Humanity in Perspective

“The community-centered learning approach of HIP worked for me and for the class as a whole. We shared experiences, thoughts, ideas, and inquiry. It was a space where we could show up and be ourselves, share and listen equally, and not be met with judgment.”—Qùynh Nguyễn, 2020 HIP Graduate

Registration for our 2022 Winter/Spring course will start soon. View upcoming courses here

Interested in participating? Click here to be notified when registration opens. 

Humanity in Perspective (HIP) offers a variety of free, for-credit, college-level humanities courses for people who are living on low incomes and/or facing barriers to continuing their education. 

There is no tuition or fees to attend HIP, and readings and books are provided. Participants earn transferable undergraduate credits from Bard College upon completion. 

Courses are made possible by a partnership between Oregon Humanities, the Clemente Course in the Humanities, Bard College, and Portland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For a list of upcoming courses, click here


Participants in the 2014 HIP cohort. Credit Kim Oanh Nguyen.

What to Expect

Classes take place twice a week in the evenings, with additional monthly Saturday classes. Currently, classes are offered via Zoom. When in-person classes resume, they will be held at Oregon Humanities’ downtown Portland office, with the option to participate virtually.

“HIP wasn’t just the instructor talking. This was a class where our feedback and knowledge was just as important as the instructor’s. It felt empowering and very much like a community rather than a classroom.”—Angie Graves, 2021 HIP Graduate

Class exploration is rooted in the core humanities disciplines of art, history, philosophy, literature, and critical thinking. Participants learn through conversation, written and creative projects, interactive presentations, and diverse media (such as film, podcasts, visual art, and music). View a list of works that we have read, watched, and listened to recently. 

HIP instructors honor students’ unique goals and nurture an environment where relevant learning, activity, and connections take place. Additional mentorship and tutoring is available outside of scheduled class times. Participants can expect to spend 1-2 hours per week on readings and assignments.

“Growing up working class and barely graduating from high school, I've mostly worked in factories or construction jobs. I never thought that attending and succeeding in a liberal arts program was even a remote possibility. HIP helped me make that opportunity for myself . . . I am a better communicator, listener, scholar, and community member thanks to HIP.” —Esther Forbyn, 2013 HIP Graduate

One Person Protest, a project by the Fall 2020 HIP course.

How to Enroll

If you are interested in enrolling in an upcoming course, please fill out this application. This is a short, noncompetitive application designed to take less than 15 minutes to complete.

HIP courses are currently open to adults age 18 and over who live in Oregon.

To qualify for HIP:

  • You do not have a four-year college degree.

  • You are able to read a newspaper in English.

  • Your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (see application for more income guidelines).

If you meet some but not all of the above criteria, please contact us or make a note on your application. We will consider all applications and make exceptions in certain circumstances.

For questions, please contact Rozzell Medina, HIP Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor, at or (503) 409-9134. 


Humanity in Perspective is made possible thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and foundations, corporations, and individual supporters.