Civic engagement is at the heart of Bard Early College, providing students with the opportunity for experiential learning. Through courses and programming, Bard Early College helps students learn about ways to solve issues in their communities as well as help promote awareness about their endeavors.
Civic Engagement Courses
BHSEC Baltimore and Queens each offer a civic engagement course where students learn the theory of civic engagement, movements past and present as well as learn how to work with their communities. The courses are designed to bring theory to practice and allow students to learn how to effectively make change.
Community Action Awards
Since 2018, Bard Early College has been supporting student efforts to engage with communities locally, nationally and internationally by providing summer funding to participate in internships that address issues impacting people and communities around the world.
The Early College Community Action Awards (CAA) program provides stipends to support student internships, pre-professional experiences, and community action projects. Internships should address issue(s) related to the broad field of civic engagement, including education, government, justice, human rights, media, public policy, the arts and social entrepreneurship.
Community Action Award recipients have interned at the following organizations: The Catskill Mill, Food and Water Watch Maryland, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai / The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures, 9/11 Museum and Memorial and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy.
Engaged Liberal Arts and Science Courses
In collaboration with the Bard Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), Bard Early College seeks to connect student’s classroom experiences with the community to enhance learning and promote active citizenship. Courses bring theory to practice by linking coursework, critical thinking, and engagement activities. A form of experiential learning, ELAS courses allow students to test ideas in the real world and develop creative approaches to social, cultural, and scientific issues. ELAS students and teachers often collaborate with non-profits, community groups, and government agencies whose goal is to serve the public good.
Faculty have designed courses that connect the arts to community engagement, bring science courses they are learning outside of the classroom and have designed dance workshops for middle school students as well as held public debates.