Communications | Bard Baccalaureate

Introducing the Bard Baccalaureate

BPI is beginning the new academic year and working to meet this challenging moment as America contends with an unrelenting pandemic that has hit prisons and college campuses particularly hard.

While there is every reason to be frightened for the future of our educational institutions, there has never been a better moment to reimagine the place of higher education in American life.

In that context, at BPI, we’re doubling down.

And, we’ve created something new.

In response to the onset of staggering unemployment and as America reckons with its legacy of racism, injustice, and inequity, BPI has launched a new BA degree program: the Bard Baccalaureate (BardBac). The BardBac is a new pillar of our work building radical access to ambitious college.

This new initiative is a full-scholarship bachelor’s degree program that enrolls adult students whose education has been deterred or who lost work because of COVID. BardBac students have access to all of Bard College.

The first cohort of 36 Bac students have recently begun coursework. They come from all over the Hudson Valley and include four BPI alums and two microcollege alums: one from Holyoke and one from Brooklyn. In their work lives, they are landscape gardeners, entrepreneurs, youth counselors, gas station managers, full-time parents, documentarians, carpenters, massage therapists, immigrants’ rights advocates, and childcare workers. Their academic interests range from psychology to environmental studies to physics to film to philosophy and everything in between.

In this time of civic and social transformation, the Bard Baccalaureate is an example of how a liberal arts college education can prepare students for careers, civic leadership, and a lifetime of intellectual inquiry.

Interested prospective students can learn more at bac.bard.edu