Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

North Adams, MA, USA

Reviews

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

3.43 Average Rating

Katlynn from Bucksport, ME

researching this school
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
the information that I have seen on this school is outstanding the size counts a lot. I feel I can learn here and get a fun college experience
Will enjoy being here
I think I can fit in here the size works to my advantage because it is small, and i was raised in a small town I will be like going to my high school just way may more expensive
Bang for the buck
I think this school is worth the price. it is a lot cheaper then most schools and i like that
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Megan from North Adams, MA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
There are so many opportunities here for students, from studying abroad, to getting jobs on campus, to getting involved in club activities. The student-to-faculty ratio is small so the professors really get to know you by the time you're an upperclassman. The intimate campus and the individual attention received makes M.C.L.A. the perfect place for getting an education, gaining opportunities, and being a successful student.
Tips for prospective students
The single most important thing to do at M.C.L.A. is attend class. Attendance is very important, especially in small classes where participation is a major part of the grade. Also, get to know the professors; they can help you achieve any goal you put your mind to.
Academic Rigor
This really depends on both the teacher and how much you want to push yourself. If you're okay with doing the bare minimum to pass, then the school isn't challenging. However, if you are actively interested in challenging yourself and seeking a great education, there is work to be done! The teachers will provide thoughtful insights at the end of class and thoroughly review material. Homework is not assigned to keep the student busy, but rather to further their learning outside of the classroom.
Dorm Life
The dorms at M.C.L.A. are fantastic. Freshmen have the option of living in Hoosac Hall or Berkshire Towers. Hoosac Hall is the more typical college dorm, with large halls filled with student rooms. Berkshire Towers, where I stayed, has three suites per floor. Each suite has eight students and a common room. It is a comfortable environment for a nervous college freshman, and making friends is very easy.
Food and Dining
Though there will always be people who complain about food, and though college food will never be as good as a home-cooked meal, M.C.L.A's dining services are pretty darn tasty! I have enjoyed many of the meals that they cook up. There is a wide variety of food every day and for every meal. Each meal is all-you-can-eat, so whether you're going in for a quick bite or staying awhile to chow down, the food is easily accessible and there is plenty of it. It is also refreshed quickly, so that students get good, hot meals.
What to do for fun
Downtown North Adams offers bowling, dining, movies, and shuttles to the mall. Though the town is small, students find plenty of entertainment. On-campus fun times include trips to New York and Six Flags, dances, movies on the quad, and sporting events.
Bang for the buck
M.C.L.A. is priced like a state school and acts like a private school. It is personal and has a small student-to-faculty ratio, and there are many opportunities available. The faculty respect the students and respond to their problems and questions promptly. The teachers are absolutely fantastic, and it is easy to get to know them. If you attend M.C.L.A., the world will open up to you.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There are few unusual traditions that I know of, though every year there is a Drag Dance. It provides free food and lets students cross-dress for an evening of hilarity!
A fun location on campus, at least in the winter, is Hoosac Hill. Located behind Hoosac Hall, this hill is the perfect place for sledding!
Great for these types of students
M.C.L.A. is great for students who want an affordable school with a small campus that will nurture their success. It is also perfect for the student that isn't sure about what career they would like, or even what major! The school has a large number of Undeclared students, and offers a variety of classes to them that will help in their important decision of choosing a major.
Clubs and Activities
There are about fifty clubs on campus. M.C.L.A. has everything from an Anime Club, to an Equestrian Club, to Theatre, to Dance, to Arts and Crafts Club. At the beginning of each Fall semester, each club sets up a table on the quad to recruit new members and advertise themselves. This event is simply called The Club Fair, and there are always free sundaes. You'll find that there really is a club for everyone, and making a new club is easy!
Greek Life
Though I am not affiliated with any sorority, I do know that M.C.L.A. has several fraternities and sororities available. Most of them require Sophomore status before a student can pledge, while others allow Freshmen in. Many of the Greek organizations have houses just off of the campus, and will have routine meetings to assist the members academically and socially.
Campus Safety
Public Safety does a good job of protecting the M.C.L.A. campus. Every once in a great while there will be a burglary in one of the townhouses, but that is almost always because the students left a door unlocked. As long as the students are smart and lock the doors, the campus is a safe place. Even walking around at night is safe; the community is small, so people watch out for each other. (The campus is also very well lit and has emergency call phones.)
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Benjamin from Troy, NY

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
MCLA is a great school for students who need or want one on one attention. The classrooms are about 20-30 people so the teachers get to know you well right away. I personally love having a smaller class size because you are not just a number and it is easier to become engaged with the teacher. I have learned a great amount of information from every one of my classes and the work load is not horrible.
Am enjoying being here
I personally love MCLA. My group of friends are probably one of my greatest reasons for wanting to go back. It is a small school so you become closer with your friends than you would at a larger school. You also have a lot of freedom to become active in the school. So far I have joined the concerts committee and got the rapper Sam Adams to our school, and I have started the first MCLA photo gallery through the photo club. The possibilities at this school are endless and there is always faculty or staff that are willing to help.
Bang for the buck
MCLA Is probably one of the only schools that can offer its great resources for a price this low. I considered MCLA at first because of its low price, but when I visited I fell even more in love. The scenery, the people, and the campus itself make you feel at home away from home.
Tips for prospective students
For potential students, I would recommend getting to class on time every day, it helps with your grade, classes are only five minutes from the dorm rooms, and the teachers take notice and you get on their good side. Get involved in clubs that you enjoy, do not just join clubs for the number. Clubs become more beneficial when you actually enjoy them and want to participate. Attend all of the first days activities because it is the best way to meet your friends early on when everyone is still looking to find their place. Paper plates, plastic cups and dining ware are essentials if you are going to be living in a dorm room since it is difficult to wash dishes in the bathroom. Oh, and one last tip; become friends with an upperclassmen so they can drive you grocery stores such as Wal-Mart, or Price Chopper.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who likes to be active or participate in events. Anyone who enjoys the arts or is studious. Anyone who enjoys nature and beautiful scenery. This college is pretty much perfect for anyone except for those who sit in their rooms and play video games all day because then they begin to feel lonely. No one at MCLA should ever feel alone or bored with the amount of activities going on. Be active, be studious, and most of all have fun along the way!
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Gillian from Easthampton, MA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
MCLA is a great school to go to if you want to be recognized as an individual and not just a number. The faculty and staff are dedicated to each student's success in and out of the classroom. You don't go anywhere on campus without seeing a smile; it's a close-knit community.
Tips for prospective students
Attendance is a HUGE part of success. Classes are small, the campus is small, and the professors know you by name.

Make sure you have warm clothes and a good winter coat. It gets cold very quickly in the Berkshires.

Not all cell carriers works here. AT&T has the best coverage.

Don't hide who you are. Be yourself. It is a very accepting school. The campus is also very diverse for it's size. Put yourself out there.

Take advantage of all the stuff you can get into for free with your student ID card: Mass MOCA, Big Y silver savings club card, discounts in town, etc.
Academic Rigor
Attendance is a MUST. Your grades depend on it.

Time-management and planning are important if you want to succeed.

At MCLA, you can explore many different interests at one time. It's a liberal arts college.

Buy your books online from textbook websites. It saves a ton of money.

Professors are very accessible. They want to see you succeed. Many live right in town. They are heavily involved in the activities on campus.
Dorm Life
Don't be afraid to choose the suites over the traditional dorms. MCLA has traditional dorms, suites and townhouses as part of the residential facilities on campus. Some floors are themed based on interests. If you are unhappy with your living situation on campus, you have the opportunity to change at the beginning of each month. There are also some single rooms available.
Food and Dining
It's not that bad, it just gets old. You really appreciate your mom's cooking. :)

As part of your meal plan, you get money each semester for the P.O.D. It's our on-campus convenience store. Make this money last the whole semester and try not to blow through it right away. You can also use this at Subway or the coffee shop.

We also get Blazer Bucks. You can use this for delivery or eating at many local places in town.

Our food service has just changed to no trans-fats.
What to do for fun
The downtown area of North Adams offers bowling, art museums, local shops, a movie theater, coffee shops and restaurants. There is a Walmart nearby, and the campus shuttle will go here. It will also take you to/from the mall (about 30-40 minutes away).

SAC (student activities council) provides free on-campus activities once or twice each month. Activities off-campus will have a minimal cost. I went zip-lining for $20.

Mass MOCA is very nearby. It is awesome.

Some classes also incorporate off-campus activities such as plays or concerts.
Bang for the buck
It's like a private school for a public school price.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a ceremony when all new students walk through the gates on campus before they start taking actual classes. The tradition is that the students avoid walking through them again until their graduation. It's bad luck to walk through them earlier.
Great for these types of students
MCLA has a wonderfully diverse student body. Be who you are!
Clubs and Activities
If there isn't a club that you are interested in, you can create your own. MCLA has tons to offer.
Campus Safety
Excellent! They are very good about getting to you in a timely manner. They interact with you throughout campus. The public safety on campus is approachable and accessible.

Alerts come through emails, text messaging, etc. (inclement weather, bomb threat, etc.)

Blue boxes are located throughout campus. If you don't feel safe, press it and someone will come to escort you to your destination.

You can also call public safety for safe escorts if you feel unsafe to walk alone.
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Kate

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
As an English Major, MCLA has been more than able to teach me the tools that I need to further pursue my career. I truly believe MCLA is bringing me closer and closer to obtaining that goal. I believe no matter what the major or concentration this school will teach you all the tools you need to pursue your dreams.
Am enjoying being here
I believe what has kept me coming back is that I am able to be myself at this school. MCLA is an arts school, which gives it this great sense of creative freedom. The atmosphere, teachers, and students all make this experience worth while. It is true what they say about how the friends you make at college will last you a life time. I feel at MCLA I have met my most best friends.
Bang for the buck
This can be answered in one word: YES.
Tips for prospective students
Do what you want but go with an open mind to new ideas, people, clubs, classes and everything else the school has to offer. Be open and willing to explore and try new things. Also, get yourself out there! Talk to teachers, do good in your classes and make friends with them after all these people can help recommend you for jobs down the road, they also could have the key to some very important doors you need opened.
Great for these types of students
Great for artistic and free students who are looking for a quality education that does not bind them and restrain them. If you want to learn in a fun way and have the freedom to learn, grow, in a creative artistic setting MCLA is your college right from the start.
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