Bard student Jahsol Drummond. Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun.
This week,Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) in East Baltimore celebrates its first graduating class since opening two years ago.
Established with the help of an OSI-Baltimore grant to the Fund for Educational Excellence, BHSEC allows Baltimore City students to graduate in four years with both a high school diploma and a two-year associates degree, plus up to 60 transferable college credits form Bard College, at no cost.
The 44 students receiving their dual diplomas during Friday’s graduation ceremony represent a 94 percent graduation rate. The state rate is 87.6 percent; the city rate is 70.6 percent.
A first-of-its-kind school in Baltimore, Bard opened its doors in August 2015, and Leon Botstein, president of Bard College since 1975 and a member of the Open Society Foundation’s Global Board, spoke. Bard was profiled then by the Baltimore Sun and featured in a story in the Atlantic last December.
The Bard Early College network was launched about 15 years ago, when Bard College merged with Simon’s Rock and eventually partnered with New York City Department of Education to create the first Bard High School Early College (BHSEC), now located in Manhattan, New York, which opened in 2001.