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 association with Bard CollegeMarylhurst University, 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 a class schedule and support designed to ease participation, students are able to challenge themselves and participate in a community of learners. Students earn six transferable credits for successfully completing the program. Classes meet two weekday evenings each week, September through April, at Oregon Humanities' office in downtown Portland.


Program Goal

To increase civic participation and educational and economic opportunities for adults living on low incomes by removing barriers to the humanities and higher education.


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.


Referral Agencies

Oregon Humanities works with social service and community organizations to make this program a success in Portland. The role of these organizations is to assist Oregon Humanities with student recruitment and retention. Referral agencies are committed to the following:

  • Informing their clients about the HIP program.

  • Assisting individuals interested in the program with the application process.

  • Working with the HIP course director to provide support for the students they recruited who are selected to participate in the course. This helps us to ensure each student's success in the class.


Program Cost

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

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Kyle Weismann-Yee at (503) 241-0543 or (800) 735-0543, ext. 112; or at

Humanity in Perspective is made possible thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William H. and Marcia D. Randall Foundation, and Literary Arts.