Clemente In the News

Jun 3, 2015

This is one of the four Clemente Courses in Massachusetts sponsored by Mass Humanities.

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May 31, 2015

Halifax Humanities helps those who can’t afford higher education

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Adult Course Offers Learning For The Sake Of Learning

Flying on the wings of knowledge.

Clemente Course on NPR

Beth Fertig, WNYC

National Endowment for the Humanities features
the Clemente Course

"The world improves when each one of us becomes better. The Odyssey Project achieves one of the kindest acts: it encourages us to look within ourselves, to seek a better world and the most important, it gives us hope to find it."

Luis Tafolla,
Odyssey Project, Chicago,IL

A Bard College Clemente Course


National Humanities Medal

The Clemente Course in the Humanities awarded a 2014 National Humanities Medal

To the Clemente Course in the Humanities, for improving the lives of disadvantaged adults. The Clemente Course has brought free humanities education to thousands of men and women, enriching their lives and broadening their horizons.

(from the White House citation) 



"If one has been 'trained' in the ways of poverty, what is needed is a beginning, not a repetition... If we learn through the humanities to want to seek freedom, to be beginners, if we learn to live a life not of reaction but of reflection, then we're prepared to go on to do wonderful things and have a full life. We're free in ways that other people are not."

Earl Shorris, Founder, Clemente Course in the Humanities

The Clemente Course in the Humanities® is a unique educational institution founded in 1995 to teach the humanities at the college level to people living in economic distress.

The course works in conjunction with faculty from leading colleges and universities on five continents. Students learn through dialogue about moral philosophy, literature, history, art history, critical thinking, and writing.

More than ten thousand students worldwide have attended a Clemente course, and over fifty percent have successfully completed it.

The aim of the course is to bring the clarity and beauty of the humanities to people who have been deprived of these riches through economic, social, or political forces. While the course is not intended as preparation for college, many students have gone on to two- and four-year colleges.

There is no tuition; books are provided, and the college credits offered in most courses are readily transferable to other institutions.

In addition to free tuition and books, access to child care and transportation is provided without charge.

To learn about the origins of the Clemente Course, please read this article (PDF) from the September 1997 issue of Harper's Magazine and Riches for the Poor, both written by Clemente Course founder, Earl Shorris.

Harlem Clemente Course

A graduate from the class of 2014 tells her story.