Bard Early College (BEC) seeks to improve the transition from high school to college and increase access and success in higher education. We do this by offering high school-age students, particularly those from low-income and historically underrepresented communities, a tuition-free college program of study in the liberal arts and sciences, and by working to influence and lead a national movement for early college education focused on quality and equity.
As a campus of BEC, Bard Early College New Orleans (BECNO) is a tuition-free satellite campus of Bard College, a nonprofit liberal arts college based in Annandale, NY, defined by academic quality, innovation, and its public service commitment. BECNO seeks to inspire curiosity, a love of learning, and civic engagement in its students; equip and empower students to access and complete higher education; and prepare its graduates for a range of educational, professional, and civic pathways. BECNO was established in 2011 as one of the first public early college high schools in the country and is operated through a partnership between Bard College, local high schools, and the Louisiana Department of Education.
BECNO runs a half-day college campus in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, enrolling over 100 students from public high schools across New Orleans, and a full-day, degree-granting program in partnership with KIPP New Orleans.
This alternative to the traditional high school is founded on the belief that many young people are ready and eager to do serious college work at an earlier age. Based on the premise that these young adults’ ambition to learn should be taken seriously, BECNO’s two-year academic program enables students to earn a high school diploma and a tuition-free Bard College associate in arts degree and 60 transferable college credit, alongside a high school diploma, at no cost to students or their families. True to Bard’s motto, A Place to Think, Bard Early College New Orleans’ academic program emphasizes thinking through writing, discussion, and inquiry.
Read more about our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.