Bard High School Early College Newark (BHSEC Newark) opened in September 2011 as a collaboration between Bard College and the Newark Public Schools. BHSEC Newark seeks to demonstrate that an academically rigorous liberal arts and sciences program can intellectually engage a diverse group of high school students and effectively prepare them for success in college, careers, and civic life. We enable students from underserved middle schools to reach their full intellectual potential and complete a college education.
The mission of BHSEC is to provide a rigorous course of study that emphasizes thinking through writing, discussion, and inquiry. This alternative to the traditional high school is founded on the belief that many young people are ready and eager to do serious college work at age sixteen. Based on the premise that these young adults’ ambition to learn must be taken seriously, BHSEC’s four-year program enables highly motivated students to earn a high school diploma and a tuition-free Bard College associate’s degree in four years.
Love of learning dominates the culture of BHSEC. Our rigorous curriculum allows students to fulfill all of the Newark Public Schools requirements through an engaging and demanding college-level education. Mastery of subjects at BHSEC is demonstrated by our students’ reasoned analyses and by their thoughtful and well-supported arguments for their views. Ninety-five percent of BHSEC graduates successfully move on to a four-year college.