Clemente Course

A College Humanities Course for Underserved High School Students

clemente slc field trip

The Clemente Course is an accredited interdisciplinary humanities course for underserved 10th and 11th grade students. Taught primarily by college professors, the course is intellectually rigorous, focusing on significant multicultural works using primary documents, group discussion, writing, and group projects as the basis for learning, and is consistent with Utah’s new Common Core curriculum. The pilot course is underway at East High School in Salt Lake City.

Check out the Oral History Poetry and the We Are One Public Art Project below for an example of what Clemente students are accomplishing. 

The Clemente Course is a community partnership created and directed by Utah Humanities for underserved high school students at East High in Salt Lake City. It is being piloted at East High with its academic partners the University of Utah's Honors College and Westminster College's Honors Program. Faculty and undergraduates from the University of Utah's Honors College and from Westminster College's Honors Program, with faculty from East High, teach the Course, and it is coordinated and supported at East High. University Neighborhood Partners assists the effort through outreach to Clemente parents.

All partners contribute funding to the project. Utah Humanities has received major support from Alternative Visions, a fund of the Chicago Community Trust, to offer Clemente in Utah.

What Students Say About Clemente

"If I had the chance to join Clemente again I would do it in a matter of seconds. Clemente is a wonderful program!" - Lusi

"It's a course that helps extend your learning and knowledge of the world. - Yerry

"Clemente will make you think about topics that have never even crossed your mind before." - Katrina

Clemente Students Write Poetry from Oral History Interviews

StudentsWritingStudents in the Clemente Course in the Humanities have been recording the oral histories of friends or relatives as part of their literature class at East High in Salt Lake City, taught by Professor Sean Desilets and honors student Emma Metos from Westminster College's Honors Program. Focused on the theme of "migration" in literature, these students created some of their own poetry, based on these interviews. The poems speak of the separation and loneliness many immigrants feel, as well as the hope for greater opportunity in America.

The poem featured here is just one of the touching pieces. You can read the additional poems here.

Her Story

When you are fifteen, you have your set of friends
My sister was shy
I was always outgoing
When you are new and older, it is hard to make those friends.

She was grown
And I was younger--too young to miss England
Her home, my house
We took a test
I passed
She didn't

Five years.
Five years was all it took.
It was different for her
For me, it was all the same.

- Aria Critchley, from an interview with her mother

Photo: Clemente students at East High School in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy of Jean Cheney.

The Clemente 2015 Summer Camp

Click here to explore a short documentary from the 2015 Clemente summer humanities camp.

The "We Are One Inside Out Project" as part of the Clemente Course

In March of 2014, as an outgrowth of the Clemente Course, Clemente students at East High turned their school "inside out." Although East High School is now 63% “minority” with Latino, Pacific Islander, Asian, and African American students and student refugees from around the world in its classrooms, many in Salt Lake still imagine the school as it used to be—predominantly white. The Clemente students wanted to show East High's true face to the world. Read more about the "We Are One Inside Out Project.

Media Coverage for Clemente

Utah’s New Clemente Program Seeks to Excite Underserved Students to Attend College
Humanities Courses Hope to Transform the Way People Learn

The Clemente Course has received major support from Alternative Visions, a fund of the Chicago Community Trust. Additional support for Clemente has been provided by the Sorenson Foundation. The Clemente Course is made possible through partnerships with the University of Utah Honors College, Westminster College Honors Program, East High School, and University Neighborhood Partners.

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