Clemente is about people making changes. It provides the opportunity for people to move from where they are today to a place where they believe 'someone like me would never expect to be'.
Education can be simultaneously an end in itself and also the driver of other changes an individual may wish to make.
Participation in Clemente enhances the development of stronger social and other networks, formal and informal, along with increasing resilience. Other benefits include increased self-esteem, more structured lives, and an opportunity to exercise the intellect and imagination.
Student motivations for starting Clemente include:
To prove to myself I can achieve
For learning interest
For personal satisfaction
To move on from where I am
To undertake recognised academic study
I wanted additional skills
To move into employment
To make new friends
Clemente Australia Student feedback
Sam has a history of homelessness, including rough sleeping, a background of substance use and currently lives in public housing. Across the interviews below Sam developed an increased interest in work. He moved from a view of doing as little as possible, to proving people wrong through his successful study, to considering future employment:
"What sort of work do you see yourself doing in the future?"
"Very little. As little as possible."
"What do you hope to achieve from being at university?"
"I really want to do well. I'm not there to get a job… I'm there to prove all my teachers in high school wrong."
"What about the future?"
"The future holds promise. I'll tell you something else. Do you remember I said to you I'll never pay my HECS back and I'll never ever work, maybe that's not true. If I keep going good like this right, you know I could maybe get a teaching job or something like that…"
Clemente Course Locations
Clemente courses are run in the community, rather than at the university campus, where their education, welfare and health issues are best supported through their normal access to professional welfare and the range of supports they need.
In 2012, the Clemente Australia program is sponsored in nine locations in:
Newcastle/Hunter (on hold)
Adelaide - Flinders University
Perth - Edith Cowan University
The basic prerequisites for Clemente students include:
A desire to learn
A willingness to commit to a 12 week program
A literacy level that is sufficient to read a newspaper
Having a degree of stability in their lives
Being aged over 18 years old.
Admission to each course includes an interview process, whereby potential students are informed as to the nature of the course, and their willingness and ability to participate in the necessary studies are discussed.
Length of study
Students can undertake one unit a semester and generally complete the required four units over a two year period. These units have the same related content, readings and assessment tasks as on-campus undergraduate students.
A unit is taught across a 12 week period. Each week students attend a two-hour lecture and a one-hour 'shared learning' tutorial-style session.
Upon the successful completion of four (4) units students receive a Certificate in Liberal Studies, a non-award accredited university qualification.