Our Model

The Bard Early College model is centered on college instructors dedicated to teaching adolescents and to their subjects; intellectual engagement in authentic college courses across the liberal arts and sciences; a robust, inclusive support system to help address the unequal educational onramp experienced by many students, particularly those from low-income, traditionally underrepresented, and first-generation college backgrounds; and strong, tailored partnerships with public school systems.

Three students reading in class
New Orleans

Core Components of Our Model

  • Free college program up to an associate’s degree and 60+ credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs across the country
  • College instructors, typically with a terminal degree in the content area and trained in early college pedagogy and Bard Writing and Thinking practices, teaching all grade levels (high school and college courses)
  • A robust and engaging liberal arts and sciences curriculum developed by Bard 
  • Small, writing- and discussion-based seminar classes
  • Strong academic and socio-emotional student supports  
  • Qualitative admissions process that selects students based on their motivation to participate and intellectual curiosity through an interview and faculty-designed assessment
  • Student empowerment in the classroom and school community 
  • Diversity in the student body, reflecting the local region
  • Partnership with public schools and school systems that make the programs possible
  • A network structure that shares resources, connects colleagues, and strengthens each individual campus

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