The Bard Early College Academy (BECA) is a tuition-free academic enrichment program for students attending public middle schools on Manhattan’s Lower East Side of Manhattan.
BECA emphasizes thinking through writing, discussion, and inquiry in key content areas in order to provide students with the skills and confidence needed to excel in New York City’s premier public high schools. BECA activities provide students with authentic opportunities to engage and respond to the kind of advanced academic material they will encounter in the city’s selective high schools. Through after-school and summer programming, BECA seeks to build a college-going culture among students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Our curriculum helps students develop the skills of academic inquiry through active reflection, group discussion, and written analysis. With a strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking and application, students are asked to draw connections between literature and the world around them; draw parallels between methodologies in science and math; see the difference between knowing and understanding.
Applying: Eligibility requires that students are sixth, seventh, or eighth graders at either PS 188, PS 34, PS 140, School for Global Leaders, CASTLE or TSMS. Students should have strong grades, should have received a score of at least a three on their most recent state exams, and should exhibit maturity and a love of learning. Eligible students can receive applications from their school’s guidance counselors or contact the BECA coordinator directly.
Results: Approximately 80 percent of students who have gone through the BECA program have been accepted to and have enrolled in selective New York City public high schools. BECA is a proven and replicable model for expanding access to selective high schools for students in under-resourced middle schools.
To find out more about BECA, please go to the Bard Early Colleges site HERE