Moderation is the process by which all students must transition from the Lower College to the Upper College and establish their major in a program. Moderation is a crucial point in the individual student's career at Bard in which, with the help of a board of three faculty members, the student assesses his or her record and plans a future course of study.
Time of Moderation
The Moderation ordinarily takes place in the second semester of the sophomore year. Transfer students entering with the equivalent of two full years of credit should, if possible, moderate during the first semester of residence, but in no case later than the second. In order to postpone Moderation one semester, a student must obtain the written approval of his or her adviser. Postponing Moderation a second semester requires approval of the Faculty Executive Committee. For double majors, the second Moderation may occur in the second semester of the sophomore year or in either semester of the junior year. Students must be moderated before they can start a Senior Project.
All students must prepare two short papers for Moderation, the first assessing their curriculum, performance, and experience in the first two years, and the second identifying their goals and proposed study plan for the final two years. All students also submit a sample of work they have done in the program—for example, a long paper written for a course.
Students consult with their adviser to determine the process for scheduling the Moderation board and to find out about any special papers or other material that needs to be submitted along with the two short papers. Students must prepare four copies of the required papers and materials to be submitted to the registrar's office and the three board members by the Moderation deadline.
Moderation Board Decisions
Promotion admits the student to the Upper College. The board's report shall include an evaluation of the student's work and of performance during the Moderation, recommendations for the student's future program, and the anticipated date of graduation.
Deferral of promotion detains the student for a further semester in the Lower College in that, in the board's opinion, he or she has not yet clearly demonstrated grounds for promotion, but may be able to do so by the end of next semester. Deferred students attempt to re-moderate the following semester with, as far as possible, the same board in the same program. Only promotion or refusal is possible.
Refusal of promotion denies the student admission to the Upper College. It is expected that students who fail Moderation will successfully moderate by the end of the next semester in a different program, and they will be reviewed by the Faculty Executive Committee. A failed student must develop an academic plan with a new adviser in a new program before the end of the semester in which he or she failed.