The BardBac is a unique, full-scholarship pathway for adults to complete bachelor’s degrees from Bard College. BardBac students enroll full-time on Bard’s campus and enter a network of students from Bard’s other adult education programs–in libraries, community organizations, and prisons–who are doing college in unconventional places, often against considerable odds.
A project of the Bard Prison Initiative—Bard’s response to the crisis of mass incarceration—the BardBac was launched in 2020 in response to the onset of mass unemployment precipitated by COVID-19. Colleges have a unique role to play in responding to the current crises of dislocation and exclusion: the BardBac seeks adult learners whose educations have been interrupted or deterred, who are hungry for robust intellectual inquiry, and are eager to make new, extraordinary contributions to their communities.
The dramatic shifts in employment and social life caused by the pandemic are an opportunity to rethink college opportunity nationally. Everywhere in American life there are vast reserves of untapped talent, potential, and ambition. The BardBac is seeking out that talent in every part of the Hudson Valley; it is designed to engage adult students in a broad liberal arts curriculum preparing them for work and civic life in a rapidly transforming region, nation, and world.
The Fall 2021 admissions cycle is closed. Join the mailing list for alerts when the next cycle opens.
BardBac FAQ At a Glance
"I thought it was a long shot, but I went for it."—Monica
Keeping that Promise
"Our cohort is a melting pot of ideology, diversity and life experience." —Catherine
A Melting Pot
"Bard has given me a place I feel like I belong."—Kayla