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PACE: Pathways to the American College Experience

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only college specifically designed for students ready to pursue their college education as early as age 15.

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Simon’s Rock Pathway to the American College Experience (PACE) program for English Language Learners

The Simon’s Rock Pathway to the American College Experience (PACE) program is for learners of English as an additional language. It offers high-intermediate and advanced learners of English the opportunity to begin full-time college studies in an environment that supports their English proficiency development and awards them college credit for their work on improving their skills in English academic discourse and writing. At Simon’s Rock, PACE curriculum requirements are concurrent with the AA and BA degree requirements. Students enrolled in PACE will earn 12-18 credits towards their degrees. Students participating in their 13th year will also earn college credits, which they can apply towards degrees.

PACE is not a conditional admission or bridge program. Students admitted to PACE are fully admitted to Bard College at Simon’s Rock. From the beginning of the program, students are on an accelerated path to their college degree and future career. PACE students apply through the regular admission process and are working towards completing their A.A. and B.A. degrees.

All students who speak English as an additional language are asked to provide TOEFL, DuoLingo, or IELTS test results as part of the application. Based on these test results, writing samples, and the interview, the admissions staff will make a determination as to whether the student will be admitted through the PACE program. Students who are admitted through the PACE program are enrolled full-time at the college and have access to all of the college’s course offerings.

Course Schedule for Academic Year 2021–2022

Fall 2021
Cultural Perspectives: American Ways
English For Academic Success I

Spring 2022
Writing in the Humanities
English for Academic Success II

Course Descriptions

Cultural Perspectives: American Ways (CP) 3 credits
American Ways is a cultural overview of life in the United States, designed to acquaint new international students at Simon’s Rock with the wide variety of cultures, beliefs, and practices of communities living in the U.S. Through close reading, written responses, structured debates, and discussion, the students become familiar with the ever-evolving concept of the “American Dream.”

Writing in the Humanities (W) 3 credits
Writing in the Humanities aims to introduce students to the craft of academic writing in a variety of fields within the humanities and social sciences. Through readings in philosophy, psychology, politics, art and literature, the students engage with each field through the written word and discussion. The writing skills that are cultivated in the course can be used to craft powerful entrance essays to academic programs and will prove invaluable to students in the written assignments they encounter as they progress through their academic career at Simon’s Rock and beyond.

English for Academic Success I and II 6 credits (3 credits each)
The English for Academic Success courses improve proficiency in English for academic purposes by focusing on the development of academic vocabulary, writing grammar and mechanics, and public speaking skills for academic presentations, debate and classroom discourse. Through deepening collocational vocabulary knowledge and improving English structural knowledge, this skills-based course will teach students to effectively support their opinions, hypothesize, craft arguments, discuss topics concretely and abstractly, and to tailor their language to a variety of audiences and registers.

I think everyone here appreciates what a special privilege each of you has enjoyed in attending a unique institution like Simon’s Rock…most important, though, you have completed a curriculum that emphasizes creativity and independent critical thinking, habits of mind that I am sure will stay with you…

-Dr. Ben S. Bernanke,
Chairman of the Federal Reserve and parent of a Simon's Rock graduate

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