Clemente Course in the Humanities
The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities provides college-level instruction, for college credit, to economically disadvantaged individuals aged 17 and older. Begun as a pilot project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Clemente Course is currently in its 22nd year, with approximately 450 students matriculated at 30 sites around the country, 20 of which offer Bard credits. Overall, the program has enrolled more than 3,000 students, of whom approximately 2,000 completed the course, 1,800 earned college credit, and 1,500 transferred to four-year colleges and universities or planned to do so.
The program is based on the belief that by studying the humanities, participants acquire the cultural capital, conceptual skills, and appreciation for reasoned discourse necessary to improve their societal situation. Clemente students receive 110 hours of instruction in five humanistic disciplines and explore great works of literature, art history, moral philosophy, and U.S. history. Instruction in critical thinking and writing is also offered. The program removes many of the financial barriers to higher education that low-income individuals face; books, carfare, and child care are provided, and tuition is free. Bard grants a certificate of achievement to any student completing the Clemente Course and 6 college credits to those completing it at a high level of academic performance. Bard also provides information sessions on applying to colleges and offers a two-semester sequel program in New York City, Chicago, and Boston for graduates who desire to continue their education but are unable to transfer immediately into a regular college program. For more information, visit the Clemente Course website or contact Marina van Zuylen at firstname.lastname@example.org.