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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.

More >

"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

Earl Shorris visits Buenos Aires

Nov 11, 2010
A recent visit to Argentina
Earl Shorris shares an encounter with teenagers, talking about the Allegory of the Cave (from Plato's Republic) and asks the question: Do you wish to start the path of wisdom?

Shorris is the founder of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a college level course aimed at people living in poverty, and to help them develop critical thinking, argumentative capacity, evaluate the taste for art, reflect on history, logic, known works of literature, and apply this new ability to thinking in any field. The Course is free and today is taught in 17 states in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Africa and Australia.
Earl Shorris Visits Brazil

Shorris is in Las Tunas, which is a barrio in Tigre, part of greater Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is meeting with high school students and teachers from the University of San Andrés.