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Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — For the third consecutive year, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is ranked as a Top Ten College by U.S. News & World Report. MCLA ranks ninth on the organization’s list of top public colleges and also appears on U.S. News’ list of Top National Liberal Arts Colleges.

The college also is ranked among the top 50 public and private schools on U.S. News’ Top Performers on Social Mobility list, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants, typically awarded to students whose families make less than $50,000. Only eight other public colleges are ranked higher than MCLA on this list.

The college has appeared on U.S. News’ list of top public colleges for eight of the last 10 years.

“I am especially proud that MCLA has continued to be ranked among the nation’s top public schools,” MCLA President James Birge said. “This year, during a pandemic, in addition to providing a high-quality education, we were able to distribute more than $257,000 to students who found themselves dire economic circumstances due to COVID-19 through the MCLA Resiliency Fund. MCLA was also awarded a federal TRIO grant, which will provide $1.3 million to enhance our support for under-resourced students for the next five years. These grant activities will enhance MCLA’s commitment to equity for our students by providing support services to help students achieve their academic goals. I am thankful to my colleagues for their ongoing commitment to providing our students an accessible, affordable education that elevates lives.”

U.S. News and World Report ranks colleges based on indicators that reflect a school’s student body, faculty, and financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution achieves its mission of educating students. For more information, visit usnews.com/colleges.

“The Commonwealth is lucky to have an institution like MCLA, and we are proud of this achievement and the impact MCLA has on our community,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said. “As the Commonwealth’s public liberal-arts college, MCLA has demonstrated enormous commitment to access, equity, and academic excellence. MCLA is a key partner in driving the economy of the Berkshires and sustaining Massachusetts’ national leadership in higher education.”

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Berkshire Community College (BCC) have signed a new articulation agreement, creating a pathway for students who complete BCC’s associate degree in early childhood education to enroll in MCLA’s liberal-arts degree-completion program in children, families, and society.

Students who complete this associate-degree program at MCLA will also be able to enter MCLA with a core-requirement waiver. Students must graduate with at least a 2.5 grade point average to qualify.

This agreement means students who qualify will be able to earn their associate and bachelor’s degrees as well as early education and care certifications. These credentials support requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC). This pathway can also result in a lead teacher certification from the DEEC.

“This is an exciting pathway for future educators,” MCLA President James Birge said. “MCLA began as a normal school, and the college remains committed to creating opportunities and pathways for educators. MCLA is proud to be involved with BCC in these educational efforts to meet the needs of districts in the Berkshires, in the region, and in Massachusetts.”

Patricia Kay, chair of BCC’s Education Department, added that, among first-time community-college students, the desire to transfer to a four-year school is strong.

“The transfer pathway, an academic avenue for advancement, is important for students to consider. The ease of the transfer process remains key to students wanting to acquire a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “BCC and MCLA have constructed a transfer articulation agreement that builds on skills acquired in the first two college years, making the transition to the four-year program efficient and effective for students. We are pleased to celebrate this articulation agreement with MCLA and look forward to collaborating now and in the future to enhance the quality of educators in Berkshire County.”

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — In partnership with the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), the MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities plans a two-part webinar series on consecutive Thursdays, Aug. 6 and 13, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., featuring Aruna D’Souza, Genevieve Gaignard, and Ben Ripley, who will address conversations on race and transformation within art institutions.

This webinar series is free and open to the public. Participants can register by clicking here.

In part one on Aug. 6, artists Ripley and Gaignard will participate in a live Zoom conversation where they will introduce each other with images of their work to explore the intersections between their artistic practices. Each artist will pose questions to one another to establish a conversation around ‘unlearning’ socially conditioned ways of being; they will then open up the space to invite participant inquiry and dialogue.

Both artists are committed to exploring this platform and using it as a vehicle to address difficult questions around inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the context of the art world as well in the Berkshires.

This joint session will be the basis for a follow-up panel discussion on Aug. 13 to be moderated by writer D’Souza, who will moderate a panel discussion between Gaignard and Ripley; each artist will continue the conversation by talking about how they address themes of race and transformation within their work while also expanding the conversation beyond art to involve inquiry from the audience.

Following the webinar series, participants will receive additional resources and suggested readings selected by D’Souza to continue the conversation within their own communities.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS —The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will hold a webinar offering information about the college’s certificate programs on Wednesday, July 8 at 11 a.m. This webinar is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

MCLA offers three certificate programs with classes at the college’s Pittsfield location: network security, principles of accounting, and the graduate certificate in business administration.

For both network security and principles of accounting, applicants need only a high-school diploma or the HiSET credential. Both programs may be completed in just over one year for students attending part-time. All courses in the certificate programs are eligible for transfer to continued study in MCLA’s undergraduate programs. The five-course graduate certificate in business administration provides either standalone advanced certification in business administration or fulfills the first 15 credits toward an MBA at MCLA.

“This certificate is appropriate for working professionals who may or may not be interested in pursuing the MBA, but for whom graduate certification in business would enhance their career potential,” said Nancy Ovitsky, director of MCLA’s MBA program.

Funding for MCLA’s certificate programs may be available for those who qualify through the MassHire Career Center. Federal financial aid is available for the two undergraduate certificates for those who qualify.

For more information, e-mail [email protected], call (413) 662-5575, or visit mcla.edu/certificates or mcla.edu/mba.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announced it has received two awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), a global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement. The college received an Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Performance in the category of Public Liberal Arts Institutions and a Circle of Excellence Award for its 2018-19 President’s Report. This is the first year MCLA has been recognized by this program.

The annual Educational Fundraising Awards recognize exemplary development programs based on a blind review of data submitted to the CASE Voluntary Support of Education survey. Winners are selected based on factors and variables that include, but are not limited to, patterns of growth, overall breadth of fundraising, amount raised per student, and alumni participation.

The Circle of Excellence Awards recognize institutions whose staff members advanced their institutions through innovative, inspiring, and creative ideas. The awards acknowledge superior accomplishments that have lasting impact, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, and deliver exceptional results.

CASE judges commended the 2018-19 President’s Report, which was developed by MCLA’s Department of Marketing and Communications staff, on its theme and narrative flow, effective use of vintage and modern photographs and design elements, concise but not spare use of color, and the overall feeling of community it expressed, among other praise.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Gallery 51 will hold an online conversation about artist Titus Kaphar’s painting “Analogous Colors,” which graced the June 15, 2020 cover of Time magazine. The gallery will explore this piece through the lens of the nation’s recent events on Wednesday, June 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., using VTS Visual Thinking Strategies.

During this event, art will be the vehicle to create and sustain non-judgmental dialogue, with an opportunity to learn from one another’s observations.

Gallery 51 is committed to creating safe spaces for discourse and dialogue with, about, and through art. If not now, gallery leadership asserts, then never will people be able to engage in honest discussion about race and the experience of black and brown people in the U.S.

To register for this event, click here. For more information about upcoming programs, click here.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — This year, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge is going virtual, and the MCLA community is invited to serve as judges. The three finalists’ pitches are available to watch and review online. Voting will be open until 9 a.m. on Friday, May 8. Any member of the MCLA community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) will be eligible to vote once during this period.

The three students who will be pitching their business ideas are seniors David Flight (“Settling the States”), Kimberly Granito (“Detailing Dream”), and Sierra Lamonde (“Pyrography Crafts”).

The students were coached through a series of deliverables — determining the solution to the problem, developing a budget and business plan as the road map for the project or business, and presenting before a panel of judges.

The winners will be announced at 6 p.m. on May 8. The first-place project will be awarded $7,500, second place $5,000, and third place $2,500 toward startup funding to cover inventory, equipment, and marketing for their business.