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Bard College Now Accepting Applications for Its Free College Course in the Humanities in Kingston, New York

Program at Kingston Library Offers Free College-Level Courses in Humanities for College Credit, including Books, Transportation, and Childcare, to Low-Income Adults

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities is now accepting applications for its free college-level course in the humanities this fall in Kingston, New York. The course offers a rigorous introduction to the humanities—philosophy, literature, U.S. history, art history, and critical thinking and writing—to adults living on low incomes. Students attend at no cost, and tuition, books, and childcare will be provided. Students who successfully complete the course earn 6 college credits from Bard College. Classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 PM to 8 PM, from October 1 to May 31, at the Kingston Library.

Applicants must be 17 years of age or older; living in a household with low income; able to read a newspaper in English; highly motivated and committed; and have the time and desire to attend classes regularly, complete assignments outside of class, and participate fully in the course for the entire nine-month term. Older adults are welcome. Applications are available at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, at the circulation desk during regular business hours. For hours, please call 845-331-0507 or go to For more information about the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities in Kingston, please contact or 845-758-7096.

“Year after year, I continue to marvel at how the great books and works of art we teach in the Clemente Course have not only improved lives and opened doors, but created professional opportunities as well as lasting friendships,” says Marina van Zuylen, director of the Clemente Course and literature professor at Bard. “When our students apply for a job, they can talk about this unique experience. It is life changing for the students and professors alike.”

The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities, taught by Bard College faculty, provides college-level instruction, for college credit, to economically disadvantaged individuals. Begun as a pilot project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Clemente Course is currently in its 19th year of operation. Overall, the program has enrolled over 3,000 students. More than 2,000 have completed the course, and earned college credit; and more than 1,500 students have transferred to four-year colleges and universities or plan 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 the great works of literature, art history, moral philosophy, and American 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 childcare 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. For more information, please visit:

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This event was last updated on 08-20-2015