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Summer Courses Save Students Time & Money


At first glance, it might appear as through Ben Gamache, who recently graduated from a college in New York with a degree in health and exercise science, and MCLA student Davis Turell ’17, a double major in psychology and business, have little in common.

However, both took summer courses at MCLA. This allowed Gamache to graduate with his class on time, and will permit Turell to graduate from MCLA a semester early. In addition to reaching their goals, both of them saved time and money.

Gamache took two chemistry classes – required by his college – from MCLA. In addition to allowing him to graduate with his class on time, the completed courses brought him one step closer to graduate school and his goal of becoming a chiropractor because they also counted on his graduate school application.

According to Gamache, a North Adams, Mass., resident, who attended the chemistry classes last summer at the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, “It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I recommend that others take a summer course at MCLA if they want to take advantage of the quality of these classes, and to get a leg up on school requirements.”

Since the end of her freshman year, Turell, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., has taken two courses each summer at MCLA. This summer, she will take two more classes. Unlike Gamache, who attended both of his classes in a physical classroom, Turell took the majority of her courses online.

Like Turell, business administration major Drasana Johnson ’17 of Watervliet, N.Y., plans to take two summer courses. In addition to benefitting her academically and financially, she expects they will help her to achieve her goal of graduating a full year early.

Christa M. Sprague ’19, an English and fine and performing arts major from North Adams, Mass., took a summer course at MCLA through the Dual Enrollment program while she was still in high school.

“I came full time to MCLA this year with a semester’s worth of credits already under my belt,” Sprague explained.

Although the Spanish II course she took before her senior year of high school moved quickly, “I appreciate summer courses because they keep me on track for my degree. I also like to think of myself as a ‘year-long learner,’ because I love to learn and cannot see myself not receiving an education, even for summer break.”  

This summer, Sprague is registered to take at least one class at MCLA. In contrast to the Spanish class she took last year, this one will be online.

“I thought it would be interesting to try, and I love the thought of being able to learn from basically anywhere with MCLA Canvas accessibility,” she said.

English major Rachel Belanger ’19 of Freetown, Mass., was excited to discover that MCLA offers summer classes online, which she will take because she lives too far away from campus to attend in person. The online courses will allow Belanger to continue employment at her summer job.

However, Lianne Gallant ’19, an English major from Peabody, Mass., opted to take her summer classes – in socio-cultural anthropology and creative writing/poetry – in a traditional classroom setting.

“I find the live classroom to be more conducive to the exchange of ideas. I chose to take summer classes because I like to be intellectually stimulated all year round, even though the pace is likely quicker due to the shorter amount of time,” Gallant explained. “Taking two classes, as opposed to a full course load, will allow me to focus on and excel in those courses.”

MCLA offers three summer sessions: May 23 - June 30, July 5 - Aug. 11, and June 20 - July 29. For more information, go to