Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities

For Affiliates: Step Two

For Affiliates: Step Two

Selecting a Host Organization

Most Bard College Clemente Courses involve collaboration between Bard College, the affiliate, and a community organization that hosts the course. The resources and expertise of each partner combine for the creation of a high-quality academic program in a supportive environment with solid prospects for sustainable funding.

Things to Consider:

Clemente Courses have been hosted by a variety of organizations. They can include youth service organizations, mental health and family guidance centers, innovative high schools that serve low-income populations with special needs, community health centers, community action agencies that operate programs such as Head Start, neighborhood centers, teen parenting programs, and religious centers. Bard's approval is required for the final selection of a host organization. In evaluating potential host organizations, the following criteria should be considered:
  • Location: The Clemente Course should be situated in a central location that is easily accessible by public transportation and one to which both students and faculty are comfortable traveling. Because classes are held in the evening, there should be adequate, well-lit parking facilities, if needed.
  • Facility: The host needs to provide a classroom that is large enough for 25–30 people to be seated around a seminar table, with comfortable chairs, a blackboard or dry-erase board, good lighting, and an inviting atmosphere that is conducive to learning. The facility must either be open at night or provide easy after-hours access.
  • Student Recruitment: The host should have a substantial number of potential Clemente students among its existing constituents, as well as the ability to network with other organizations in order to recruit more students from the community.
  • Administrative Support: A staff member should be available to work with the Clemente Course director to meet the needs of the class as they arise throughout the year. That staff member should be prepared to help make social service referrals, deal with course-related financial matters, oversee student recruitment, and serve as liaison with the organization's administration and board. Further staff support is needed for scheduling admission interviews and some secretarial tasks.
  • Fundraising: It is important that the host organization be in a sufficiently sound financial position to collaborate with Bard College in securing funding for a sustainable program. Either the organization's director or development staff must be willing and able to devote time to raise funds specifically for the Clemente Course.
  • Mission: It is essential that there be (1) a good fit between the host organization's mission and the goals of the program and (2) a clear understanding of the benefits that hosting a successful Clemente Course can bring to the organization. The Clemente Course should be embraced as one of the host's own programs.