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Our Mission
Our Mission

This Mission of the Center

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. Through its educational endeavors in the United States and abroad, CCE demonstrates a firm conviction that institutions of higher education can and should operate in the public interest.

CCE and the Bard network use their resources to develop vibrant and sustainable programs that tackle critical issues of education and public policy. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of civic duty inspired by social consciousness, the Center for Civic Engagement creates and sustains reciprocal programs and relationships locally, nationally, and globally.

Our Impact

  • 500 first-year students work with 3000 children (K-8) in 5 local school districts helping teach science each January. 
  • Over 178 students participated in Bard's fifth annual Martin Luther King Day of Engagement in January of 2015. The Class of 2018 worked with various volunteer organizations in the Hudson Valley to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of promoting social justice, compassion and selfless contributions to our community.
  • Over 45 undergraduates are Trustee Leader Scholars at any given time, and over 450 students participate in TLS projects each year. Most TLS students remain actively involved in the program throughout their college careers.
  • The retention rate for Trustee Leader Scholars is 99.3%. 
  • More than half of Bard graduates participate in TLS and other CCE-sponsored programs while studying at Bard.
  • CCE offers student led summer programs for local youth. Programs like Dream to Achieve, Computer Programming Camp, Science Camp held at local libraries, and Science Camp held at the Bard Farm are offered to over 700 local children each year.
  • CCE funds the attendance of approximately 50 students at international conferences each year.
  • Bard Works career oriented networking events connect undergraduates with over 150 Bard alumni/ae annually. 
  • Elections at Bard coordinates voter registration for all eligible incoming students (registering more than 400 in the fall of 2014 alone.)
  • The Bard Farm has produced over 21,522 pounds of locally grown produce in the past two years alone, actively contributing to the sustainable food movement in the Hudson Valley.
  • Over 300 local community members attend Lifetime Learning Institute classes each semester.
  • More than 200 Bard Annandale students study or intern for a summer semester abroad every year. Over the last four years (since 2010) 550 Bard students have studied abroad. Bard is a member of IIE's Generation Study Abroad initiative, and has pledged to double the number of students having an international experience as part of their undergraduate career.
  • More than 100 international students come to Bard to study annually. Most come from Bard’s partner institutions: Smolny College, Al Quds University, American University of Central Asia, Bard College Berlin, and European Humanities University.  
  • Each year, Bard students are joined by 100 students from 50 U.S. colleges and universities for a semester away at one of our international partners.
  • More than 40 local community organizations were represented at the two most recent volunteer fairs held by CCE to help connect students to local volunteer and internship opportunities.
  • Bard Math Circle held over 20 math circle sessions in local communities in the past two years and launched Bard Math Circle Summer C.A.M.P. (Creative and Analytical Math Program) in August of 2014.
  • More than 200 local middle and high school students participated in last year’s debate tournament and model U.N. competition held at Bard College.
  • 13 Bard students have been awarded the highly illustrious Fulbright scholarship over the past three years. 
  • Bard’s PIE (Program in International Education) program is entering its 25th year and has served close to 400 students from over 40 countries.
  • Over 475 students are enrolled every year in the Clemente Course in the Humanities at no cost.  50% of these students continue on to attend college.
  • As the largest program of its kind in the United States, BPI enrolls nearly 300 incarcerated men and women at Bard across six medium and maximum-security prisons in NY. To date, nearly 300 Bard College degrees have been awarded to BPI students and more than 800 students have enrolled in BPI. Recidivism for BPI graduates is less than 2.5%.
  • Nearly 10% of Bard undergrads spend a semester or summer in NYC at BGIA (Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program), studying, but also interning 25-40 hours a week at places like HRW, CNN and the Carnegie Council for Ethics.
  • This spring 100 students will receive Bard degrees in St. Petersburg Russia at Smolny College, nearly 200 will receive Bard degrees at AUCA and that in three years about as many Bard students will be getting their BA degrees outside of Annandale as in Annandale.
  • Smolny College, Bard program with St. Petersburg State is one of the longest running dual degree program between the countries and is viewed in the US and Russia as a model of academic cooperation.
  •  Bard College is one of only 40 institutions whose students can qualify for the Watson Fellowship. The Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for independent study and travel outside the United States awarded to graduating college seniors.
  • The BHSECs are freestanding four-year public schools and accredited branch campuses of Bard College that offer students a two-year, tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences in place of the 11th and 12th grades.  Students graduate with 60 college credits and a Bard College Associate in Arts degree along with a high school diploma.  Since the first was founded in 2001 (with BHSEC Queens in 2008), over 1800 students have graduated, most with the Bard A.A. degree.  
  • This admissions season, over 6,000 students from all five boroughs applied for the 300 total seats available for the Class of 2019 at BHSEC Manhattan and BHSEC Queens.