Preparing future leaders


This year's participants in MCLA's Individual Enrichment Program (IEP) have yet to begin their freshman year, but if the example of their predecessors holds true, you will find the campus' future leaders among them.

The three-week summer program gave the 31 students a jump start on their college career. They 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.

According to Theresa Miller, director of the program and MCLA's Learning Services Center, IEP participants gain an awareness of academic standards from a college point of view and of the resources and opportunities they have to become involved and to take leadership roles on campus.

As a result, it's no surprise that many of the students who attended IEP go on to shine as leaders on campus.

"It's partly because of the kind of camaraderie that develops between them during the summer session," Miller explained. "There's a confidence built in the support they have to get involved. They understand what's available, too, and how to go about getting involved in things or to start up something new."

Professor Jim Andersen said that the most important aspect of the program is that it affords students the chance to excel in an extremely demanding, yet supportive environment.

"This approach, coupled with further support during the academic year is a proven model for success," Andersen said. "IEP allows students to use their talents and broaden their horizons."

 "At first, I was not the most thrilled about spending my summer in a classroom being far away from home but I have had fun being here," said Batya Mizrachi Im '14 of Sharon, Mass. "The work has been overwhelming at times but it has helped prepare me for the long hours of homework and studying that I will have in the fall."

 "I have met many new people who have all been open and friendly towards me," Mizarhi continued. "Every single person here has not judged anyone at all based on who they are or where they're from, which I think can be very hard to find. Everyone has truly grown close and we're all like one big family."

After attending IEP, Colleen Shea '14 of Worcester, Mass., feels better prepared academically. "I now have a better feel for the school itself. Both of these things make me feel more confident in succeeding at MCLA," she said.

Staci Davidson '14 of Rockland, Mass., and Alberto Roman '14 of Worcester, Mass., said the best thing about their IEP experience was the opportunity to make some great friends.

Jennifer Jean Baptiste '14 of Revere, Mass, agreed: "What I most enjoy about my IEP experience is the new friends I've made and the bond I've created with my fellow classmates. The classes at IEP are preparing me immensely for college in the fall. My vocabulary has improved and I have excelled in math. I am very fortunate in having this experience. It has taught me a lot about responsibility and time management. It allowed me to connect with my peers, while also strengthening my academic skills. IEP is a great program."

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