WEEK 1: JULY 17–22: Workshop Descriptions

The 4th Annual BPI Summer Residency

Monday 7/18

Introductions, Welcome and History
Workshop Leaders: Max Kenner, Jessica Neptune, Delia Mellis

To begin, we will introduce ourselves and take a look at what we’ll be doing in the weeks ahead. We will share a brief history of the field of college-in-prison and the specific story of BPI, and how BPI fits — and doesn’t fit — into the world of higher ed. Together, we will reflect on our hopes and plans for this work: a look at where we’ve each been and where we’re all going.

Paradoxes of College-In-Prison
Workshop Leader: Megan Callaghan

This workshop engages the rich, necessary contradictions inherent to the endeavor of college-in-prison and how we think about those contradictions in practice.

New Student Orientation
Workshop Leader: Max Kenner, Jessica Neptune, Delia Mellis

How we build on the admissions experience to inspire, challenge, and situate students to succeed in the college: by being forthright and welcoming, and by inviting students into a long term relationship with the college. Max will conduct an orientation just as we do inside, with participants in the student role.

Tuesday 7/19

Language & Thinking: Bard’s Introduction to College
Workshop Leader: Delia Mellis and Robert Tynes

In this session we encounter Bard’s Institute for Writing and Thinking methodology and Bard’s Language and Thinking (L&T) first-year experience. All Bard students begin their first year with this intensive introduction to reading, writing, and thinking for college. It aims to disrupt their expectations and reorient their thinking about what it’s like to do rigorous, collaborative intellectual work. We will learn by doing, going through a quick but intense version of a day in L&T so that participants can get a sense of what the workshop makes possible.

Academic Overview & Writing Curriculum
Workshop Leaders: Megan Callaghan and Delia Mellis

This session will detail the specifics of the BPI AA and BA curriculum, its goals and reasoning — including relationship to main campus requirements and approach, with an eye toward applying some core principles to curricular development at your own college, reflecting your own institutions’ degree requirements and hallmarks of the undergraduate experience. In doing so we will elaborate upon the L&T experience and how it leads into Bard’s writing-based experience.

Wednesday 7/20

Faculty Recruitment and Hiring
Workshop Leaders: Megan Callaghan and Madhu Kaza

Sharing strategies for identifying good candidates, spotting dangers, and bringing people into the work.

Faculty Orientation and Disorientation
Workshop Leaders: Megan Callaghan and Claire Lindsay

We will discuss how to introduce new faculty to college-in-prison and answer the challenges raised by official orientations.

Math Curriculum and Pedagogy
Workshop Leader: Amy Shapiro

We will get down into the specifics of the BPI math curriculum and pedagogy — what they are, how they parallel and diverge from main campus; why and how they obviate/address remediation; particular benefits and challenges of this approach.

Thursday 7/21

Academic Resources: Advising, Research Support and Libraries
Workshop Leaders: Andres Pletch, James Kim, Nikko Vaughn, Delia Mellis

Academic Resources support students outside the classroom in responding to the myriad challenges of college work — conceptual, logistical, personal, and professional.

  • Academic advising involves helping students navigate their trajectory through the college, from course selection to complicated conversations with faculty; strategizing with them around academic challenges, both intellectual and logistical; and staying focused through the conflicts that can arise between student life and everything else.
  • BPI students rely on research support directed by a professor on staff who manages a team of work-study students who find and print out materials for them in response to requests that may be as specific as an article citation derived from the JSTOR index, or as broad as a general request for information on the Cultural Revolution in China.
  • At every BPI site there is a college library, which may be comprised of several bookcases inside the college classroom or could be an entire room full of shelves, with study tables and a whiteboard on wheels. How do we build, organize, and protect the library? Who is responsible for it?

*This workshop will be supplemented by a virtual workshop on getting the JSTOR database later in the summer led by Ithaca S+R and BPI alumna Stacy Burnett ‘20, open to all Summer Residency of Cohort 2022, past cohorts, and members of BPI’s Consortium For the Liberal Arts in Prison.

Tutors and Undergrads
Workshop Leaders: Claire Lindsay, Hannah Henry, James Kim, and Rodney Spivey-Jones

Peer tutoring is central to the BPI experience. Like their counterparts on the main campus, students inside may take a for-credit course to learn basic principles and practices of effective, student-centered pedagogy. Those who go on to become writing and math tutors are a crucial force in the collaborative learning ethos and practice that define the college community inside. This community extends to include undergraduates from the main campus, similarly trained through the college’s Learning Commons, who come in weekly to the prisons. This session situates the hows and whys of tutoring within the big picture of the college inside. In addition to hearing from those who train and manage both categories of tutors (those inside and those coming in from outside), we will talk with alum who have worked as tutors about the ways in which tutoring figured in their own educational trajectory.

Thinking About Fundraising
Workshop Leaders: Ellen Henneberry and Kate Cox

The first in a series of conversations with BPI’s development team, this workshop lays the groundwork for shaping your program’s philosophical approach to fundraising. We will discuss how to get comfortable asking for money and exploring our assumptions and challenges related to fundraising.

Friday 7/22

Introduction to BPI Admissions and Essay Reading
Workshop Leaders: Madeleine George, James Kim, Jose Pineda

Admissions is the first encounter with the college; we engage with prospective students exactly as we do those who are enrolled — with respect, rigor, and deep interest. The admissions process crystallizes the BPI model; in this session we will explore both process and philosophy.

We will spend time reading and scoring admissions essays so that participants gain a hands on experience with the BPI method. What are we looking at, what are we looking for, and how do we decide who gets an interview?

Interviews, Philosophy and Practice
Workshop Leaders: Madeleine George, James Kim, Jose Pineda

In this workshop we will explore the art of the admissions interview, watching and then practicing together how to engage with prospective students so that they show us what kind of student they could be, and how we show them something about what it would be like to be a student at Bard.

About The BPI Summer Residency Week 2 Workshop Descriptions »


  • By providing your email or phone number, you are agreeing to receive news and updates from BPI via email or text message. You may change your preferences at any time using the link found at the bottom of every email or by replying 'HELP' for help or 'STOP' to cancel text messages.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.