Chandrai Jackson-Saunders, school psychologist at Bard High School Early College in Washington, DC, has been named School Psychologist of the Year. She accepted the award at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention in Baltimore on February 19.
“I advocate prevention over trauma,” says Jackson-Saunders. “This includes a focus on social-emotional learning; parental engagement; and community partnerships. School psychologists are really good at trauma. I want us to be great at prevention. This will require not only psychologists, but educational systems and the community caring for our children to focus on creating a positive environment on the front end with the goal of reducing the amount of trauma on the back end.”
Chandrai Jackson-Saunders, school psychologist at Bard DC and winner of the NASP School Psychologist of the Year Award.
Chandrai Jackson-Saunders has served as a school psychologist in the District of Columbia Public School System for more than 30 years. Born in Hawkinsville, Georgia, Jackson-Saunders was raised primarily in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with an undergraduate degree in psychology, and of Howard University with graduate degrees in educational psychology and school psychology. Chandrai Jackson-Saunders is a staunch advocate for children’s welfare and works extensively with community and social organizations both locally and nationally. 02-28-2020 https://www.nasponline.org/membership-and-community/awards-scholarships-and-grants/school-psychologist-of-the-year-awardPhoto: (L-R) Bard DC School Psychologist Chandrai Jackson-Saunders with NASP President Leslie Z. Paige. Photo courtesy of NASP
Bard College is one of three private, four-year institutions of higher education to receive the first-ever Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation from Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to building democracy through civic education and community development. The award is one of Campus Compact's Impact Awards, which honor "individuals and institutions for their achievement in advancing the public purposes of higher education." Bard was recognized for its commitment to extending opportunities for liberal arts education to historically excluded communities.
“A cornerstone of this work is the Bard Early Colleges High School program, which provides access to credit-bearing, tuition-free college courses in the liberal arts for high schoolers from Manhattan, Queens, Newark, Cleveland, and Baltimore," reads the award announcement from Campus Compact. "Students who participate in the program are taught by college faculty in undergraduate seminars and receive college credits up to an associate of arts degree. Other programs offered by Bard College, such as the Bard Prison Initiative, further demonstrate their commitment to access to education for marginalized groups.”
The Bard High School Early Colleges (BHSEC) were founded in 2001 on the belief that many high-school-age students are eager and ready for the intellectual challenges of a college education. In the BHSEC Class of 2018, 83 percent of students completed the associate’s degree and 96 percent completed the high school diploma with at least one year of transferable college credit. Across the Bard Early College network of 2,850 students, over 40 percent of students are first-generation college students, over 60 percent are low income, and over 70 percent are students of color.
The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) was founded in 1999 by undergraduates at Bard College in response to the decimation of college-in-prison nationally. Today, BPI is spread across six prisons in New York State. It enrolls over 300 students and organizes a host of extracurricular activities. Since 2001, BPI has issued roughly 50,000 credits and 550 degrees; it offers more than 160 courses per academic year and engages an extraordinary breadth of college faculty.
Civic engagement is at the core of Bard’s institutional mission, which reflects the fundamental belief that higher education institutions can and should operate in the public interest. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of civic duty inspired by social consciousness, the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College and the Bard Network use their resources to develop vibrant and sustainable programs that tackle critical issues of education and public policy. 02-05-2020 https://compact.org/impact-awards/Bard High School Early College Baltimore.
A new case study from a leading education research center finds that Bard College’s early college high school model is successful at increasing high school graduation, college enrollment, and college completion rates across its network of public high schools. The study also concludes that Bard High School Early Colleges (BHSECs), serve as models for other colleges and universities seeking to expand college access and success nationwide, particularly in areas that have not historically had sufficient access.
Bard High School Early College: A Case Study, conducted by Ithaka S+R, highlights the diverse background of BHSEC students and significantly higher college graduation rates as among the model’s impressive achievements. “With an emphasis on providing rigorous college coursework and training, particularly for lower-income and minority students, the BHSECs have established a curriculum, faculty, and admissions process with proven results for their students in terms of graduation and college enrollment rates,” the study finds. While many institutions are focused solely on how to bring more students of different backgrounds to their campus, “Bard College, a liberal arts college whose home campus is in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, stands out for its focus on bringing the liberal arts to students who have not previously had access where they are.”
Citing an independent evaluation conducted by the research firm Metis Associates, the Ithaka S+R study reports that New York City BHSEC students are significantly more likely to graduate from high school compared to similarly situated peers in other district schools. These BHSEC graduates also enroll in and graduate from four-year colleges and universities at rates far higher than their peers: 97 percent of 2012 BHSEC Manhattan and Queens graduates in enrolled in college, compared to 82 percent of their peers. Furthermore, 79 percent of BHSEC students finish a bachelor’s degree in six years or less. Nationally, around 60 percent of students who start college earn a degree within eight years.
Founded in 2001, the Bard Early Colleges are a nationally recognized network of tuition-free early college high schools and early college centers operated through partnerships with public school systems in five states and Washington, DC. These schools provide high school students, regardless of background, with a rigorous, tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences and the opportunity to earn college credit and an associate’s degree alongside their high school diploma. To learn more about Bard Early Colleges, visit bhsec.bard.edu.
A case study from Ithaka S+R—an independent, nonprofit research center—finds that the Bard High School Early College model improves access, affordability, and success in higher education for its students. “With an emphasis on providing rigorous college coursework and training, particularly for lower-income and minority students, the BHSECs have established a curriculum, faculty, and admissions process with proven results for their students in terms of graduation and college enrollment rates,” the study finds. For other institutions, particularly selective colleges, interested in expanding the reach of a rigorous liberal arts experience to students from a range of backgrounds who do not historically have access, early college should be considered as a strategy: “The BHSECs have shown what is possible with such an approach.” 12-03-2019 https://sr.ithaka.org/publications/bard-high-school-early-college/
Simon’s Rock students Eric Yi and Samantha Statter joined professors Eric Kramer and Donald McClelland, and Joseph Carlson of the Joint Genome Institute, as coauthors of an academic research paper published in Plant Direct that provides new insights into one of the big mysteries in forest ecology. 04-01-2019 https://simons-rock.edu/news/wood-wide-web.php