Westminster College is partnered with community organizations to facilitate several programs in order to assist underserved students with their education.

What is Clemente?

Westminster College faculty and students from the Honors College are excited to provide valuable guidance to underserved high school students at East High School about college through the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a new community partnership with East High and the University of Utah Honors College.

The Clemente course is an interdisciplinary, elective humanities course for high school sophomores who hope to be the first in their families to attend college. A highly experiential, discussion-based course, Clemente brings college faculty to east high to teach philosophy, art history, literature, and history. An honors English teacher from East High School teaches the critical writing section. The course is coordinated at East through the AVID (Advancement through Individual Determination) program. University neighborhood partners assist the effort through supporting the development of parent involvement.

This spring, Westminster College film professor Sean Desilets, assisted by Honors College student, Willy Palomo, will teach literature. History professor Gary Marquardt, assisted by Nicole Bedera, will teach history.
The Clemente course has been made possible through contributions from all of its community partners and through a generous grant from alternative visions.

For more information on the Clemente course, contact Lance Newman at lnewman@westminstercollege.edu and read about Clemente's impact in its inaugural year.

What Students are Saying About Clemente

"[Through Clemente] I learn about things that are not in your everyday high school curriculum. I think critically and actually enjoy discussions in class. It's something new every day and because of this, I find myself being more and more engaged in my other classes as well, such as language arts and chemistry."

Katrina, 16

"The Clemente program has helped me open my mind and view the world in a different way... I'm more comfortable standing in front of people to talk, making new friends, and am not afraid to ask questions."

Yair, 15

"Clemente has helped me become a better student by helping me think more deeply about different subjects and understand topics in a deeper and different way. I love the way it helps me think."

Dayerlin, 15

Special thanks to Troy Horne for contributing his music to this project.

What is Venture?

Venture is Utah's Clemente Course! The Clemente Course in the Humanities is a community-based program offering accredited college courses in the liberal arts, tuition-free, to people living on low incomes who have limited access to college education. To this end, it mobilizes social services and community organizations, state humanities councils, and institutions of higher learning. Books, course materials, access to childcare and transportation are provided without charge. Classes are taught by college and university professors. More than 7,000 students in multiple states have enrolled in CCH, many of whom earned college credits and successfully continued their college education. The Clemente Course is supported in this endeavor by a dynamic partnership with Bard College, which for 20 years has granted academic credits to many affiliate programs, while also providing key support through academic oversight, collaborative fundraising, professional development, and outreach.

Venture in Salt Lake City, Utah

Venture is a free two-semester college course in the humanities for anyone who dares to dream. This accredited evening course, taught by Westminster College faculty, gives students new ways of thinking about their lives and their world, developing their ability to think and write critically and empowering them to take more control of their future. Using discussion and reflection to learn and primary sources as texts, Venture uses the liberal arts to help liberate the mind.

About Venture

  • Venture
  • Earn transferable credits from Westminster College in art history, literature, American history, philosophy, and writing
  • Tuition, books, child care, and transportation are provided
  • Classes begin in September and run through April
  • Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Historic Scott School Arts & Community Center located at 3238 South 540 East

Who Attends Venture?

  • People curious about the world and eager to develop their minds
  • Single parents whose responsibilities have forced them to postpone their education
  • Anyone, young or old, interested in college, but without the funds for tuition
  • Newcomers to the U.S. eager to advance their education
  • You!


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Have a limited household income
  • Desire to further your education
  • Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking in English

What Venture Course Graduates Say

Venture2"I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Venture program. Every instructor was wonderful and going to class was an enjoyable experience I looked forward to every week. My family and I are on a better track for becoming self-sufficient. I would recommend this program to anyone. Thank you to everyone involved who made this possible!"

"Venture has made me feel alive again. It has been so refreshing and stimulating to be around so many like-minded people. The teachers have taken the time out of their lives to be active, caring participants in ours, which not only has taught us so many things about the subjects themselves, but has also shown us that each one of us can and needs to be active, caring participants in our own lives and in this world."

What Westminster College graduates say about Venture

As I sit at my desk working on a paper for my graduate Human Development class at Loyola University, I pause and "pinch" myself to reflect on how I got here. Venture. I'd always had the "idea" of going to college tucked into a corner of my mind and my heart, but I saw college as a thing that other people did. Why not me? No resources, no money, no encouragement, and no idea about how to "bridge the gap". The Venture Course was that bridge. Venture gave me the confidence I needed. It said "yes" when everything and everyone else said "no". It said "possible" when "impossible" tried to control my mind. The humanities opened up a new way of thinking about and relating to the world that finally made sense to me. It taught me new vocabulary and helped me know that I fit into this world just by being. Because of my experience in The Venture Course I will never again believe in "impossible."
Robin Smith, McNair Scholar, Westminster College Graduate, 2013