Bard Early College Issues White Paper Outlining Policies Needed to Strengthen and Expand College in High School Programs in New York StateCiting strong evidence demonstrating the significant positive impact of early college programs on high school students’ postsecondary success, a new white paper issued by Bard College’s national network of public early colleges, Bard Early Colleges, calls for expanding and strengthening college in high school programs in New York State and argues that early college education will be critical for New York’s COVID-19 recovery.
“Expanding New York's College in High School Programs,” developed with contributions by the State's leading early college practitioners and advocates, including the City University of New York and the Middle College National Consortium, identifies key policy challenges, and makes five specific recommendations for strengthening the sector and expanding opportunities for students. Its recommendations include creating a recurring state funding stream linked to an oversight process for college in high school programs, reporting on key program outcomes focused on quality and equity, allowing postsecondary achievement during high school to count toward graduation requirements, and facilitating an efficient transfer of credits.
“Implementing the recommendations presented in this paper will significantly expand access to quality- and equity-focused college in high school opportunities for New York State students, propelling the next generation towards college and career success and advancing the social and economic health of New York State,” the paper argues. “These programs have a proven record of success, and are particularly beneficial for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
These recommendations build on Bard's demonstrated success in expanding access to high-quality college study through the Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) model. Recent analysis by the Education Trust follows the rate at which students of economic need in New York State are progressing from high school to a bachelor’s degree. Their research found that, among families for whom college was financially inaccessible, BHSEC Manhattan and Queens alumni had higher on-time college graduation rates than any other high school in the state of New York.
“As the birthplace of the early college movement and the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) model, New York has long been at the forefront of implementing innovative college in high school programs,” the paper says. “Now, especially given the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the State has the opportunity to demonstrate its forward-thinking leadership by promoting programs that offer an on-ramp to college and the workforce.”
About the Bard Early Colleges
The Bard Early College model replaces the 11th and 12th grades with the first two years of college, all within public schools. BEC provides adolescents with a rigorous, credit-bearing, college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences following the 9th and 10th grades, at no cost to students or their families. Students receive up to 60 college credits and an associate in arts (A.A.) degree from Bard College, alongside a high school diploma. These schools are designated as public high schools and accredited as branch campuses of Bard College.
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.
Bard College believes in the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education and that colleges can and should bring liberal arts and sciences to communities where it is underdeveloped, inaccessible, or absent. For this reason, Bard has developed a number of initiatives in cooperation with the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to address the educational needs of underserved communities.
To learn more about Bard Early Colleges, visit bhsec.bard.edu.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in nearly 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 160-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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Bard Press Contact:Mark Primoff
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