MCLA Receives National Recognition for Community Service


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) this year was recognized as a leader among institutions of higher education nationally for its support of volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement throughout the community. The College was admitted to the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). 

"MCLA is pleased to be recognized by CNCS for the good work our students, faculty and staff are engaged in throughout the Northern Berkshires," said MCLA President Mary K. Grant. "This meaningful service not only strengthens our community, but prepares our students for a lifetime of responsible citizenship as they go forward to make a difference in their own communities."

"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS.

"Congratulations to MCLA and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service," Corvington said.

MCLA has long been involved with community service, including its annual Community Day of Service, which started in 1992. Throughout the year, students are involved in numerous other efforts, such as volunteer work at the Louison House in Adams and with Habitat for Humanity. Students also lend their time and skills to work with community youth in a variety of programs that include the Write Stuff, a mentoring program through which MCLA students help middle school youth to improve their writing.  

"There is a culture and expectation at MCLA that students will be involved in civic engagement as part of their liberal arts education," said Spencer Moser, coordinator of MCLA's Center for Service and Citizenship. "This could take the form of internships, service learning, community service programs, spring break service trips or a one-day, high-impact, volunteer event.  

"Both students and the community gain from this," Moser continued. "Students enrich their academic learning; learn hands-on; develop critical, professional skills; all the while making a positive difference in their community. Organizations and leaders help guide the student's learning and partner with MCLA to ensure student service is helping address community needs." 

On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion.  Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.

CNCS is a partner with the nation's colleges and universities to support community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment.  CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes, and in extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, go to