People talking at a table with books.

S5 E10: The Students Healing Educational Trauma by Studying Literature, History, Art, and Philosophy

Higher education is not just about getting a job—and the Clemente program suggests that study of the humanities can be life-changing and empowering.

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Episode Notes

For many Americans, a college degree is seen as a path to a better job. But higher education is not just about career advancement. It’s also about developing the life of the mind, critical reflection, and a love of learning. Often, says guest Ingrid Ingerson, those students who have experienced educational trauma and had interrupted studies are those most positively impacted by the chance to study the humanities. That’s why she’s worked to build on Antioch University’s partnership with the Clemente Course in the Humanities to create a first–of–its–kind, free, four-course series for non-consecutive learners. It’s called “Inflection Points.” In this conversation, Ingrid talks about her own educational history and how it brought her to this work, her research into specific Clemente instructors for her Master of Education thesis, and the transformations she has seen in students who embrace this work. 

Visit Antioch’s website to learn more about the BRIDGE Program in Los Angeles and the Inflection Points Course that Ingrid helped found. You can also read our news article about the launch of Inflection Points.

Learn more about the Clemente Course in the Humanities on their website

This episode was recorded June 15, 2023, via and released June 28, 2023. 

The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University

Host: Jasper Nighthawk

Editor: Johanna Case

Digital Design: Mira Mead

Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont

Work-Study Interns: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion, Carrie Hawthorn, Stefanie Paredes, and Georgia Bermingham.  

A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan, and Melinda Garland

To access a full transcript and find more information about this and other episodes, visit To get updates and be notified about future episodes, follow Antioch University on Facebook.


Ingrid Ingerson

S5 Episode 10 Transcript

S5E10: Ingrid Ingerson

Jasper: [00:00:00] This is the Seed Field Podcast, the show where Antiochian share their knowledge, tell their stories, and come together to win victories for humanity. I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk. And today we’re joined by Ingrid Ingerson for a conversation about the value of studying the humanities and the transformative potential of these subjects for adult students who, for a variety of reasons, have yet to finish their college education. So many of us here in the US and around the world have had a path through life that wasn’t the straight and narrow. I think all of us have some experience of this, but for students who don’t end up going or finishing college, there are any of a million factors that can blow us off course. These can include an unstable home life, the need to take care of younger siblings, serious illness, pregnancy, and a decision to join the military.

These can all get [00:01:00] in the way of going to college and so can other things that happen that are less like the starting plot of a Lifetime movie. Some students experience drug and alcohol addiction, or they have bad news relationships, or they spend their twenties trying to become an influencer. In a just society, none of these circumstances would be disqualifying or mean that you’ve lost out forever on the chance to have a college education. And here at Antioch, the idea that students of all ages and experiences should have the opportunity to finish a college degree and get on with their lives, pursue higher education if they want, underpins all of our undergraduate offerings. 

These often help students turn their life experiences, their job training, and their self-directed study into college credit. And we’ve helped thousands of students finish their BAs and often go on to raise their earning potential very significantly because our society rewards people who have college degrees. But a college [00:02:00] education is not just about earning potential, it’s also about developing the life of the mind, the skills of critical reflection and analysis that make us truly able to participate as citizens in our democracy. And, on an even more basic level, they help us to live fulfilled lives full of wonder and a deep rootedness in our culture.

Now, I think these can sometimes seem like really highfalutin concepts when what somebody needs is a job. But our guest today, Ingrid Ingerson, has been deeply involved in the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a nonprofit that partners with organizations around the country to offer free courses in the humanities to what they call non-consecutive learners.

So these people who haven’t finished a college degree for any of many reasons. The Clemente Course in the Humanities argues that it can be profound and transformative for these students in particular, to have the chance to explore some of the oldest texts in our civilization and to really engage [00:03:00] with the subjects that fall under the rubric of the humanities.

Here at Antioch, we’ve offered Clemente inspired courses through the Bridge program in Los Angeles, the Clemente Veterans Initiative in Seattle, though that program’s currently on hiatus. And right now we’re offering them through a new multi-campus four course program called Inflection Points. Let me introduce Ingrid quickly before we welcome her to the podcast.

Ingrid Ingerson is Antioch University’s Director of Continuing Education and Community Outreach on our Seattle campus, and she’s also a current student in our Master of Education program there. For her master’s thesis she has been conducting an inquiry project into the Clemente course and how it’s being implemented in many locations across the country.

Ingrid also helped found and directs Antioch’s innovative Clemente course, which I just mentioned. Inflection points, a series of four classes that focus on how texts from the past can inform our current [00:04:00] pivotal inflection point of a moment. This program is funded by a large grant that she helped write, that comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ingrid, welcome to the Seed Field Podcast.

Ingrid: Oh my goodness. It is so exciting to be here. I am so honored. Thank you. And you pretty much said everything. 

Jasper: No, I have so many questions for you and I’m really excited for you to fill in. All of the things I think our listeners probably are wondering as well. Um, before we get to that though, we always start the show by asking our guests to disclose positionality, especially as it’s relevant to the topic that we’re discussing.

And so, in this case, you were talking about non-consecutive learners. I should disclose that I did have a consecutive education. I graduated from college when I was 21 and I think it’s relevant and listeners should know that I’m a white cisgendered man and I currently have steady housing and income.

Um, so that’s [00:05:00] where I’m coming to this conversation from. And Ingrid, as much as you’re comfortable, where are you coming to it from? 

Ingrid: Thank you. I appreciate that because I think as we talk about these programs and working with education access, and as we talk about the invitation that we’re extending through the Clemente course, I’m so grateful to start there because that’s something that I work on, struggle with. As we do our anti-racism work and as we work with specific populations, it’s essential to cultivate that discipline of being engaged in that kind of work. I’m so grateful for that.

So, I am also a white cisgendered woman. However, I come from a very non-traditional education background. I’m a graduate of the BA Completion program in Seattle, [00:06:00] so I’m an Antioch fan. And I have benefited so much throughout my life from non-traditional or alternative learning. I was an alternative high school student and for me, like many people, it’s just the best way to learn, given my circumstances.

Like many of the Clemente students, I grew up in a very poor household, and so, where I try to land with this work is coming from those places and knowing that whatever population for working with veterans, general population, or those that are incarcerated I remember, some of the personal places that I’ve been as I work with these programs and with these students. So thanks for that. 

Jasper: Thank you so much for sharing that with us about your own background. And I love how coming from a position like growing up in a poor family and not completing college on the [00:07:00] most straightforward track—that actually is part of the power and background that you bring to this work.

And that gives you insight, sympathy, and passion. I think that’s a lovely way to weaponize our positionality.

Ingrid: I mean there are so many places where we have experienced transformative learning, and that’s where the passion comes from. It’s that enthusiasm to share it because it can be so incredible and transformative.

Jasper: I want to get into that transformative potential, but I think a good place to start is with your own experiences as a student and how that led you to the work that you’re doing today. 

Ingrid: Oh, gladly, and thinking about that place of positioning ourselves as learners and the place where learner-centered education has this incredible ability to be flexible and meet students where they are. So, I came from a place [00:08:00] where I was on my own really early. I left home at 14 and I went to an alternative high school for a little while, but then I got my GED because I had to work. I had to support myself. And I think that for a lot of the students that are coming in, they share a similar experience. And having to be in a place where I was so focused on work and survival and what the Clemente program calls the “surround of force.” The places where you are independent and working within a structure. There’s not a lot of opportunity to act, but you’re in a condition where you’re reacting to the surrounds of poverty around you.

Jasper: And for anybody who has had that as part of their life experience, it can engulf your whole field of vision and your world can kind of shrink. I mean, I’ve tasted that in living below the poverty line in my early twenties. And the way that I really [00:09:00] struggled to navigate bureaucracies or make moves in my own life, that term, the “surround of force,” or we sometimes call it the cognitive impacts of poverty, can’t be overstated.

Ingrid: Right. And then to remember that, both of our positions of having privilege as white people, it’s not even compounded by systemic racism. And, I think you mentioned it in your introduction. It’s so important to realize that it’s really a mosaic, as all students are coming in with different ranges of experience.

But I can say from my own experience, the place in which I was given the opportunity within the undergraduate program to not only, as you were describing, be more involved in the social currency and work towards a degree, but more meaningfully. It was an opportunity to experience somebody being curious about my ideas.

And when [00:10:00] we talk about these courses where they include reflective practice, where we’re looking at the humanities, we’re using poetry, we’re using art. Those are places where, just as you beautifully said, there’s a place of experiencing the human experience and being a part of something I definitely experienced within my own education which is to be conversing in the currency of social capital. Whether it’s philosophy or looking at classic texts or even new texts, you are in a place where you are a part of the conversation and to recognize the power of that. There’s a relational aspect as well, which is also really profound because it creates a sense of safety, and as we were talking about, that can be difficult in the lives of [00:11:00] many of these students. And so, I think that’s also a really key component of this as well.

Jasper: I like how you bring up, I wasn’t really thinking about it, but the cultural capital of being invited into these conversations. I think we need to define these terms a little bit more, but I just am taken with the vision of feeling like you’re on the outside of questions around art or beauty or philosophy or then being kind of invited and choosing to take your place at the table of our culture at its higher levels or, it can sometimes be coded higher levels.

Ingrid: Yeah. I think what’s exciting is the way that Clemente courses are set up. They’re taught by faculty that are really well established. I think about the Clemente course that we ran in Seattle for veterans and our history instructor was Mary Lou Finley, who was a faculty member for many years, and also [00:12:00] marched with Dr. King. So in many ways, these courses create opportunities to be discussing these subject areas, but they’re doing it with outstanding faculty. And I should also mention they’ve got incredible support. So another pillar of the Clemente course is to eliminate barriers to education. 

So most courses provide transportation vouchers. They provide childcare. They provide food, at many times. But now that we’re online, technology has become something that we’ve been able to provide to students specifically through this grant, we’ve been able to utilize funding for technology. So for online learning, there are no barriers to students accessing this material. And I think that, going back to the place of currency, it’s this multilevel place where not only is somebody taking an interest in their thoughts and ideas, [00:13:00] but they’re able to discuss things and there’s no separation.

They are students as we all are, there’s a great democratic aspect to that and a great equalizer. And I think the quality of the courses is really what speaks to that place where they’re truly invited in as scholars.

Jasper: Yeah. I am remembering my own Antioch graduation in June 2019 here in Los Angeles. And I’m remembering the Bridge program, which is the Clemente inspired course here at our Los Angeles campus. Each program had asked one of the students to give a speech, and I remember feeling so moved by the speech that was being given, about the experience of that year of study and of being invited and having these barriers removed, and kind of claiming [00:14:00] that experience.

And then the Master of Clinical Psychology program, it turned out the speaker from that program was also a Bridge alum who had then continued in their studies and had completed their undergraduate and now was getting a master’s degree. So it struck me then, the way that a little bit of removing barriers, and a little bit of being invited to participate can then lead to taking charge and really becoming the driver of your own education and participation.

Ingrid: I think within these courses the aspects of reflective practice, the place where students are imagining themselves in the future as learners is one of the things I observed as being really critical. So the place where they can write their own commencement speech as part of [00:15:00] their coursework, and they’re doing that reflective practice.

And I also think it’s lovely that you mentioned Bridge students being a part of commencement because I think this work is so exciting and this grant and this partnership that we’ve had is so exciting because, at least within my experience, working with the internal team’s academic technology. I.T., and the registrar’s office. As an institution of higher learning, it’s been an incredible gift to find operational pathways within our institution for these courses. And it’s been great learning for all of us. It’s been incredible to work with these colleagues on addressing needs like technology and knowing that some of the students coming in do not [00:16:00] have a certain familiarity with computers and so how-to language is how to build these processes.

And so this grant has given us this incredible opportunity to do that. But what’s really important is that they’re Antioch students and that while they’re with us, I’ve been able to put them into the system. They have an email address and they’re sort of in our community fully. I think the places where, even as we have this conversation, it’s us and them. What we actively try to do is eliminate even the way we think about it. So going back to this place of non-consecutive or traditional, one of the things that I’ve been really interested in, both in the research and also in the way that we’re running these programs, is exactly what we talked about, how we can think about our position and do our anti-racism work in a way where [00:17:00] we’re fully including.

And not othering and how we are working together with Clemente, with their demonstrated experience, and the way that Clemente is running their courses. And how can we build on that so that they’re a full part of the institution while they’re here with us, while we’re running this course.

Jasper: Yeah, I wanna talk a little bit more about the students in particular. You’ve said these are non-consecutive learners, that’s the main way that you think about them. But I know that the Bridge program has sought out students who are experiencing real socioeconomic disadvantage. 

Ingrid: Yes. 

Jasper: They’re experiencing real poverty. I just was curious if you could describe for me the students who Clemente programs are trying to reach and maybe some examples of who this can be transformative for. 

Ingrid: Sure. I really appreciate that. A general overview in the [00:18:00] way that the course started, as I understand it, is students qualified when they were 150% below the poverty level. That was the original intention of the course. I think that that has changed over time, and what I’m most impressed about when we talk about access for students is that these relationships begin with students in the admission process, and they’re deeply relational. So the focus is really, sometimes courses can be specialized. So the course at the Seattle campus was for veterans, but it also included spouses and family members of veterans. So I think the admission process is always really inclusive. I have an example of a Clemente student that I spoke to whose partner was also her caretaker. She was a self-disclosed paraplegic, and so she had a relationship with her wife of many years who also accompanied her to classes and her wife was encouraged to join. So I think [00:19:00] we’re talking about the understanding that the community can be very generative and inclusive.

And so, underscore that to say that the relational aspect of these courses starts even the admissions process. There are Clemente courses that are run, in prisons. So for incarcerated students, there’s quite a few of those specifically on the east coast and then there are those that focus just on women. There was a course that ran for a while that focused on women who had experienced military sexual trauma. So there are ways in which the courses can be inclusive of a specific community and then also the coursework can be specifically held for the issues that may come up. So there’s a course that runs in New Bedford that works with veterans. They look at aspects of war through[00:20:00] Greek plays and they’re looking at issues of moral injury and PTSD. And so there’s a sophisticated way in which there’s a lot of work that goes into the understanding of the population that they’re working with and then the material is safely, in a trauma-informed way, working with this population. There was a faculty member at the Seattle campus who used to say, Clemente courses are not therapy, but they can be therapeutic.

Jasper: That’s a lovely way of putting it. 

Ingrid: There’s a very strong intention around how these courses are designed so that they can hold the variety of experiences but also stay to the text. And stay in a way where it remains an enabling environment for growth, but has some really great processes in place for sort of maintaining that environment. But traditionally, yes, students are low income adult students.[00:21:00] 

And it’s funny in this conversation about how we are thinking about the invitation for these students. I talked to one faculty member in Clemente who said, I use “low income adults” because that’s what they are. Other instructors use non-consecutive, some use non-traditional, but it’s an interesting conversation.

Jasper: Trying not to stigmatize, but to be accurate, I think disadvantaged can often just seem a weird locution. But you say that this course centered around veterans, and I know the Clemente Veterans Initiative in Seattle also did this, where it centered the readings around stories of war and of soldiers who came back from war. That also offers an opportunity where this is somewhere where students already have expertise.

I was just talking to a friend this morning who said they had gone to a bookstore and got some new [00:22:00] books. They’re a non-binary, queer person who is in recovery. And they were like, oh yeah, well I just got an addiction memoir and a queer love story. I should probably be reading serious literature. And I just thought, man, why is that not serious literature? Like, we should read what interests us and whatever interests us, that’s where the heat is and the power. I think so many people, who come from specific positions, they’re going to thrive more if they’re reading these things that engage their life experiences, the things that they might be working through and the places where they already have some expertise as well. 

Ingrid: Yes. What’s been so lovely to witness is our conversations within faculty and instructors in the Clemente course that talk about how students show up with incredible relational understanding. [00:23:00] And when we talk about students that may have experienced educational trauma or interpersonal trauma, they’re showing up with a skill set. And engagement is so key there. I think about my own experience. I think if you have had experiences that have changed you within that “surround of force,” it’s very difficult to think about taking French 101 and 201 and then checking this box and then coming back. I mean, that was certainly my experience. 

Jasper: You were already working on a bunch of very real questions and problems and that was taking up your attention. It wasn’t

like you were an undergrad, carefree, making daisy chains for your hair, which sounds great, but it wasn’t like [00:24:00] you were like, what am I gonna do? I have no idea what I should be thinking about. You had things you were thinking about. 

Ingrid: Right, right. Thank you. And I think it’s incredible to be able to study things that you’re interested in and I mean, what else is there?

Jasper: For real. Like what? Why? Why does anybody study things? It’s like eventually it comes down to interest. Otherwise it’s just your mom saying, you better do your math homework. 

Ingrid: Exactly. 

Jasper: Ultimately, I think people who succeed at math are those who find interest there. 

Ingrid: There’s so much to be learned from personal narrative, going back to your friend in the bookstore, the revelations or the ecstatic moments of transformation that are happening as we’re learning, we often know come from these narrative places.

They come from a commonality and a similarity that we have. And so if we can create these environments in which we’re studying the voices of long ago [00:25:00] and studying the voices now it’s hearing your own experience and sort of thinking about where you are in the world and that opportunity to be able to do that. Certainly, I think about Clemente a lot of times as giving space.

So there’s this place where the programs are eliminating barriers, so there’s physical space to think and there’s a moment in which there’s a respite. Then there’s also community. So you’re in with those that have lots of different experiences, but you’re sort of united by this course, and then you’re studying the same subject matter and you’re also engaged in self-reflective process and all of these. I keep making this motion with my hands, but it’s sort of wedging, you know, and encouraging an environment where students can take time to think about how they want to show up in their communities. 

I [00:26:00] don’t think there’s anything more democratic than that. And it’s so exciting to be a part of that as an institution in the ways that we can.

Jasper: I wanted to ask about the experience and how you see this transforming students. So, this study of the humanities, which I saw in one of the syllabuses for Jane Paul and Catherine Pope’s course here in Los Angeles. They defined the humanities as history, literature, art, philosophy, and spirituality.

Which is a pretty broad remit, but how do you see students responding to this invitation opportunity? And tasks set before them to study these things. Do you have any specific examples? 

Ingrid: I do. This was just recently told to me by an academic director of Clemente that teaches a course in Boston, and it’s the only [00:27:00] one that comes to mind, and I hope I tell it with the same clarity as he did. This is an art historian who’s been teaching a Clemente course, around about 20 years, and he had a student a couple of years ago that was hanging in there, not necessarily handing in all the assignments. The attendance was a bit sporadic. Present, but you know, just there. And this particular course was happening at the time of the Boston bombings, around the Boston marathon. And so as the community is reeling from this moment in their very specific history as it resonated throughout the country, locally, the students were coming together,  as they did every week and grappling with the crisis and the tragedy and very involved in the new cycles. And, [00:28:00] as they were processing this sort of ongoing chain of events, there was a place in which they found suspects and then there was an issue in where they were going to be buried.

Jasper: Yeah, because one of the bombers, the younger brother, was captured alive, but I think the older brother perished in a shootout. 

Ingrid: Yeah. So, and you’re setting it up beautifully because the instructor is facilitating a conversation and the student said, wait a minute. We were just studying Antigone. We were talking about the king and the brothers and what should be happening with the burial of that brother, and how does this make it any different? I think the academic director was clearer to say the conversation was not necessarily about what should be done, but it was this opportunity for the [00:29:00] class to reflect on what was happening in this position in time and thinking about this text, Antigone, and seeing the parallels. And then in that you’re sort of zooming out 10,000 feet, you’re coming in, and it’s right in front of your face. You’re putting yourself in the context and you’re also having this conversation about finding parallels in the community with a great text.

Jasper: Yeah, I love that. Like here you are and it feels very raw. I know I had friends living in Boston at the time of the Boston bombings and it was a moral injury of that, a terrorist act at an athletic meeting. Like it’s so terrible and so many people were injured.

Then this question of, well, what to do with the body of the dead war criminal basically. And then, to find, oh, there’s a resonance in like a 2,500 year old play. 

Ingrid: Exactly.

Jasper: Powerful. 

Ingrid: Yeah. [00:30:00] Really. So that’s a textbook example, but within my own experience in these courses that we’re running through the N.E.H. grant, I can say that, just two weeks ago we had a guest faculty member come in that worked with the students on a poem. I wish I could remember the poet’s name, but it was a poem about having a summer job and there was such an evocative moment about the heat of the summer and how time slows down, and it was so descriptive about that hazy moment in summer. And then the assignment was to break out and to write about a summer experience. And some students came back with accounts of their own summer job, but there was a place where in the community studying a poem, there’s an incredible shared experience that’s really visceral. 

And, I think it’s also important to mention that, how do we [00:31:00] measure success for these programs, whether it’s Clemente or other programs that were in partnership as an institution. What was nice about talking to some of the academic directors at Clemente is often they would mention places where success was: a student would start and then in two months they were so excited about what they had learned they had applied for the University of Texas as a matriculated student.

So, defining success, going back to your introduction, which was so important, is, defining success can be engaging in the community.

It can be that transformative experience, seeing yourself as a more active citizen, and then there’s also the possibility of continuing your education.

Jasper: Yeah, I love these examples. And I love that it doesn’t define it so narrowly that the Clemente courses only succeeded [00:32:00] somebody if they are an A+ student showing up, turning in a hundred percent of their assignments. Or it’s defined so narrowly that it’s only if they go on and, you know, complete a bachelor’s and then get a graduate degree, that there is also just being present in those spaces or finding resonances outside, into these, students, larger communities, that all works together. I do wanna press you or just ask. This isn’t like a gotcha question, but I know a lot of students are coming from Black Indigenous People of Color backgrounds and obviously we’re living in the 2020s and, at least at its founding, the Clemente course was largely focused around what gets called the western canon or the historical canon.

These great books that were often written hundreds or thousands of years ago, almost universally by men, that have at least been claimed by whiteness, regardless of whether [00:33:00] their authors would’ve called themselves white. That’s still the entirety of the curriculum and how do those works fit into Clemente today? 

Ingrid: Yeah, that’s a really good question. What I’ve noticed within the discussions among Clemente academic directors, and what I know about the courses that we’re currently offering, is that there is an understanding of the value of that western canon, but faculty or instructors have the ability to pick and choose what can be important to hold within the class. But even more importantly, where the courses are now, are way more inclusive of different perspectives, authors of color, and way more weighted and focused in that current understanding. So it’s a balance, it’s a mix of the two.

I think [00:34:00] there’s sometimes, you know, within the philosophy courses, they’re studying allegory of the cave because it’s, you know, sort of a classic place to start and can be very helpful in terms of an introduction. So there’s definitely places where I think it exists, but I think the instructors and the academic directors are very cognizant of the value of prioritizing authors of color because many of these academic directors are teaching in other institutions. And so what I’m excited about are the places where our faculty as well, we’re all sort of in this learning moment. And the Clemente course, even though it’s been focused on humanities, it’s a part of that conversation. And I think the students have been excited about the course that we’re teaching right now. No Borderlands is looking at borders of all kinds. And so the [00:35:00] place where the instructor is located is in Texas and there’s student members from all around the country, but where the voices are centered specifically is around the southern border.

That’s been really cathartic for some students and really important for other students to learn about.

Jasper: Thinking about studying the border and focusing around that. I mean, it’s obviously like a flashpoint in US politics, but it’s also the site of so much trauma. I was talking with a family member who has a lot of people who are living without immigration status in the US today, and she was recounting her brother’s travail of crossing the border. When you hear it firsthand or secondhand, there’s so much complex trauma and such an unresolved question I think, for our society.

And so I think the invitation to consider current and [00:36:00] former works of art around these things would be such a wonderful gift. I mean, I would love to do that.

Ingrid: Yeah, most of these courses, like I said, are taught by, and the guest speakers, are just incredible. And that’s kind of this best kept secret about Clemente courses. And I think the feature that I love the most is that the courses in and of themselves have the syllabus reviewed by the undergraduate study folks, they’re like this course is awesome.

This reading list is amazing. So, it’s kind of a thrill to be involved with, the active place of making sure that, just as I was talking about, the place of inclusion and that these students have exposure to faculty and to text that is really exciting and dynamic and interesting.

Jasper: The founder of the Clemente course in the humanities was Earl [00:37:00] Shorris, but in his work, he famously was visiting various people asking and trying to kind of listen and hear what his communities needed. And he spoke to Niecy Walker, who was an incarcerated woman. And she said, poor people need a moral alternative. And felt that this moral study, the study of these deeper and more profound ideas was so important. And so I wanted to ask you, how do these programs and this work, and seeing the work as not just the work of instructors or administrators, but also of the students who choose to engage in it, how does it promote social justice and how does it embody it?

Ingrid: That’s a really good question. I keep going back to the work that I have been doing with my fellow Antioch colleagues in [00:38:00] trying to find the best process for these students and what I find in the Clemente courses, and what has extended through this project, is a practice in grace, and it is not that we are not adhering to all of the criteria we need to. There’s no question that there’s regulations and criteria and accreditation in all of those places, but the ways that we have been able to work within our current systems to serve these students has been such a profound lived experience for me in the ways in which we are carrying out our mission. 

I’m so full of gratitude and it has just been such a pleasure to be able to work with those that know their areas so [00:39:00] well and think about ways that we can serve these students. Small examples, and this is sort of followed by Catherine Pope’s example in the Bridge program, but the ways that we’re communicating how to register for students, all the way up to how we can deliver their transcripts, all the way into how our systems can best serve these students while they’re here. And so, the priority has always been this mission of learner-centered education and being so considerate. And there hasn’t been a time in which I’ve had a meeting internally with a group in which I’ve said, what I’ve seen is this may be difficult or we need to address this need, and there hasn’t been absolute creativity in how those needs get met. It has been just a gift to be able to be a part of that and to witness and to be able to [00:40:00] share with you today, the places in which the mission and our values and taking that seriously is sort of put into practice.

And I think about our alumni and I think about our student body. And I come out of some of these meetings sometimes, and I’m just an evangelist, but I’m really excited. I’m so grateful to share here, the place where on the inside we are working in really creative and exciting ways to be able to serve the mission and live our values.

Jasper: That is such a beautiful place to leave it. Thank you so much, Ingrid. 

Ingrid: Oh, thank you. Just lovely. Thank you so much.

Jasper: The Clemente course in the humanities that we’ve been talking about offers programs across the nation. And if you’d like to learn more about some of them or find one close to you, we’re going to include their website in our show notes.

There are two Clemente [00:41:00] inspired programs that Antioch University currently offers, the Bridge Program in Los Angeles, and the Inflection Points courses that are offered across different campuses. We’ll link to more information about both of those programs in the same show notes, and we post these show notes on our website, the seed, where you’ll also find full episode transcripts, prior episodes and more.

The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University. Our editor is Johanna Case. I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator, Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion, Carrie Hawthorne, Stephanie Paredes, and Georgia Bermingham are our work-study interns. A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia O’Brien and Melinda Garland.

Thank you for spending your time with us today. That’s it for this episode. We hope to see you next time. And don’t forget to [00:42:00] plant a seed, sow a cause, and win a victory for humanity from Antioch University. This has been the Seed Field Podcast.