GREAT BARRINGTON — The only college in the country designed for qualified students to enter higher education while still in high school has established a new program to continue to study that topic.
Bard College at Simon’s Rock has established the Early College Research Institute, which is intended to foster research, preservation and scholarly discussion of the theory and practice of early college. As part of this initiative, the research institute plans to publish Early College Folio, a digital, open-access academic journal that will focus on the early college movement beginning this fall.
The college is the only institution in the country specifically designed for highly motivated students who are ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade. The average age of the students who enter Simon’s Rock is 16, according to the college’s website.
The research institute is part of the Bard Center for Early College, which was founded in 2016. Bard College entered the early college movement in 1979, when it assumed leadership of Simon’s Rock, which was founded in 1966 as the country’s first, private residential early college.
The research institute will focus on preserving and promoting the early college idea. It will serve as the primary repository of materials related to early college in the United States by facilitating scholarly research related to the early college movement.
It will capture representations of the classroom experience and early college pedagogy, and collect insights from the successes of early colleges nationwide.
The research institute is accepting donations of physical and digital materials related to early college.
Early College Folio will publish novel and insightful research on pedagogy, theory and contemporary applications of early college models worldwide, including early college high schools, early admission, early entrance and residential early college models.
Bard Digital Commons will host the publication, which will be peer-reviewed and will feature articles by faculty and staff at early colleges, as well as other leaders within the movement.
Contributors will be able to showcase their findings to a worldwide audience free of paywalls or membership requirements.
Bard College also operates early college high schools in the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens in New York City, and in Hudson, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans, Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington D.C.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Early College High School Initiative in 2002, with the primary goal of increasing the opportunity for underserved students to earn a postsecondary credential.