Each spring, through the Berkshire County Goes to College initiative, sixth graders from all of Berkshire County's public schools visit the campuses of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Berkshire Community College (BCC), Williams College and Bard College at Simon's Rock. By touring a campus and speaking with college students and faculty, students are encouraged to aspire toward taking all the necessary steps toward pursuing higher education. Each year, between 1,100 and 1,200 students participate. Activities include campus tours, demonstrations and workshops related to areas such as science, arts, technology and careers, meals in campus dining facilities and dorm visits. Funding for Berkshire County Goes to College is generously provided by the Berkshire United Way.
In addition, third grade students visit MCLA and BCC each year to
learn about college life. These visits have been very well received by
young students, who are eager to see what is offered on a college
campus. Third graders from Brayton, Greylock, Sullivan and Clarksburg Schools in
North Adams visited MCLA on December 4, 2013. Third graders from Conte, Crosby and Morningside Schools in Pittsfield visited BCC on
December 19, 2013. Berkshire United Way contributes toward funding for the third grade college visits.