About Our Course


The Harlem Clemente Course in the Humanities

“This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I will forever be grateful for everything I’ve learned and all the wonderful people I met.” 

Harlem Clemente classes are taught by experienced professors at top colleges. Each semester, students enroll in three courses that meet on a rotating basis. In the first semester, students take Philosophy, Literature, and Critical Thinking & Writing. In the second semester, students take American History, Art History, and Political Theory.

Clemente classes are all seminars, meaning they involve rigorous group discussion that requires the enthusiastic participation of all students. Together we build a classroom environment in which conflicting ideas are respected, considered, and responded to. Outside of class, students read assigned texts carefully and complete writing assignments designed to strengthen their abilities to analyze texts, develop their original ideas, and articulate those ideas persuasively.

Periodic field trips complement and enrich the Clemente curriculum. In 2013-2014, Harlem Clemente students toured The Metropolitan Museum of Art, saw Much Ado About Nothing at The Public Theater, attended a Riverside Symphony concert and a preconcert lecture on Takamitsu’s Death and Resurrection, about Hiroshima, did a walking tour of lower Manhattan, and attended All The Way, a Broadway play about Lyndon Johnson.

Clemente’s writing center tutors work with students one-on-one to help them develop their writing skills before class begins.

Childcare will also be provided free of charge to enable parents to enroll in the course [*CHILDCARE NOT AVAILABLE DURING FALL 2021, DUE TO THE PANDEMIC*]. Students who complete the course at a high level of academic achievement receive six Bard College credits that are transferable to virtually all colleges and universities in the country.

    • College-level instruction in the humanities for the economically disadvantaged
    • Full scholarship, including books and childcare
    • 110 hours of college-level instruction 2 evening a week from October to May
    • Modeled on Columbia University’s and University of Chicago’s core curricula, Clemente offers classes in literature, philosophy, art history, American history, and critical thinking & writing
    • Students who complete the course at a high level of achievement receive 6 credits from Bard College

“Clemente is a one in a million chance of a lifetime.”

Academic Objectives

    • To open new and exciting vistas for intellectual exploration through an encounter with masterpieces of literature, philosophy, art, and history
    • To sharpen students’ analytical and communication skills
    • To deepen students’ powers of perception and reflection
    • To prepare students for college by acquainting them with college texts, assignments, professors, classroom decorum, and other serious-minded students
    • To increase students’ confidence and enhance self-esteem
    • To heighten students’ personal and academic aspirations

“Harlem Clemente has made me more social and improved my critical thinking.”