Bard College at Simon’s Rock, more commonly known as Simon’s Rock (see below), is a residential four-year liberal arts college located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA. Simon’s Rock is an “early college”, designed for students to enroll immediately after completing the tenth or eleventh grade, rather than after graduating from high school.
The college’s founder, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, had formerly been a private girls’ school headmistress at Concord Academy. She concluded from her experience, and that of her colleagues, that for many students the latter two years of high school are wasted on repetitious and overly constrained work. Many young students, she thought, are ready to pursue college-level academic work some time before the usual system asks it of them.
Simon’s Rock is the only accredited four-year early college to date and still the singular college or university to take this approach with all of its students. It is one of a number of early college entrance programs that provide opportunities for students to enter college one or more years ahead of their traditional high school graduation date. A majority of students transfer to larger institutions after receiving an Associate of Arts degree degree after two years, although many stay for four to receive a Bachelor of Arts.