Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities

Prospective Affiliates

Prospective Affiliates
The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities is a national program with headquarters at Bard and affiliated courses throughout the United States. Bard works with organizations and dedicated individuals across the country to lay the groundwork for creating new courses. Establishing a Clemente Course in a new community can be an important, rewarding experience, but it is also an endeavor that takes planning, determination, and dedication.

Getting Started

There are four key elements to creating a Clemente Course: (1) securing the necessary funding, (2) selecting an appropriate host organization (if the affiliate is not also the community host), (3) engaging a course director and faculty, and (4) successfully recruiting students.

Step One: Application and Funding

Welcome to this page.  We are delighted that you are planning to begin your Clemente Course.  Please email Marina van Zuylen ( or Lela Hilton (  Many thanks for your interest

Step Two: Select a Host Organization

Most Bard College Clemente Courses involve collaboration between Bard College, the affiliate, and a community organization that hosts the course (at times, the affiliate is also the community host organization). By sharing responsibilities for course implementation, the resources and expertise of each partner combine for the creation of a high-quality academic program in a supportive environment with solid prospects for sustainable funding. Clemente Courses have been hosted by a variety of organizations.

Step Three: Selecting a Director

The course director is a key figure in the success of a Clemente Course, simultaneously playing the roles of teacher, administrator, mentor, confidant, and advocate. The director attends every class in order to support both faculty and students; ensure that high academic standards and decorum are maintained; see that students' problems are addressed; and to verify that administrative tasks and unexpected contingencies are managed.

Step Four: Selecting Faculty

To a large degree, the success of the Clemente Course hinges on finding the best possible faculty through a careful search. Such a search takes into account personality and teaching style as well as academic credentials. Because Clemente Course instructors possess other important qualities besides academic credentials, the positions are generally not widely advertised in traditional ways.