Our Mission and Philosophy
Bard Early Colleges provide a rigorous college course of study for high school–age students that emphasizes critical thinking, writing, discussion, and inquiry through deep immersion in the liberal arts and sciences.
By offering public high school-age students a tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences, Bard Early Colleges seek to raise the quality and standards of secondary education and enable students from all backgrounds to succeed in college, at Bard Early College campuses and beyond.
We act on this mission through three core principles:
- Inspire and prepare high school-age students to become leaders across fields through a rigorous course of study that emphasizes critical thinking, writing, inquiry, and discourse.
- Increase college access, affordability, and completion for adolescents by allowing them to earn up to two years of tuition-free, transferable Bard College credits and an Associate’s degree.
- Bridge the gap between high school and college by bringing the key characteristics of liberal arts college classrooms to public school settings.
Bard Early Colleges are premised on the belief that intellectually curious high school–age students, irrespective of background, are ready and eager to do serious college work, that their ambition should be taken seriously, and that a liberal arts education can effectively engage them and prepare them to excel as the next generation of leaders.
Students at Bard Early Colleges are encouraged to value learning, question assumptions, engage in reasoned debate, and strengthen their own voices. Students develop robust analytical writing, problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills and a strong foundation for upper level college classes through discussion-based Socratic seminar classes across the liberal arts and sciences. The rigor and standards of the college courses offered at the Bard Early Colleges are consistent with those across the Bard College network.