The Bard Microcollege

Reimagining the place of higher education

Building on BPI’s values and success, Bard Microcolleges bring high-quality, full-scholarship, liberal arts education to those communities often excluded from the university experience. Each microcollege is created in partnership with a community-based institution. Their strength is the result of alliances between organizations that are conventionally separate from one another but have overlapping missions, common purpose, and shared core values.

The Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library
The Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership — Just Announced!
The Bard Microcollege Holyoke

Just Announced: BPI’s Newest Microcollege in NYC, at Harlem’s Countee Cullen Library

In partnership with College & Community Fellowship and JustLeadershipUSA, the Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership will deploy the expertise and resources of three leading institutions in a community-based setting to cultivate directly impacted leaders, decision-makers, and advocates of the future.

This new microcollege will enroll students who are formerly incarcerated or directly impacted by the justice system and others who aspire to careers in advocacy, community building or social justice. With courses starting this fall, admissions for the inaugural cohort begins in May.

Read the full press release >

Photo of a Harlem mural in the background with a the Bard Microcollege Harlem logo in front and the words "The Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership"

A group of students (the 2018 Cohort) on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library

BPI and Brooklyn Public Library together created Bard at BPL in 2018 with a shared commitment to democratizing access to learning. With courses held inside Central at Grand Army Plaza, students take advantage of academic advising, tutoring, continuing education seminars, and non-academic student services, as well as Brooklyn Public Library’s collection of four million materials, state-of-the-art technology, Business and Career Center, art exhibitions and cultural events, and countless other programs.

Bard Microcollege Holyoke

The pilot Bard Microcollege launched in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 2016, starting with just 18 students. Bard’s partner for this microcollege is The Care Center, an innovative community-based educational organization with expertise supporting academic achievement by young mothers with limited financial resources. Bard Microcollege Holyoke is a tuition-free college for women, inclusive of trans and non-binary students, whose education has been interrupted by, parenting, financial challenges, and other family responsibilities.

A group of students (the Fall 2019 Cohort) outside of the Care Center

“I came to the Microcollege to get back something I thought I had lost; however, I ended up embracing a wild transformation of how I relate to the world as well as the ideas and people in it.”

—Mars Ikeda ’21