The Clemente Course in the Humanities is a partnership between El Centro and the Foundation for Community Empowerment  Free Minds Program.

It is a six-hour class for low-income individuals and provides free tuition for the course, free books, free DART pass, free child care and access to a case manager available for any personal issues that may arise (housing, food security, domestic violence, etc).  You cannot be enrolled in any other college courses to be eligible for this program.

About Free Minds

Free Minds is based on the assumption that rigorous engagement with the humanities, such as literature, philosophy, art, history and critical thinking, can change people's lives. Hundreds of educationally and economically disadvantaged individuals across the country have experienced unexpected freedom, empowerment and opportunity by participating in the Clemente Course in the Humanities.

Quick Information

A two-semester course in the humanities, taught by world-class, local college professors, for adults who do not have college degrees and who face significant financial barriers.

  • Earn six hours of college credit through Dallas College
  • Tuition and books are fully covered by a scholarship
  • Classes begin in September
  • Two class times and locations available

College Credit

The Clemente Course is a two-semester course in the humanities. It is a partnership between El Centro and Free Minds Dallas, an initiative of the Foundation for Community Empowerment. The course is taught by accomplished professors from the region and is easily transferrable to most major colleges and universities. As a Clemente student, you will be supported by an extensive network of services and have access to all El Centro has to offer:

  • Free DART Pass
  • El Centro’s Library Resources
  • Advising and Support Services such as the Adult Resource Center, Accessibility Services and more
  • Learning/Computer/Language Labs


You are eligible to apply to Free Minds if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • do not have a college degree and are not currently enrolled in any college courses
  • are able to read challenging books in English
  • can demonstrate financial need
  • will commit to attending classes regularly and completing all assignments

Course Details

  • Classes meet September through May
  • No cost for tuition or books
  • Two courses available:
    • Saturday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at El Centro Campus
    • Monday and Thursday, 6:45-8:30 p.m. at the CitySquare Opportunity Center, 1610 S. Malcolm X Blvd. (at Interstate 30)
    • Child care available at CitySquare

Apply Here

For more information, please visit or call Vanessa Mercado Taylor at 214-860-2443.