For Students

Teaching Philosophy

Our teaching philosophy prioritizes student‐centered learning. We encourage students to develop critical perspectives out of their own experiences and creative engagements with the course subject matter, be it English language learning, pre‐calculus, public speaking, or thesis research.  

Current Course Offerings

BLC 107: Intensive ESL

(4 credits; 2-semester sequence) A liberal arts education is designed to engage people across a variety of disciplines in order to teach thinking skills and associative skills; however, if students have never encountered this type of educational environment before, this broad definition can hinder meaningful engagement in academic courses. This yearlong class is designed to give incoming international students an overview of the liberal arts experience through exploring some of the fields of study Bard has to offer. Through this investigation, students will develop the academic and study skills needed to survive this challenging academic environment. An emphasis on reading and writing will provide opportunities for students to develop vocabulary, improve grammar and strengthen their grasp of the written language. Permission of the instructor is required. 

BLC 110: Grammar for Writers

(4 credits) This writing-intensive class examines issues of grammar, usage, and style, with an emphasis on their application to academic writing. Special attention will be given to problems created by language transfer issues and to the particularities of English. Smaller class size, interactive exercises, and individual conferences will help students develop a clearer and more sophisticated expression in their writing. Students may sign up for this class online but must meet with the professor before finalizing registration.

BLC 150: Algebra Workshop

(2 credits) This course provides a review of the algebra used in math, science, and social science courses. It is designed for students who would like to improve their algebra skills while taking or preparing to take an introductory math, science, economics, or statistics course. Topics include linear equations and their graphs, quadratic equations, fractions, rational expressions, and exponents. This course will be graded Pass/Fail. No distributional credit is earned. This course will meet for the first 10 weeks of the semester.

BLC 180: Public Speaking

(4 credits) This class introduces students to public speaking, persuasive writing, and argument analysis. Over the course of the semester, students(1) examine how culture informs speaking situations, 2) develop practical skills related to the research, invention, organization, and presentation of speeches, and (3) learn how to analyze and evaluate arguments as they are presented in public speeches, political debates, television interviews, etc. Students will be required, at several points throughout the semester, to present speeches to the class as a whole. In addition, students will produce written work in the form of short essays, formal outlines, and peer evaluations.

BLC 190: Algebra, Trigonometry, and Functions

(2 credits) This course is designed for students who have taken a precalculus course in high school or at Bard, but would like more computational practice with algebra, trigonometry, logarithms and exponentials. This course can be taken at the same time as a math, science, or economics course, or in preparation to take such a course in a subsequent semester. This course meets for the first ten weeks of the semester, and will be graded Pass/Fail. No distributional credit is earned. 

BLC 205: Essay and Revision

(4 credits) This course is designed to provide students with strategies for writing successful academic papers. Students will learn ways to read complex texts analytically; let papers evolve in stages that promote the kinds of thinking and writing necessary to push drafts to the next stage; engage the ideas of others in writing, a fundamental move in American academic writing; and understand and make decisions about using academic conventions. 

BLC 212: Grammar, Rhetoric, and Style

(4 credits) This course explores the strategies and tools available to writers seeking to capture complex ideas in clear and concise prose. As we write and revise essays, we will consider how we, as writers, can control the reader's experience of the text by writing sentences that are not only correct but also powerful and precise. As we expand our range of rhetorical devices, we'll consider such questions as "How does grammar relate to content?" "At what point in the writing process should I worry about grammar?" "When is it OK to break the rules?" Through careful attention to our own work, we will gain greater control over our writing from the sentence up--from basic grammar to more complex sentence structures and rhetorical moves--to write more forceful, assertive prose. A total of 25 pages of revised prose will be expected.

BLC 220: Digital Literacies NEW COURSE

(2 credits) The class is designed to meet the need -- often stated by faculty and students alike -- for student proficiency with digital approaches to inquiry that lead to academic writing in a college setting, to the scholarly analysis and evaluation of texts, and to the invention of (digital) texts for public deliberation.

BLC 235: Composition Theory and Pedagogy

(4 credits) This course is designed for advanced writers who want to deepend their understanding of composition, rhetoric, and grammar. Topics will include composition theory, grammar and its role in the service of meaning and rhetoric, and revision in both theory and practice. We will address questions of composition pedagogy to see how successful models of teaching and tutoring writing can inform our understanding of the genre itself, not in theoretical isolation, but as a live and critical practice. Students will write and revise essays, provide feedback to fellow writers, and complete an independent project.

BLC 305: Writing and Research

(4 credits) Writing and Research, designed for moderated juniors, leads you through a sequence of thinking, writing, and research assignments you can use to launch a successful senior project. The course emphasizes the early work of discovering a topic, gaining a working knowledge of that topic, conceiving a discipline-appropriate research question, and doing focused research driven by your question. Smaller writing and research assignments will feed into three major projects: a literature review, senior project proposal, and a research project.