Bard College at Simon's Rock today announced a partnership with the Southern Berkshire Regional School District to offer early college opportunities to public high school students in South County. As part of a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Simon’s Rock will offer Mount Everett high school students the ability to take Simon’s Rock courses and receive fully transferable college credits at no cost.
During the 2019–2020 academic year, Simon’s Rock launched a successful pilot of the program with Southern Berkshire Regional School District’s Mount Everett High School. Activities paused to the COVID pandemic, but resumed this summer with the addition of Berkshire Hills’s Monument Mountain High School to the program. Approximately 35 visiting students from both Mount Everett and Monument Mountain high schools have participated in the pilot program to-date.
Simon’s Rock will formally extend the program with the Southern Berkshire Regional School District into the 2021–2022 academic year, and continues to explore extending opportunities with the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. “We are thrilled to work with South County school districts to support the educational needs of students, and help introduce them to pathways to college at an early age,” said John B. Weinstein, Provost and Vice President of Simon’s Rock. “Our hope is that this program will help remove barriers to access to college coursework while providing new educational opportunities for our motivated and enthusiastic local public school students.”
The courses visiting students take as part of the program are the same as the introductory courses taken by full-time students at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, with the same faculty and the same rigor of academic standards. Classes offered are common introductory courses for first-year college students which may not always be available to students in high school. Example courses include Psychology, Language and Gender, Calculus I, Art and Literature, and even Local and Sustainable Food in the Berkshires.
“This partnership is a wonderful example of a way we are able to ease the burden of future educational costs for families, increase student confidence in pursuing higher education coursework, and give insight into the fields that our students think interest them,” noted Dr. Beth Regulbuto, Superintendent of Schools, Southern Berkshire Regional School District. “Starting college coursework early helps our students understand if it’s a good fit or if they might want to change their mind.”
Curious and engaged students interested in learning more about opportunities at Bard College at Simon’s Rock are encouraged to reach out to Ken Knox at email@example.com.
About Simon's Rock
Bard College at Simon's Rock is the only college in the country specifically designed for highly motivated students ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade. Simon's Rock offers a challenging program in the liberal arts and sciences, taught exclusively in small seminars by supportive, highly trained faculty, who are leading scholars in their fields. The College grants degrees in more than 35 majors. The Princeton Review's Best 380 Colleges rates academics at Simon's Rock higher than Harvard and Princeton.
Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock is the nation’s first two-year boarding and day program designed to prepare 9th and 10th graders to start college early. A student entering Bard Academy as a high school freshman will earn an Associate of Arts degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock after only four years and a Bachelor of Arts degree after only six years. The Academy curriculum is designed and taught by students’ future college professors who are leading scholars in their fields.
For more information, visit simons-rock.edu and bardacademy.simons-rock.edu.
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