Humanities Program (HUM)

A thriving community for the last ten years, the HUM Program brings together a diverse group of adult learners who all share a passion for lifelong learning. The program, a collaborative effort between the UofA and the greater off-campus community, offers multiple courses each year that emphasize critical thinking in everyday life.

Each semester, there are two courses; one takes place on campus, while another is held at a second stage women's shelter. Each course has its own, unique, curriculum that is developed responsively to the learning wants and needs of the community.

Although many people have a passion for learning, the program recognizes that a lived reality for many is that too often institutional, situational, and financial barriers make post-secondary education inaccessible. Some of the ways the UofA decreases these barriers is by providing transportation, food, and supplies.

The HUM Program strives to make its courses accessible thereby cultivating an opportunity for critical thinking irrelevant of previous educational experiences. This fosters the coming together of university faculty, students, and community learners in a way that challenges the traditional university classroom by equally privileging lived experiences alongside conventional understandings of knowledge.

Partnerships and Programs

The Humanities Program is in partnership with The Learning Centre Literacy Association and currently offers courses in the Fall and Winter term on the University Campus. Past course topics have included: An Introduction to Humanities, Stories and Communities, Native Studies, Education & Society, and Taking Back the Airwaves.

Since Spring 2010, the Humanities Program has also run a course at Wings of Providence Shelter for Second Stage Shelters. This course is designed specifically for women healing from interpersonal violence and brings university-level learning into the unique environment of the women's shelter. The Humanities course offered at Wings of Providence is centered on themes related to women's experiences from diverse scholarly perspectives. Students projects in this course have included guided writing, photography, and 'life book' projects.

In the Fall of 2015, both Humanities classes took "communities" as their theme. For their year-end projects each member of the class created 6-inch squares representing the theme in their own way, which was sewn into community quilts. These quilts are part of an exhibit at the Rutherford Library from January 26 to February 29, 2016. Read more about the exhibit here.