In 2006, members of the Davidson Institute team had the opportunity to spend a day with Dr. Mary Marcy, Vice President and Provost of Simon’s Rock College of Bard. Dr. Marcy, appointed to her role at Simon’s Rock College in 2004, has an impressive background in research and policy development regarding critical issues in higher education. Her publications address a number of these issues, including, but not limited to, accountability, leadership, cost, diversity and the need for academic rigor prior to age 18. A passionate advocate, educator and leader, Dr. Marcy exudes a sense of deep respect and interest in her work with students, as well as colleagues.
The staff here at the Davidson Institute has been particularly intrigued by the program offered at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. Recognizing that no single academic model or program will work for everyone, we find it particularly valuable to consider non-traditional options. While early college entrance can take many forms, the focus of programming at Simon’s Rock is to provide one-of-kind experiences to one-of–kind students in a supportive, yet academically rigorous environment. Built upon the founder’s assertion that it is imperative to provide rigorous learning opportunities at a time when students are most likely to embrace them, the faculty and staff at Simon’s Rock exemplify the commitment to fostering the development of bright and motivated young people.
Since 1966, students have had the opportunity to enter Simon’s Rock College for an invaluable head start on their college careers. Many exceptionally bright students crave such learning opportunities, and are ready for college level coursework and intellectual interactions well before they would normally complete 12th grade. Typically, students enter Simon’s Rock after 10th or 11th grade. Each applicant is thoughtfully considered in terms of goodness-of-fit between what the student is seeking and what Simon’s Rock has to offer. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, as Dr. Marcy and her colleagues recognize a responsibility to students seeking a more rigorous academic environment, particularly since what Simon’s Rock has to offer is so unique.
While this article should not be considered a substitute for the wealth of informative materials available to those interested in further options at Simon’s Rock College, here are a few of the highlights:
In summary, the "Are You Ready?" information booklet for the school includes the following quote: “After all, the primary reason students come to Simon’s Rock is to be challenged intellectually and to have their ideas and opinions taken seriously. They revel in the opportunity.” For additional information on this unique early college opportunity, please click here.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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