Health Awareness Series of the Charleston Clemente Course

The Clemente Course is a national organization that provides free, university-level education in the humanities. Its students include those who have been denied access to economic, cultural, and social opportunities, and it works to empower them and provide them with skills needed to improve their own lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. The Charleston Clemente Course was started in 2005 at Trident Technical College under the leadership of Dr. Mary Ann Kohli, serving community members who are faced with economic hardship and adverse circumstances. In addition to free tuition, students receive meals, books, bus passes, mentoring, and refurbished computers, which helps address some of the socioeconomic challenges of attaining educational success.

Health Awareness Series for Students of the Charleston Clemente Course

In 2015, a group of MUSC students and professors worked with Trident Technical College leadership to create the inaugural MUSC Health Awareness Series (HAS) to improve the Clemente students’ health literacy and access to community health resources. The HAS is structured with eight core sessions that occur in both the fall and spring semesters, where Clemente students from the prior class decide what topics will be covered in the upcoming semester.  Faculty members and medical students collaborate to develop the content that is then shared with the Clemente students through a facilitated discussion led by MUSC students.

The current catalog of lessons includes 13 sessions: Nutrition, Exercise, Finding Affordable Healthcare, Understanding Insurance, Smoking Cessation, Oral Health, When to See a Doctor, Domestic Violence, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cancer Screening, Vaccines, and Advance Care Planning. Sessions include a 15-minute pre-recorded video, discussion questions for the take-away points, and resources available that are related to each topic.

The MUSC HAS program creates a learning opportunity for both the Clemente students and medical students alike. Clemente students learn about health, steering their own education by picking subjects for future lessons. Medical students learn to distill healthcare guidelines down to a patient level while also learning from the personal experiences of the Clemente students navigating the healthcare system. The ultimate goal of the MUSC HAS program is to empower both Clemente students to become more knowledgeable self-advocates and MUSC students to participate in community engagement work as strong patient allies.

View Clemente Course Health Awareness Sessions

Health Awareness Series Leadership

Faculty Advisors:

Dr. Cristin Adams
Dr. Cristin Adams

Schreiner headshot
Dr. Andrew Schreiner

Charleston Clemente Director:

Dr. Kohli
Dr. Mary Ann Kohli

Student Directors:

headshot of annie cribb in white coat
Annie Cribb

headshot of Jessica Pittman
Jessica Pittman

Joie Zabec headshot
Joie Zabec

Julia Zimich in white coat
Julia Zimich