MCLA Plans for Students’ Fall 2020 Return to Campus


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —Today, MCLA President James F. Birge, Ph.D., wrote to the MCLA community announcing the College’s intention to welcome students to campus and resume in-person classes in September.

This announcement and return plan is the result of work done by MCLA’s Return to Campus Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators representing all aspects of the campus community.

“Although returning to campus this fall presents some risk, we will work to make the campus experience as safe as possible for everyone; of course, this means we will have to significantly shift our way of learning, teaching, and working,” said President Birge in his message. “We are prepared to change this plan if confronted with new information or recommendations from the state.”

In What Students Want This Fall (NICHE), survey data collected from 10,000 high school and college students that reveal 78% of respondents find the experience of in-class learning this fall appealing, while one-third would transfer out of their institution if colleges continued online course delivery. 

“We know the residential and in-person class experience is important to our students, students at state universities across the Commonwealth, and nationally,” said Birge. “MCLA’s tuition and room and board costs are well below the typical private university, and new measures like single rooms for all students and free laundry facilities will allow us to stay as close to the traditional residential experience for our students, while also increasing measures around health and safety.” 

The message is available at 

MCLA continues to enroll students for the Fall 2020 semester. Though Office of Admission in-person events and tours are on hold, students can take a virtual tour, set up a meeting with an admission counselor, and apply for free. To learn more about the process, visit