First-Year Students

Photo by Pete Mauney
Photo by Pete Mauney '93 MFA '00

The First Year at Bard College

is a time of discovery and community building. You are becoming a Bardian, from the moment you join us on campus for Language and Thinking in August until you complete First-Year Seminar in May. The Office of the First-Year Experience is here to introduce you to Bard and guide you through a year of academic exploration and extracurricular engagement.

Your Guide to the First Year at Bard

The First-Year Guide is an indispensable resource for getting started at Bard, both inside and outside the classroom. As you look ahead to joining us on campus in August, the guide offers an introduction to Language and Thinking, a summer checklist to help you get ready for college life, and notes about travel to Bard and getting settled on campus. Please read it thoroughly and contact us at if you have any questions or concerns ahead of arrival. We can't wait to see you! Download. Download

2016 Language & Thinking Schedule

What We Do

The Office of the First-Year Dean works closely with new students to help them to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources that the College provides. The dean's office oversees orientation programming during Language and Thinking, provides students with individual assistance throughout the academic year, and coordinates programmatic efforts that help to meet the diverse needs of the first-year class. We encourage parents, faculty, and staff to contact the dean's office with any questions regarding students of the first-year class.

First-year students also have the opportunity to begin their Bard College experience at Bard College Berlin. For more information and to apply, please e-mail

Contact the Office of the First-Year Dean by e-mail at, call 845-758-7454, or come visit Sottery Hall 108.
Meet the Dean

Meet the Dean

Kevin Dean, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the First-Year Experience

Kevin Dean provides personal support to students and helps them navigate the first-year experience at Bard. From the Language and Thinking program immediately as students arrive on campus, through the Citizen Science program in January, and to the close of the first year, Kevin is available to help students integrate personally and intellectually into the climate of Bard and together to shape a welcoming, thoughtful learning community. In order to facilitate the best possible first-year experience for students, Kevin works with and can help connect students with campus partners such as Advising, Chaplaincy, Counseling and Health Services, the Learning Commons, and student-led groups. Kevin is a soccer fan, music enthusiast (especially jazz), book lover, and is passionate about education.

Language and Thinking at Bard

As you prepare to join us on campus in August, you may be wondering what to expect for Bard's Language and Thinking program. Watch this video to hear about how first-year students spend their first three weeks on campus, and visit the L&T website to learn more.

Download the First-Year App

Sign up for the Bard First-Year app to keep track of all events happening during your 3-week Language and Thinking program and throughout your first year; connect with fellow students and Dean of Students staff; and receive notifications about important deadlines and last minute changes.

The Center for Student Life & Advising

The Center for Student Life & Advising (CSLA) at Bard College is committed to supporting students in their academic and extracurricular endeavors. The CSLA provides academic and personal advice as well as mentorship to students throughout their time at the College. CSLA comprises the offices of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Dean of Studies, and International Student Services.

The First-Year Dean’s Council

The First-Year Dean’s Council at Bard is composed of Upper College students and serves to help first-year students acclimate to the life of the College. The council provides opportunities for first-year students to connect, create, and collaborate with members of the greater Bard community. Summer-Grace Flemister '19Riley Griffin '18, and Sydnie Sinclair '19 make up the council. Please feel welcome to reach out to them with questions as you prepare to come to campus and throughout your first year. 

Summer-Grace Flemister


Photo for Summer-Grace Flemister
Summer-Grace is a sophomore from New York City who enjoys food, music, horseback riding, and traveling. She is a member of Bard's Colored Womyn United, and is double majoring in Written Arts and Human Rights. She became a part of the First-Year Dean's Council because, as someone who also attended boarding school, she is very familiar with the unique challenges that come with transitioning into a new space. 

Riley Griffin


Photo for Riley Griffin
Riley is a junior at Bard studying psychology. She is interested in helping people and eating the things that Sydnie bakes. She works on campus as event staff and co-leads the Astor Home for Children TLS Project. She is part of the junior council because she likes meeting new people and welcoming them to Bard and she spent her first semester in Berlin, Germany, so she understands the sometimes awkward transition to the Annandale campus. 

Sydnie Sinclair


Photo for Sydnie Sinclair
Sydnie Sinclair is a sophomore at Bard College, studying psychology. She is a part of the Spring Fling Committee and the Student Activities Board, and is the co-head of Bard Animal Advocates; she also works as office support staff in Admission and as event staff. Her interests include baking, binge watching movies, and writing fiction.
Icon for First-Year Events

First-Year Events