For immediate release:
June 16, 2015

Erin Montgomery
Shareese Churchill

Governor Larry Hogan Announces State-Approved Early College Partnership Between Baltimore City and Bard College

Students Will Receive Tuition-Free Associate Degree

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced a Maryland Higher Education Commission-approved partnership between the Baltimore City Public Schools system and Bard College, a New York-based selective liberal arts college. This partnership, which will begin in the coming 2015-16 school year, will allow Baltimore City high school students access to a brand new educational choice and the opportunity to earn 60 college credits and an associate degree, tuition-free, alongside a high school diploma.

“Programs like the dual-degree partnership between Bard College and Baltimore City Public Schools represent the outside-of-the-box thinking we need to ensure all children receive a world-class education,” said Governor Hogan. “I’d like to thank Bard College for its efforts to provide our youth with access to quality, tuition-free early college education as they prepare to become productive members of Maryland’s workforce.”

The Maryland Higher Education Commission approved Bard College’s initial application after a thorough process, including a 30-day review period and meetings with various stakeholders. Bard College will be authorized to offer its associate degree program at the Bard High School Early College campus in Baltimore City.

Bard High School Early College Baltimore will allow students to earn both a high school diploma and a two-year Associate in Arts degree in four years, at no cost to the student. In its inaugural year, the new early college high school will enroll approximately 125 9th-grade students and 40 11th-grade students who will start the college program. At full capacity, the school will support approximately 500 students.

“Adolescents in Baltimore City need educational options that harness their talents and put them on a path to college and career success. By opening the first degree-granting early college high school in Baltimore City, we are providing this type of transformative opportunity and demonstrating the extraordinary capabilities of our young people,” said City Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton.

Bard High School Early College Baltimore will be the fifth such partnership for Bard College, an independent, nonprofit liberal arts institution with its main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Bard College has been a pioneer in early college education since 1979, and currently operates public early college high schools in Manhattan, N.Y.; Queens, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as early college centers offering courses, but not degrees, in New Orleans, La., and the Harlem Children’s Zone, N.Y.

“Bard is deeply proud to be opening an early college high school in Baltimore. There is a clear need for education models that put high school students in Baltimore City on a path to college success. Bard has a proven early college model that helps students access, afford, and complete college and graduate prepared to enter the workforce and become active participants in civic life. We are grateful to Baltimore City Public Schools for its leadership and partnership in launching this innovative program for Baltimore youth,” said Leon Botstein, president of Bard College.

Using a unique curriculum based on the liberal arts and employing a faculty that teaches both high school and college courses, Bard Early College High Schools have been remarkably successful. Bard High School Early College Baltimore’s offerings will include natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign languages, and the arts. The new school’s admissions criteria will be based on interviews and written essays, and not through standardized test scores.