Clemente Course Overview

The Clemente Course in the Humanities offers a transformative educational opportunity for adults facing economic hardship and adverse circumstances to advance their education and careers. The opportunity provides two semesters of tuition-free, college-level instruction.

The Clemente Course brings together students from diverse backgrounds to grow their critical thinking, writing, discussion and public speaking skills through humanities courses such as American history, art history, literature and culture, writing, and philosophy. The student-centered learning experience encourages conversation and empowers students to engage with their neighbors in new ways. 

The Brockton Clemente Program is offered through Stonehill College's May School of Arts and Sciences, providing students with credits and formal course support.

Fall 2020 Courses

Clemente Courses for Fall 2020 will be held virtually on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:15-8:15 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the content of American History, as well as the theories, methods and application of “doing history.” The course will engage students in readings and classroom discussions that examine the nation’s formation – its evolutions and revolutions over time. While the course will focus on Ronald Takaki’s A Different Mirror, we will also look at some primary documents seen as seminal to the nation’s history and identity. Finally we will investigate the politics and meanings of “history” and “memory” and “identity” for contemporary residents of the United States. Thus, the history we study will always be interrogated for its significance in the past as well as its impact on the present and future.

This course will be taught by Aminah Pilgrim.

This course will look at various forms of literature ranging from poetry and spoken word performance to short stories and novels. We will begin by discussing the interpretation of poetry and prose and develop skills for considering the various cultural meanings and forms of communications that writers create for their audiences. We will have two writing assignments—one short essay representing the genre of “origin stories” and addressing personal or social origins through fictional or biographical writing. The second longer essay will ask you to choose a thematic lens to compare and contrast two or more different pieces and authors. More detail and directions for the final assignments will be forthcoming.

This course will be taught by Corey Dolgan.

This course is interspersed throughout the year and is focused on giving students support with their writing assignments in the other four classes.

The course will be taught by Sawsan Zahara. 

Spring 2021 Courses

This section of the course has three main goals:

  • to introduce some of the most influential monuments in the history of art; 
  • to develop the skills of looking at and describing images;
  • to instill some sense of visual pleasure.

Marilyn Stokstad’s Art, A Brief History will be used as a source for images and background information.

Assignments will include weekly journal entries and a paper on a work of art viewed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Does good adopt techniques of evil when trying to respond to evil? What is evil? What is RADICAL Evil? Does either act make a difference in its impact on society or a circumstance? How do evil people perceive themselves? Big questions that make us scramble for the right answer. But, what is the right answer? Is there a right answer Philosophy does not have a simple definition. In some regards, philosophy is perhaps the quest to answer the unanswerable. It is a way of asking questions. But, in trying to get to the unanswerable, we find understanding in the questions, most often not getting to the answer.  Philosophy is about getting to maybe, with uncertainty of what maybe is, since maybe is closer to the truth; though we don’t know what the truth is, since the answer is in the truth. Philosophy is about hope, for in getting to maybe without finding the truth, it leaves room to hope. Hope for the truth. While exploring the work of several traditional and contemporary philosophers, this class will challenge students to think deeply about their moral imagination and their judgments and opinions. The class will identify their own philosophy and construct moral principles to examine the consciousness of some of society’s most compelling contemporary social issues. After examining anthologies of traditional and contemporary philosophers, the class will explore the question: What are the core components of constructing a just and equitable society, grounded in human goodness and respect for personhood and identity?”

This course is interspersed throughout the year and is focused on giving students support with their writing assignments in the other four classes.

The course will be taught by Sawsan Zahara.

The Clemente Program was a great opportunity to meet new people and learn from their culture and experiences. We had such an amazing time together because we respected each other’s opinions, cultures, and we grew to care for and love one another.

Meet the Program Directors

Aminah Fernandes Pilgrim

Clemente Program Co-Director
Aminah Fernandes Pilgrim is a mother, historian, artist, author and community organizer. In addition to working with Clemente Program, she is a faculty member at UMass Boston, a research associate of the Maurício Gaston Institute at UMass Boston, an affiliate of the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies at Bridgewater State University and teaches courses at Berklee College of Music. She is an advocate of teaching using civic engagement and has empowered many students to make a difference in this field.

Corey Dolgon

Clemente Program Co-Director
Corey Dolgon is a father, sociologist, musician, author and political activist. In addition to being a founding co-director of the Clemente Program, he is a sociology professor at Stonehill College and President of the Society for the Study of Sociology. He has written five books including award winning monographs entitled, The End of the Hamptons: Scenes from the Class Struggle in America’s Paradise and Kill it to Save it: An Autopsy of Capitalism’s Triumph over Democracy.

FAQs for Clemente Alumni

Clemente alumni can request transcripts by emailing Lisa Tressel in the Registrar's Office at

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