Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities

For Affiliates: Step Four

For Affiliates: Step Four

Selecting Course Faculty

To a large degree, the success of the Clemente Course hinges on finding the best possible faculty through a careful search. Such a search takes into account personality and teaching style as well as academic credentials. Because Clemente Course instructors possess other important qualities besides academic credentials, the positions are generally not widely advertised in traditional ways.

Things to Consider:

Hiring Clemente Course faculty is often most efficient and effective when relying on personal referrals from people who understand the program's mission. Department chairs, faculty members, or humanities center staff at colleges and universities are often in a good position to recommend prospective instructors who would be first-rate, interested, and available. Potential candidates may include active professors at local colleges, upper-level graduate students, and scholars working in community organizations such as museums. The selection of all faculty and their course plans and syllabi must be approved by Bard College.

Qualifications: Five instructors are needed to teach classes in literature, moral philosophy, art history, American history, and critical writing and thinking. Course instructors are required to have an M.A. or Ph.D. in a humanities discipline and to be experienced teachers. The instructor must be in command of his/her field and adept at engaging the students, responding to them in a meaningful way, and handling the group dynamics of a classroom that has students with a wide range of skills and abilities. S/he should have a warm personality, a sincere regard for the students, a passion for his/her field, an ability to communicate the excitement of the material, and a teaching style that balances getting the material across with drawing out the students in discussion.

The five classes rotate through the academic year, each meeting for 11 two-hour sessions. Faculty compensation is usually $4,000 for teaching one of the five sections.