Microcolleges

A new model for college education

Who is a college education for?

Building on BPI’s values and success, the Bard Microcollege brings high-quality, full-scholarship, liberal arts education to those communities most 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.

Partners provide local know-how and credibility, classroom and study space, and a community from which to draw a student body. They bring their own unique sets of expertise and resources, and are deeply invested in the long-term learning and development of every member of their communities. Together, those qualities provide a context in which students can focus on and thrive in college. Bard provides an associate in arts degree program with small seminar courses taught in person by experienced professors, academic advising, and tutoring support. Continuing education and career development are a priority from the outset.

Bard Microcollege students are ambitious, intellectually curious, and willing to drive their own learning process. Often, they had been deterred from college, put their educations on hold, or were frustrated by impersonal learning environments. Students apply for federal and state financial aid. The remainder of tuition and the cost of books are covered by scholarships, none of which have to be repaid.

“It’s the first of its kind. The campus will be the library. Not just the building, but the resources.”

—Linda Johnson

President, Brooklyn Public Library

Bard Microcollege Holyoke

The pilot Bard Microcollege launched in Holyoke, Massachusetts in August 2016 and in its first year enrolled 20 full-time students working toward their associate degrees. Bard’s partner for this first microcollege is The Care Center, an innovative community-based educational organization with a history of success in supporting young women who have left high school and are either pregnant or parenting. The first graduates of Bard Microcollege Holyoke will earn their degrees this May.

facade of Brooklyn Public Library main branch

Brooklyn Public Library

In January 2018, the first cohort of students will begin coursework at at Grand Army Plaza. Students will have access to Brooklyn Public Library’s collection and librarian staff as they engage in Bard College coursework across the liberal arts and sciences. As they approach completion, students will benefit from access to all the resources of the larger, New York City alumni community and receive focused assistance as they apply to bachelor’s degree programs across the city.

By The Numbers

$0
Cost to students enrolled in the Microcollege
6
Number of students taking Calculus in year two of Bard Microcollege Holyoke
26
Number of faculty teaching in the first two years of the Microcollege