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News

Jun 29, 2017

Graduates: Humanities courses equip students with skills for any profession

by Katie Kowalski as published at PTLeader.com

Studying the humanities instilled in Justin Lake a deep sense of self and place in the world. He came to see himself as someone who could take part in society, make changes and have a voice.

“I felt like a more responsible citizen,” he said.

Lake is a 36-year-old single father and a graduate of the Jefferson Clemente Course, a branch of the Clemente Course in the Humanities that offers college courses to low-income individuals. He’s a naturalist who teaches all over Jefferson County, and he’s now working on getting a teacher’s certificate.

Erik Montoya, age 37, also is a single father who benefited from the free classes in the humanities.

“I know it sounds corny, but it really was a life-changing experience for me,” said Montoya, who is working to get a bachelor’s degree so he can teach history.

Their stories are not uncommon for Clemente students, said Lela Hilton, a national director who founded the Jefferson County branch of Clemente.

“They get that fire from education, and figure out what to do,” she said. “I think that all of our students see that liberal arts and the humanities are incredibly practical.”

Clemente offers its courses free of charge to qualifying individuals, and this Friday, June 23, is hosting NPR’s “Says You!” team to help benefit the program.

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"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

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

"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

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)

 

 

 

About Us

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.

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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: The Clemente Course in the Humanities, both written by Clemente Course founder, Earl Shorris.

The Clemente Project

Two nights a week, at a community center in Dorchester, Ma, a group of adults discuss Aristotle, Virginia Woolf and Picasso's Guernica, in the rigorous Clemente Course in the Humanities. The students value their time here, as their life circumstances have made college a deferred dream. Inside the classroom, their studies give rise to vigorous debate; outside, to some unexpected life changes.

Filmmaker: James Rutenbeck, Independent Producer & Editor
Lost Nation Pictures, Ltd
land line: 617-254-6400
mobile: 978-204-8935
http://www.lostnationpictures.com
http://www.scenesfromaparish.com