Increasing Aspirations


This year's "Berkshire County Goes to College" events began on Friday, April 3, at MCLA. The initiative - which provides the opportunity for every sixth-grade student in the County to visit a local college campus in early April - is part of an effort to raise awareness of college in Berkshire County residents at an early age.

Over the course of the inaugural "Berkshire County Goes to College" events in April 2008, approximately 1,200 sixth graders visited a college campus. This year, nearly 1,400 students are expected to participate.

The sixth-grade students will visit one of four Berkshire County college campuses - MCLA, Williams College, Berkshire Community College (BCC) or Bard College at Simon's Rock. The visit is part of the Berkshire Higher Education Passport - a plan to help improve access to a college education. The Passport was developed to expose Berkshire County students to the concept of college and assist in raising the aspirations of all students. 

On April 3, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., students from John T. Reid Middle School in Pittsfield and Clarksburg Elementary School visited MCLA, where activities included a chemistry experiment, some hands-on fun in the physics lab, a visit to the College's television studio where they produced a mock TV show, opportunities to meet with faculty and students, and a tour of campus. New this year is a "Shakespeare and Life" workshop with MCLA English Professor Rosanne Denhard and her students.

On April 8, students from Nessacus Regional Middle School in Dalton and Abbott Memorial School in Florida will visit MCLA.

Students from Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield, Cheshire Elementary School, Hancock Elementary School, Williamstown Elementary School will visit BCC on April 8. Also on April 8, students from Lanesborough Elementary School, Silvio O. Conte Middle School in North Adams, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School (BArT) in Adams and Lenox Memorial Middle/High School will visit Williams College.

On April 15, students from Richmond Consolidated School, Lee Elementary School, Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington, Undermountain Elementary School in Sheffield and Adams Memorial Middle School will visit Bard College at Simon's Rock.

The Berkshire Compact for Higher Education was developed to address the higher education needs of Berkshire County residents and employers. The Compact is comprised of members from key area employment sectors, including cultural institutions, finance, healthcare and specialty manufacturing, along with school superintendents, college administrators and faculty, municipal officials and representatives of nonprofit organizations.

For more information, contact MCLA's Office of Admission at 662-5410 or go to compact .