1966 - Simon’s Rock is founded

Simon's Rock was established by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, making it the nation’s first early college. Simon’s Rock is a four-year, private residential liberal arts college which accepts students after 10th and 11th grades. Now in its 50th year, Simon's Rock pioneered the early college idea.


1979 - Simon’s Rock joins Bard College

Simon's Rock becomes Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Bard College enters the early college movement.


2001 - Bard High School Early College Manhattan is founded

After more than two decades of successful work at Simon’s Rock, Bard College is approached by the New York City Department of Education to help create the nation’s first public early college school. Bard High School Early College Manhattan set the stage for the rapid growth of tuition free, public early colleges across America.


2007 - Bard High School Early College Queens is founded

Following the success of BHSEC Manhattan, Bard opens a second early college campus in New York City. In doing so, Bard takes the first step to turn the early college model into something replicable and widespread.


2009 - President Obama endorses the BHSEC's

In a speech to the NAACP, President Obama says: “We should also explore innovative approaches being pursued here in New York City; innovations like Bard High School Early College… that are challenging students to complete high school and earn a free associate’s degree or college credit in just four years”


2011 - Bard High School Early College Newark is founded

The Bard early college network expands outside of New York City.


2011 - Bard Early College in New Orleans is founded

A partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, BECNO is Bard’s first Early College Center, which partners with an existing school system to teach college classes to 11th and 12th grade students.


2013 - Bard Early College at the Harlem Children’s Zone is founded

The Early College Center model is brought to New York City.


2014 - Bard High School Early College Cleveland is founded


2015 - Bard High School Early College Baltimore is founded


2016 - New Pell Grant program announced at BHSEC Newark

Pell Grant pilot program at BHSEC Newark allows students in dual enrollment programs to qualify for federal Pell Grant funding, a sign of progress toward broader public policy goals for early college and dual enrollment programs.


2016 - The Carnegie Corporation and Bard College Partner to establish the Bard Center for Early College


2016 - Bard Early College Hudson opens

In partnership with the Hudson City School District, BHSEC Hudson offers part-time college study to students in Bard College’s own backyard.


2017 - BHSEC Cleveland East (in progress)

This year, Bard College announced that a second campus of BHSEC Cleveland would be opening in the Fall of 2017, expanding the early college model throughout the city.