In June 2001, the New York City Board of Education and Bard College jointly created Bard High School Early College (BHSEC). An alternative to the traditional high school, BHSEC is founded on the belief that many young people are ready and eager to do serious college work at age sixteen.
BHSEC graduates complete most of the high school program and the required New York State Regents Exams in the first two years. Qualified ninth and tenth grade students are eligible for entry into the early college program. At the end of four years, students will have completed 60 college credits and received the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree in the liberal arts and sciences from Bard College as well as a New York State Regents diploma.