College Hub

Free Minds

What is Free Minds?

Free Minds provides Foundation Communities residents and Austin-area adults living on low to moderate incomes with a chance to explore their intellectual potential through a free year-long college course in the humanities taught by some of the best professors in town.

Free Minds maintains strong partnerships with UT Austin and Austin Community College (ACC), bridging the non-profit and academic worlds in innovative ways.


“At home I found myself cutting off the TV and reading The Republic to my kids. I would try and explain it to my mom, my brother, random people on the street, whoever would listen. I loved it. It was like I let myself in on this big secret: I really am smart.”
– Kellee Coleman, Class of 2008




An affiliate of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, Free Minds is founded on the belief that engaging with the humanities can provide individuals with a unique opportunity to cultivate the power, value, and pleasure of reflection, and that this experience has the ability to change lives.



The Course

Free Minds students study the humanities in an intensive, discussion-based seminar environment.  Class sessions help students develop the skills of close reading, critical thinking, and communication. Students who complete the program earn six credit hours from ACC.



You are eligible for Free Minds if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Don’t have a college degree and have not been enrolled in a degree program in the past 2 years
  • Have demonstrated financial need
  • Are able to read challenging books in English
  • Are ready to commit to attending classes regularly and completing all assignments



The Free Minds class is team-taught by a group of experienced professors from UT and ACC. One instructor serves in the course each year as a dedicated writing consultant, whose primary aim is to prepare students for college-level writing. Each professor teaches a unit of six classes within her/his discipline in the fall and again in the spring.



For more information:


Email: FreeMinds@foundcom.org

Phone: 512-610-7961