In 1999, in response to the decimation of college-in-prison nationally, the Bard Prison Initiative was founded by undergraduates at Bard College. After gaining access to the the New York State prison system and securing limited funding, Bard College launched BPI as a pilot program with 16 students in 2001. Since then, the program has grown annually and dramatically. Its first associate degrees were issued in 2005 and the first bachelor’s degrees in 2008.
Today, the BPI college is spread across six interconnected prisons in New York State. It enrolls over 300 students and organizes a host of extracurricular activities to replicate the breadth of college life and inquiry. Since 2001, BPI has issued roughly 50,000 credits and 450 degrees; it offers more than 165 courses per academic year and engages an extraordinary breadth of college faculty.
Extrapolating from the successful establishment of the college, BPI has expanded in multiple directions. First, it is the home of a national Consortium that cultivates, supports, and establishes college-in-prison programs in partnership with colleges and universities across the country. Second, its office of Reentry & Alumni Affairs works with formerly incarcerated Bard students as they pursue robust civic and professional lives after release. Most recently, BPI established the Bard Microcollege to bring full-scholarship, academically rigorous liberal arts college to isolated communities outside of prison. In all its work, BPI builds alliances to rethink access, reduce costs, and redress inequities in higher education.
Urban Farming and Sustainability Faculty Advisor
Ornell Caesar '16
Computer Science Fellow
Director of Academics and Administration
Nicole Carroll '17
Assistant Director of Development
Ariane Cruz '16
Robert E. Fullilove
Senior Advisor, Public Health Program
Fellow for Curriculum and Program Development
Salih Israil '09
Advisor to the Directors
Assistant Director of Reentry
Faculty Advisor to the Bachelor’s Degree Program
Program Director, Bard at Brooklyn Public Library
Max Kenner '01
Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement
Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
Director of Development
Darren Mack '13
Delia Mellis '86
Director of College Writing and Academic Resources
Associate Director of Public Health Programs
Associate Director of College Programs, Site Director at Eastern
Mary Anne Myers
Program Director, Bard Microcollege Holyoke
Jessica Neptune '02
Associate Director of National Projects and Director of BPI Chicago
Emely Paulino '17
Program Coordinator, Bard at Brooklyn Public Library
Academic Resources Coordinator, Site Director at Woodbourne
Sylvester Reddick '10
Associate Director, BPI TASC
Faculty Fellow and Director of Debate
Site Director, Taconic Correctional Facility
Jed B. Tucker
Director of Reentry and Alumni Affairs
Associate Director for Research, Site Director at Fishkill
Nikko Vaughn '15
Continuing Education Specialist
Site Director, Green Haven Correctional Facility
Pamela J. Wallace '86
Site Director, Coxsackie Correctional Facility
Program Coordinator, Bard Microcollege Holyoke
Craig Steven Wilder
Bard College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The courses of study leading to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of music, and bachelor of science degrees at Bard are registered by the New York State Education Department. The programs of study leading to the master of arts, master of arts in teaching, master of fine arts, master of business administration in sustainability, master of music, master of science in environmental policy, master of science in climate science and policy, and master of science in economic theory and policy degrees and the master and doctor of philosophy degrees in decorative arts, design history, and material culture at Bard are registered by the New York State Education Department, Office of Higher Education, Education Building Annex, Room 977, Albany, NY 12234; phone 518-486-3633.
Bard is also a member of the American Council on Education, American Council of Learned Societies, Association of American Colleges and Universities, College Entrance Examination Board, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, Education Records Bureau, and Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities.
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Bard College is committed to ensuring equal access to its educational programs and equal employment without regard to an individual’s sex, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, veteran status, military status, domestic violence victim status, ex-offender status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Students, employees, applicants, and other members of Bard College community (including, but not limited to, vendors, visitors, and guests) shall not be subject to discrimination or harassment prohibited by law or otherwise treated adversely based upon a protected characteristic. Similarly, the College will not tolerate harassing, violent, intimidating, or discriminatory conduct by its students, employees, or any other member of, or visitor to, the College community. This includes, without limitation, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, and domestic violence.
Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Bard College complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This act assures students attending a postsecondary institution that they will have the right to inspect and review certain of their educational records and, by following the guidelines provided by the College, to correct inaccurate or misleading data through informal or formal hearings. It protects students’ rights to privacy by limiting transfer of these records without their consent, except in specific circumstances. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. College policy relating to the maintenance of student records is available, on request, from the Office of the Registrar.