Clemente Course in the Humanities

 

2016 Brockton Clemente Course Graduates

 

What is it?

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.

Low Income residents are given tuition-free, college level instruction for college credit. They study literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, and writing. The Course is based on the premise that the insights and skills offered by studying traditional humanities disciplines can provide people with crucial tools for gaining control over their lives and becoming engaged in their communities. The students are provided free books, carfare, and childcare to ensure there are fewer obstacles to completing the 110 hours of instruction the Course requires. Classes meet twice a week for eight months at a community site.

Who participates?
Students 17 and older from disadvantaged backgrounds, and a dedicated faculty.

 

What does this program do?

For the more than 400 graduates of the Clemente Courses that Mass Humanities has offered, the study of literature, art history, moral philosophy, and American history has provided an inspired gateway from one reality to another. To use the students’ words: from “detached to aware,” “neglected to engaged,” “dormant to energized.” These adults have not only transcended the barriers of their beginnings, they have come to epitomize the transformative power of the humanities.

Bard College grants a certificate of achievement to all students who finish the course and six transferable college credits to those who complete it at a high level of academic performance.

What’s the history of the Clemente Course?
The writer Earl Shorris, who conceived and developed the Clemente course in 1995, explained its core concept in an interview in Mass Humanities: “The humanities provide the most practical education. The humanities teach us to think reflectively, to begin, to deal with the new as it occurs to us, to dare. If the multi-generational poor are to make the leap out of poverty, it will require a new kind of thinking—reflection.

Where in Massachusetts is the program running?
In Massachusetts, the Clemente Course is currently offered in Dorchester, New Bedford, Worcester, Holyoke, Springfield, and Brockton, in partnership with local social service agencies in those communities.

The writer Earl Shorris, who conceived and developed the Clemente course in 1995, explained its core concept in an interview in Mass Humanities: “The humanities provide the most practical education. The humanities teach us to think reflectively, to begin, to deal with the new as it occurs to us, to dare. If the multi-generational poor are to make the leap out of poverty, it will require a new kind of thinking—reflection.

Click here to apply for the 2017-2018 program, beginning Fall 2017.

The Brockton Clemente Course runs annually October through May. Applications may be submitted at any time, but will not be reviewed until August.

If you prefer to complete the application by hand, you can download a paper copy here. (If completing application on paper, please return to the Family Center via mail, fax, or in person: 1367 Main Street, Brockton MA 02301 / fax: 508-857-3361)

Paper applications are also available at the Family Center.

Deadline: August 31st

 

Community Partners:

The Brockton Clemente Course is made possible by Mass Humanities, Stonehill College, The Family Center at Community Connections of Brockton, Coordinated Family and Community Engagement, Bridgewater State University, Massasoit Community College, North Easton Savings Bank, and Harbor One Bank.

 

Contact:

The Family Center, 1367 Main Street, Brockton, MA 02301

phone: 508-857-0272

fax: 508-857-3361

email: Janine DiLorenzo, Coordinator at janine.dilorenzo@ccbrockton.org

 

Learn more:

http://clementecourse.org/

http://clemente.bard.edu/

http://masshumanities.org/programs/clemente-course/

“Adult Course Offers Learning for the Sake of Learning,” NPR. (2015 May 31)

“Obama to honor Bard’s Clemente Course with National Humanities Medal,” Poughkeepsie Journal. (2015 Sept 6).