Mission Statement

Values, Mission and Goals

Values: Clemente is based on the conviction that by studying the humanities, individuals who have been denied access to economic, cultural and social opportunities develop the critical, reflective, and creative skills that empower them to work effectively toward improving their own lives and those of their families and communities.


Clemente provides free, accredited college courses in the humanities to those marginalized by economic hardship and adverse circumstances. Using the Socratic method, the Clemente Course provides a rigorous education in literature, philosophy, American history, art history, and critical thinking and writing. The experience of Clemente students around the world has demonstrated that through the dialectics of learning, in a caring and respectful classroom, participants develop crucial tools to set in motion personal and societal change, and are empowered to participate more fully in civic life.


  • Access: To remove significant obstacles that impede access to higher education by providing tuition, books, childcare and transportation at no cost to qualified students;
  • Higher Education: To create a bridge to higher education by developing the skills, confidence and motivation necessary to succeed in that context;
  • Civic Engagement: To strengthen habits of reflection and critical thinking so that students are better able to control the direction of their lives and engage effectively in action to improve their communities;
  • Partnerships: To sustain courses at the local level by fostering partnerships with colleges and community organizations and developing collaborative resources to deliver the Clemente program to qualified individuals.


About the Clemente Course in the Humanities Organization