Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

Bard College Catalogue 2016-17

Bard College Catalogue 2016-17

Student Engagement

Bard undergraduates are actively engaged in a variety of projects and volunteer efforts on campus and off, during the academic year and during their intersession and summer breaks. The Trustee Leader Scholar Program oversees several dozen student-led projects each semester; examples of these initiatives can be found immediately below and throughout this chapter. The College also works with affiliated institutes, local and international partners, alumni/ae, and others to provide internship opportunities.

Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program  In keeping with Bard’s ethos of encouraging active involvement at all levels of campus life, TLS students design and implement civic engagement projects based on their own compelling interests. Between 40 and 45 TLS scholars are designated each year, but for every scholar leading a project, another 10 students participate. Student leaders receive stipends in exchange for their participation in the program, and most projects run for multiple years. Examples of current TLS projects include helping inmates in local prisons prepare for the GED exam, building a library and supporting other education projects in Nicaragua, running ESL programs for migrant laborers and their families in the Hudson Valley, and providing play and educational support for severely developmentally delayed youth. In 2011, 2013, and 2014, the Bard Palestinian Youth Initiative (BPYI) won $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace prizes. BPYI runs summer camps for children and is building a youth center in the West Bank village of Mas’ha. In 2015 the Sounds of Social Change won a Davis Projects for Peace prize of $10,000 to teach and coach classical music in the Siloe slums of Cali, Colombia.

A number of TLS projects have become permanent, College-sponsored initiatives, including the Bard Prison Initiative; La Voz, a Spanish-language magazine widely circulated in the Mid Hudson Valley region; Bard Early College in New Orleans; and the Bard College Farm.

Every Bard student is eligible to apply for TLS status. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and acceptance is based primarily on the student’s willingness and capacity to direct a large-scale project. TLS students meet one-on-one with the program director and assistant; take part in skill-building workshops; and prepare formal project proposals, budgets, and evaluations. They are offered hands-on opportunities to acquire skills in grant writing, lesson planning, and group facilitation. All TLS projects draw on the participation and support of volunteers from the student body and greater Bard community. For more information and a list of recent projects, visit the TLS website at

Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences  Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences (ELAS) connects academic practices with real world applications to enhance learning and promote active citizenship through courses designed to connect the classroom with the community (such as Social Action: Theories and Practices, in the Human Rights Program). Course work includes projects that consider local, national, and international community needs through research and community organizing or action.

Bard Launch   This 2015 initiative is a crowdfunding platform that supports student-led community-based and academically oriented projects. To learn more, go to

Bard-sponsored Internships   Bard offers a number of internship programs for students. On campus, internships are arranged through several offices, including the Center for Civic Engagement, Career Development Office, Human Rights Project, and Environmental and Urban Studies Program, and through In addition, Bard sponsors an array of off-campus programs, in the United States and overseas, which feature internship opportunities. These include the Bard Global and International Affairs (BGIA) Program in New York City and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The Bard Center for Environmental Policy, a graduate program based on Bard’s main campus, also helps students obtain appropriate internships.

A sampling of organizations that have sponsored Bard internships includes: Amnesty International, Asia Society, Broadmoor Improvement Association, Bronx Defenders, CNN, Council on Foreign Relations, Dutchess County Board of Elections, El Museo del Barrio, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Global Justice Center, Hudson River Heritage, Human Rights Watch, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Inter­national Center for Transitional Justice, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Namibia Water Corporation, The Nation, Public Interest Law Initiative, Roubini Global Economics, Saathi Kathmandu, Save the Children, the White House, and World Policy Institute.

Change in Action Leadership Workshops  Through individual, group, and society tracks, the program offers workshops modeled on the seven critical values of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development: collaboration, common purpose, consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, controversy with civility, and citizenship. The workshops, held at Bard, provide training in leadership skills and techniques that help participants become effective and resourceful student leaders and community members. Also addressed are practical skills such as strengthening résumés and networking.

Community Action Awards  These awards provide funding for students to engage with communities locally, nationally, and internationally through internships that address issues affecting people around the world. CCE works with students to facilitate internship opportunities with schools, media and public policy organizations, politicians, libraries, NGOs, educational institutions, and government agencies. CCE sponsored more than 60 Community Action Awards in 2015; nearly 100 Bard undergraduates applied to defray the costs of unpaid internships.