Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities

For Affiliates: Step Three

For Affiliates: Step Three

Selecting a Course Director

The course director is a key figure in the success of a Clemente Course, simultaneously playing the roles of teacher, administrator, mentor, confidant, and advocate. The director attends every class in order to support both faculty and students; ensure that high academic standards and decorum are maintained; see that students' problems are addressed; and to verify that administrative tasks and unexpected contingencies are managed.

Things to Consider:

Qualifications: The director is required to have an advanced degree in the humanities, preferably a Ph.D. The director should also teach one of the sections of the course. The director should be warm and approachable, someone the students trust enough to talk with about both the difficulties in their lives and problems that they may be having with the course. S/he must be caring and compassionate, respectful of the students' abilities and potential, and firm in his/her expectations of both faculty and student performance. A basic level of administrative skill is also required to ensure that the course runs smoothly, careful records are kept, and timely reports are provided to Bard College. Usually, the job of course director is a quarter-time position with a yearly compensation of $10,000, plus another $4,000 for teaching one of the course sections.


  • Attends all classes (two evenings a week)
  • Recruits, selects, and coordinates faculty schedules
  • Recruits, interviews, and orients students
  • Establishes the academic calendar, coordinates assignments, and orders books
  • Provides oversight of quality and effectiveness of classes
  • Supports students through mentoring, problem solving, advocacy, and help with social service support
  • Serves as liaison with host organization, ensuring that the classroom is ready, childcare and transportation provisions have been made, and faculty payments are processed
  • Keeps records and submits reports to Bard College
  • Represents the course to the community and arranges for the support of educational institutions, arts organizations, social service agencies, and the media
  • If funding allows, attends the annual meeting of course directors