Humanity in Perspective

Kim Nguyen

Humanity in Perspective (HIP) is a free college humanities course for adults who do not have a college degree and who face financial barriers to continuing their education. Students explore challenging ideas about power, justice, knowledge, identity, and community in an engaging and supportive environment.

HIP in Portland

Oregon Humanities, in partnership with Bard College and Portland State University, provides access to college-level education for adults living on low incomes through an eight-month course on philosophy, literature, US history, art history and visual culture, and critical thinking and writing. With an accessible class structure and staff support designed to ease participation, students are able to challenge themselves and actively engage in class discussion and personal reflection. Students earn six transferable credits for successfully completing the program. Classes meet two weekday evenings each week, September through April. Each class is two hours long. Starting in September 2018, the program will be hosted in East Portland in partnership with The Rosewood Initiative. View the 2018–19 HIP course descriptions here.

Program Goals

  • To build a foundation in the humanities and higher education in order to develop students’ skills and confidence
  • To use these new tools to inspire community-building work
  • To provide educational opportunities for adults living on low incomes by removing financial barriers

Program History

Humanity in Perspective is based on the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities, an innovative program that began in New York City in 1995 and now operates in several cities in the United States and Australia. Oregon Humanities has offered HIP courses in Portland, Salem, and at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton.


Community Partners

Oregon Humanities works with colleges, social service and community organizations, and volunteers to make this program accessible and facilitate student success. Local colleges and universities connect instructors with our program; organizations help connect potential applicants with the program; and volunteer study group leaders help ensure students are supported during the eight-month duration.

Program Cost

There is no cost to students. Tuition, course materials, books, transportation, and a childcare stipend are offered by Oregon Humanities to all participants. All of this would not be possible without the generous support of foundations, corporations, and individuals.

If you are interested in this program and would like to receive an application when available, please fill out the contact form below.

Click here to fill out contact form. 

For more information please contact program manager April Slabosheski at or at 503-241-0543 Ext. 123.

Humanity in Perspective is made possible thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual supporters.