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Bard High School Early College Awarded $1.5 Million Grant

City Schools students earn high school degree and college credit at unique campus

Since opening its doors in 2015, Bard High School Early College has offered a unique opportunity for City Schools students who want to get an early start on their college education. A satellite campus of New York’s Bard College, the four-year public school allows students to take a two-year tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences. Bard Baltimore students graduate with a high school diploma AND up to 60 college credits. 
 
“Our school is a special place — a creative, welcoming community where students can express and challenge themselves, indulge their intellectual curiosity, and reduce the cost of their college studies,”' says Principal Francesca Gamber.  “We’re increasing students’ access to, and success in, higher education, particularly for students from low-income and historically underrepresented communities.”
 
Now, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bard High School Early College will be able to bolster its offerings and support for students. This includes reducing class sizes, improving the college advising program and mental health resources, and continuing to enhance “Bard 101” — the social and emotional learning curriculum for 9th and 10th graders that prepares them for the adjustment to college-level classes. 
 
The 447 students currently enrolled at Bard Baltimore reflect the diversity of the city and the promise of its young people. Of the graduating class of 2020, 93% graduated with a high school diploma and at least one full year of transferable college credit. Fifty-four percent earned their Bard AA degree, and 85% have gone on to further college studies. Bard Baltimore graduates have continued their studies at leading colleges and universities in Maryland and nationwide. Eighty-one percent of the Bard Baltimore student body is Black and more than half are first-generation college-goers.
 
"This gift opens a world of possibilities for our entire school community, from students to families to faculty to alumni,” said Principal Gamber. “As we welcome students back from the pandemic, the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies will help us to respond to their academic and social-emotional needs in ways that will amplify the success we've already seen over the past six years.” 

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