Bard News & Events

Press Release

BARD COLLEGE RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION $1 Million Grant Will Support Bard High School Early College and New Early College Teaching Seminars

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Bard College is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) in New York City and the creation of a summer seminar program for early college teachers, to be held at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. “We are enormously grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its ongoing support of Bard High School Early College,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “The Gates Foundation has supported us from the very beginning, and this generous new grant will help to secure the promise of Bard High School Early College and the early college movement.” The grant, payable over three years, is composed of two parts: $700,000 to support Bard High School Early College, and $300,000 to support the creation of a summer seminar program for teachers that will assist them in gaining experience with and developing new methodologies for teaching in early college settings. This program will be developed and implemented by Simon’s Rock College of Bard and Bard High School Early College, in partnership with Jobs for the Future and the University Park Campus School (UPCS) associated with Clark University. Bard High School Early College is a landmark in the early college movement. Established in 2001 as a collaboration between Bard College and the New York City Department of Education, BHSEC currently serves 540 students in grades 9 and 10 and first- and second-year college. The school was developed based on the belief that many high school age students are ready and able to begin serious college studies by age 16, a belief borne out by the long term, ongoing success of Simon’s Rock College of Bard, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. As part of the New York City public school system, BHSEC offers this opportunity, for free, to public school students from throughout New York City. After completion of the BHSEC curriculum, graduating students earn both a high school diploma and an A.A. degree. By the end of the current academic year, BHSEC will have graduated nearly 275 students. BHSEC students come from all five boroughs of New York; 40 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunch programs; 60 percent are minorities; and 25 percent speak English as a second language. To disseminate the knowledge gained through the creation and operation of BHSEC—as well as decades of accumulated experience working with students at Simon’s Rock College of Bard, the nation’s only four-year early college, and Bard’s Institute for Writing and Thinking— Bard will also utilize this grant to create an annual four-day seminar program, to be organized by Bard and Simon’s Rock College of Bard in coordination with Clark University’s Hiatt Center for Urban Education. This program will provide opportunities to serve schools within the early college high school network, in other small schools with a college preparatory focus, and with college faculty who teach younger students, with the aim of assisting the development of more successful early college programs nationwide. The Bard seminars will focus on the early college years, and the transition from early college to four-year colleges, with emphasis on the integration of high school and college-level faculty, and on the central place of writing in creating the culture of higher education. Bard seminar participants will learn successful approaches for presenting college work to younger students, specific approaches to preparing students early for steady acceleration to college work, and the benefits of becoming members of a community of reflective practitioners — one that will continue beyond the seminar through a series of follow-up activities. The seminars will also take advantage of the fact that the incoming class of Simon’s Rock students will be present, and that a group of BHSEC students entering Year Two (fourth year of BHSEC, second year of college) will be on the Simon’s Rock campus for a workshop to prepare them to serve as mentors and tutors in the BHSEC Math and Writing Center. The Bard seminars will begin accepting applications for 45 Fellows in spring 2005, with the first series of seminars taking place in August 2005 on the Simon’s Rock campus. It is Bard’s expectation that the new summer seminars and the ongoing development and success of BHSEC will make a significant and enduring contribution to education reform and, specifically, to the burgeoning national early college movement. # # # (12/17/04)

back to top

This event was last updated on 02-25-2005