Funding


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) received news this week of approval of $1,452,580 in funding over a five year grant for student support services from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Federal TRIO Program (Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds). 

Having progressed through a highly competitive selection process, MCLA competed against many colleges nationally to be considered for this funding to help support student success by increasing retention and graduation rates of eligible students. MCLA was first awarded student support services funding in 1980 and has offered a successful program every year since then.  

According to Congressman Olver, "MCLA's unique status as the designated liberal arts college of the Massachusetts state university system will be strengthened by continuing its student support program, which leads to success for students."

MCLA's student support service program, the Individual Enrichment Program, provides academic support and enrichment to students, offers specialized academic advising and promotes the development of a college and peer support network. Students served by the Individual Enrichment Program are primarily first-generation college attendees, economically disadvantaged, or disabled. These students are identified by high school counselors as having strong potential for success in college.

"This investment will help MCLA with financial aid, tutoring and academic advising for students that need it most. For 30 years, MCLA's Student Support Services program has given countless students the leg-up needed to succeed in college and I'm thrilled the Department of Education is providing them with the resources to keep it up," said Senator Kerry.

A unique component of the Individual Enrichment Program is its transitional Summer Session. This compressed semester enables students to hone their academic skills in a structured environment in preparation for the expectations of college. At the same time, it provides opportunities for cultural enrichment and acclimatization to campus residential life. The Summer Session provides students with a valuable "head start," both academically and socially, to the college experience. With help from a team of dedicated professionals and peer tutor counselors, incoming freshmen develop the skills necessary to be successful in college. Statistics indicate that Student Support Services recipients are twice as likely to remain in college as those without intervention and are retained through graduation at a higher rate than most average non-risk students.

In addition to the Summer Session, MCLA's student support program offers structured academic support which includes developmental courses, peer tutoring and supplemental instruction in select courses. Group workshops encompass college life and issues as well as specialized academic advising with financial literacy relevant to college expenses. The program strives to collaborate to support persistence, achievement, engagement, and graduation of participating students according to Cynthia Brown, vice president of academic affairs.  

"Working with MCLA's Admissions Office, this program reaches out to high school guidance counselors, educational opportunity centers, and TRIO programs that operate at the high school level to provide the opportunity for a college education to students who otherwise may not have even enrolled. Through intensive and individualized support the program facilitates student achievement, engagement and leadership," Brown said. 

To learn more about student support services at MCLA contact the Learning Services Center at 413-662-5389 or the Admissions Office 413-662-5410 or visit http:// iesummer