Bard Early College impacts students and their families directly through its campuses, providing significant savings from the free college program and up to a two-year head start on college. At the same time, Bard Early College impacts the wider landscape of secondary and postsecondary education by providing a proof point for redesign of the traditional 9-16 grade system and curricular innovation, and advocating for greater access to dual enrollment across the country.
Today, BEC serves approximately 3,000 students ages 14–18 on campuses in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, DC, Ohio, and Louisiana. Through partnerships with public school systems, BEC allows students to earn college credits up to an associate in arts degree, at no cost to students and their families. Approximately 80% of BEC graduates finish a four-year degree, often ahead of time (compared to the national average of 60%).
Bard is a leading voice in the movement for early college in states where we work and nationally, advocating for policies that increase access to programs that enable students to begin rigorous and rewarding undergraduate work earlier than the status quo. In 2017, Bard co-founded the College in High School Alliance, a coalition of advocates for policies that sustain and grow high-quality, equity-focused early college and dual enrollment programs. Together with Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, Middle College National Consortium, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, Advance CTE, and Achieving the Dream, this coalition of over 85 national and state organizations collaborates to develop and advance federal and state policies that support and enable authentic, affordable college pathways toward postsecondary degrees and credentials for high school age students, especially those from low-income and historically underrepresented backgrounds
For more on BEC’s policy work, visit Public Policy and Movement Building