Venture Course

A College Humanities Course for People of Modest Means Who Dare to Dream

VentureStudents2014InteractingCroppedThe Venture Course is a free, interdisciplinary humanities course offered by Utah Humanities to adults “of modest means who dare to dream.” Made possible through partnerships with Weber State University in Ogden, Westminster College in the City of South Salt Lake, and Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Venture introduces students living on low incomes to philosophy, art history, literature, American history, and critical writing/thinking.

This accredited evening course, taught by college faculty, gives students new ways of thinking about their lives and their world, developing their ability to think critically and empowering them to take more control of their future. Using discussion and writing to learn and primary sources as texts, Venture uses the liberal arts to help liberate the mind.

The Venture Humanities Course is Utah's Clemente Course and part of a national network of courses awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in the fall of 2015.

This is the most amazing program. I have a new view on my life and the world around me. I see everything more vividly and with more purpose. Architecture, art and even the newspaper have become an everyday part of my life. I encourage my son to be more active in his community (school, church, etc.) and that he does have a voice. I am so grateful for this experience. I have said before that in my pursuit of my dream to become a nurse that EVERY nurse should be required to take this program because I feel this will be the foundation of the type of healing professional I want to be. THANK YOU!

– Venture Graduate

Graduates of Venture exemplify the wide impact of the course. Some earn scholarships and continue their studies in college; others start their own business or seek more satisfying and promising employment. Many volunteer in their communities. Venture graduates have run for office, started nonprofit organizations, and enrolled in documentary film classes. All graduates of the course credit Venture for increasing their confidence in themselves and their hope for the future.

Whether they continue in college or not, over 90% of Venture graduates cite the following impact of their experience:

• An increase in their confidence to express their ideas and opinions
• An increase in their interest in the world around them
• A better understanding of U.S. history and democracy
• A desire to encourage the college aspirations in their children and others in their family
• A desire to keep learning, either by continuing in higher education or by reading and engaging in cultural activities like plays, lectures, films discussions, etc.

I found a confidence that I have never possessed. I felt intimidated by the idea of furthering my education, but I feel that I CAN continue through college and be successful. I can certainly say that I am a happier person, a better partner and a stronger parent because of the program. It not only encouraged me to stretch myself, it allowed me to develop personal discipline and be a more positive example to my children. I really feel that my relationship with my kids is much stronger and that they look at me in a new light, with greater respect and authority. I am also a much more grateful person, as I was given this amazing opportunity to be taught by extraordinary faculty and to share the experience with such a diverse group of individuals. I have found a new level of gratitude for such tremendous blessings.

– Venture Graduate

Venture Sites and Applications:

If you have questions about the application process, contact Jean Cheney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 801.359.9670 x106.

South Salt Lake

In the City of South Salt Lake, Venture is held Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm, at The Scott School (3238 South 540 East). Residents of Salt Lake City can apply by filling out the application below. For more information, contact Liz Rogers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

South Salt Lake Venture Application


In Ogden, the Venture Course meets 6:00-8:00 pm from September through April at the Community Education Center, 2955 Harrison Blvd. Residents of Ogden can apply by filling out the application below and emailing back to Logan Mickel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact Logan at 801.589.1324.

Ogden Venture Application

Cedar City

In Cedar City, Venture is held on the campus of Southern Utah University, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-8:00 pm. Residents of Cedar City can apply by filling out the application below and emailing back to Lindsay Fullerton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact Lindsay at 435.590.6430.

Cedar City Venture Application

Learn More About Venture

A Venture alumnus wrote an essay about the profound effect the course has had on his life. Read the Essay.

The Deseret News printed a feature article about Venture by Elaine Jarvik. Read the article Journey of the mind How Socrates, Bernini and Sartre Enriched 16 Lives.

The Venture Course is made possible through partnerships with Westminster College, Weber State University, and Southern Utah University. Additional support to Utah Humanities for Venture has been provided by the George Q. Morris Foundation, CIT Bank, Richard Jacobsen, and Bridget Newell.

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