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.
Bard has been involved in efforts to transform secondary education since 1979, when it acquired Simon’s Rock Early College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Bard has since launched high school early college programs in New York City, New Orleans, Cleveland, Baltimore, Newark, and Hudson, New York. In partnership with the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, Bard has also inaugurated innovative programs aimed at transforming teacher education, establishing graduate programs in New York, Los Angeles, and the West Bank. The Institute for Writing and Thinking, based on Bard’s main campus, guides teachers in developing and refining writing practices with the goal of enriching classroom learning through writing. The College addresses underserved communities through its support of the Bard Prison Initiative, a prison education program that began as a Trustee Leader Scholar project; the Bard College Clemente Course, a credit-bearing humanities course for disadvantaged students in more than 20 locations across the country; and Bard microcolleges in Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Brooklyn, New York. To learn more about these programs, see “Educational Outreach” in this catalogue.
Student-led Education Projects In addition to Bard’s institutional partnerships, Trustee Leader Scholar projects and other undergraduate initiatives have responded to pressing educational needs. Student volunteers work with children at the Astor Home in Rhinebeck; participate in math circles, art workshops, and environmental education programs for local elementary and middle school students; provide homework help and tutoring to students in nearby communities; and provide music lessons to children for whom private instruction would otherwise cause their families financial strain.