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Bard is committed to the principle that colleges and universities occupy a unique role at the nexus of education and civil society. In an age in which information is overabundant and often unreliable, and public discourse is frequently reduced to sound bites, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically about and engage with issues that matter to a healthy democracy. For this reason, civic engagement is at the core of Bard’s identity. In its educational endeavors in the United States and abroad, Bard demonstrates a commitment to innovation, a willingness to take risks, and a firm conviction that institutions of higher education can and should operate in the public interest.
Bard uses its campus and resources to develop robust and sustainable programs that address social problems in practical ways, reach underserved and underrepresented populations, and tackle critical issues of education and public policy. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of civic duty informed by social consciousness, Bard shapes policies, implements programs, and demonstrates public leadership.
The center sponsors lectures, conferences, and workshops; facilitates internship, volunteer, and service-learning opportunities; and awards fellowships that are designed to reinforce the links between education, democracy, and citizenship. In so doing, it seeks to shape the intellectual and professional trajectory of Bard undergraduates and graduates in ways that reflect the center’s mission.
Committed to institutional engagement, Bard fosters partnerships with educational institutions and programs around the globe to promote liberal education. The center coordinates efforts to strengthen and reinforce collaboration within that network of partnerships.
In cooperation with affiliated centers and institutes on Bard’s main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, the center collaborates on a wide range of programs that engage students intellectually, challenging them to examine concepts related to global citizenship and being human in the 21st century.