Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Civic engagement is at the core of Bard’s identity as a private institution that acts in the public interest. Bard envisions a unique role for colleges and universities as the nexus of education and civil society. In its endeavors in the United States and abroad, Bard reflects a commitment to innovation, a willingness to take risks, and a fundamental belief in the link between liberal education and democracy.
As a liberal arts college, Bard uses its resources to develop robust and sustainable projects that address social problems in practical ways, reach underserved and unserved populations, and tackle critical issues of education and public policy. The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) was established in 2011 to support, coordinate, and promote the College’s wide array of civic engagement initiatives; to seek out new partnerships and opportunities; and to encourage research that sheds light on the policy implications of its programs. Many of the Center’s initiatives occur outside of the main Annandale-on-Hudson campus and represent the College’s commitment to addressing substantive issues in secondary and higher education on a national and international level.
The Center and its partners focus primarily on education reform, including secondary, postsecondary, teacher, and prison education; international partnerships, particularly dual-degree programs; student-led projects that engage regional, national, and international communities; local partnerships, including work with local governments, schools, and social service organizations; and innovations in science and sustainability. CCE also coordinates projects that provide direct opportunities for student engagement and internships, and promotes civic skills that the College considers fundamental to active global citizenship. Bard students are encouraged to participate in an ever-expanding variety of projects and to develop their own project proposals, because Bard believes in the entrepreneurial spirit of its students.
For further information, visit the Center for Civic Engagement website at bard.edu/civicengagement, or contact Erin Cannan, dean of civic engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Center is directed by Jonathan Becker, vice president for academic affairs.