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Bard College Now Accepting Applications for 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. Faculty Will Host Public Information/Interview Sessions on the Course at Kingston Library

Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities is offering a college-level introduction to the humanities—philosophy, literature, U.S. history, art history, critical thinking, and writing—again this fall in Kingston, New York, to adults living on low incomes. Students attend at no cost. 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 p.m. to 8 p.m., from October 2 through May at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401.

Applicants must be 17 years of age or older; living in a low-income household; 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.

“The impact this course has had on the lives of people in the Kingston area—veterans, single mothers, homeless, people in recovery, citizens in search of a community—is a great example of the power of education to change lives,” said Clemente Course Director Marina van Zuylen, stressing that many of the course’s graduates go on to enroll in part- and full-time college programs, while others have been successful in finding new career opportunities and getting their creative work published or exhibited. “The Clemente Course’s supportive and devoted teachers provide a very rare kind of personal and intellectual nurturing. Each year, we’re reaching more people and engaging more partners in the community who are eager to support the course and our students.”

Applications can be picked up from the Kingston Library, by clicking  (2018 Application), or by visiting Once the application is completed, please e-mail it to Marina van Zuylen at, or drop it off at the front desk of the Kingston Library at 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401. For library hours, please call 845-331-0507 or go to For more information about the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities being offered in Kingston, please visit or e-mail

All applicants must attend a required Bard Clemente info/interview session that will be held on Tuesday, September 25th and Thursday, September 27th from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Kingston Library. Please indicate on your application which session you plan to attend.

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 21st 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 Clemente Course was awarded a 2014 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

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 09-07-2018