Catalyst Clemente program giving free tertiary education to people in Midland and Joondalup

ECU’s School of Arts and Humanities continues to grow its commitment to the local community, with the innovative Catalyst Clemente outreach program expanding to a second location in Semester 2, 2017.

For the first time since ECU began delivering the program in 2008, a second location will be piloted in Joondalup, supported and hosted by Foundation Housing.

Program coordinator Kristian Guagliardo said the trial expansion was a positive move.

“We’ve traditionally taught Clemente in the eastern and southern suburbs, so it’s really exciting to now offer this opportunity to people in Perth’s northern corridor as well,” Mr Guagliardo said.

“The idea behind Clemente is that it opens up a university education to as many people as possible.”

Catalyst Clemente offers a tertiary-level education in the humanities to people who have faced multiple disadvantage – such as health issues, disability, homelessness, drug and alcohol issues or financial constraints – to assist them to drive positive change in their lives.

The course is taught at accessible locations within the community, rather than at a university campus. Students completing the four-unit program can obtain a University Certificate in Humanities and Arts, becoming eligible for admission into a relevant ECU undergraduate degree.

The program is free for participants, with ECU covering the tuition costs and fees.

ECU’s Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities Professor Clive Barstow praised both the individual and communal benefits of the program.

“An education in arts and humanities empowers people to make positive changes in their lives and enrich their communities,” Professor Barstow said.

“Many of our Clemente students have reported that the program not only led to further study or new careers, but instilled a newfound sense of confidence and hope that they were able to apply to their daily lives.”

Mr Guagliardo agreed, adding that students who undertook the Clemente course often referred to it as a life-changing experience.

“If you’ve always been interested in the arts and humanities, but perhaps had a bad experience at high school, or haven’t had the opportunity to get into a university course, Clemente might be right up your alley,” he said.

“We cover a wide range of subjects, touching on everything from history and politics through to philosophy, sociology and even English literature.

“The best part is, the course is conducted in a fun and supportive environment. Our lecturers are understanding and down-to-earth, and if you find the idea of study daunting, we have a dedicated student support officer who sits in every class to help students out.”

Applications for semester 2 are now open, with a closing date of Thursday, 27 July 2017.

In addition to the Joondalup pilot, ECU is continuing to teach Clemente in partnership with St Vincent de Paul Society WA at Midland Junction Lotteries House in Midland.

The Clemente Course in the Humanities was originally created by American academic Earl Shorris in New York in the 1990s. It has since expanded internationally, with Clemente Australia overseeing several versions of the program across Australia.

For further information or instructions on how to apply, please see the flyers attached.

Queries can be directed to the program coordinator, Mr Kristian Guagliardo, via email or on (8 61) 6304 2165.