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Beyond the Farm

Hope House Scholars Program


Started in 2001, each quarter two Stanford professors teach a course in the humanities to the residents of Hope House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for women, many of whom have recently been released from prison.

This collaborative effort between the Program in Ethics in Society and Stanford Continuing Studies focuses on themes like ethics, social justice, and moral responsibility. The courses allow the women of Hope House to engage in college-level coursework as part of their rehabilitation and recovery.

Upon successful completion of the course, each Hope House resident receives a certificate from Stanford Continuing Studies that verifies two units of earned credit. Along with Continuing Studies, these units are recognized by Canada College and are entirely transferable to other educational institutions. In addition to the units, Stanford Continuing Studies awards each graduate with a voucher to take one continuing studies course in the future, free of charge. Every quarter, approximately 16 women complete the Stanford class.

The program proceeds with two main convictions: First, a liberal arts education should be available to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and second, the program exists to support the vocational and educational aspirations of the students. Utilizing Stanford’s greatest resources—our faculty and students—everyone who participates in courses are pushed beyond their limits. The program offers unique, non-traditional avenues for the Hope House residents to deal with their addiction, recovery, incarceration, freedom, and reunification with their children. Stanford seeks to do what Stanford does best: offer a challenging, liberal education to a non-traditional group of students who would otherwise not have this opportunity.

Getting Involved

We’re always interested in meeting Stanford faculty, graduate students and undergraduates that want to get involved.

  • Faculty:

    Faculty are usually selected in the Spring for the following academic year and while classes are generally team taught, we're open to talking about other options.

  • Grad Students:

    In August 2012, we piloted a program with two PhD students teaching a four-week summer course at Hope House. This opportunity will be offered again in the Summer of 2013.

  • Undergraduates:

    Generally, we have four undergraduate writing tutors per quarter and we give preference to students who can commit to more than one quarter.

If what you've read so far piques your interest, email Joan Berry for more information.

2015-2016 Courses

  • Fall 2015

    The Time of Your Life (Monika Greenleaf)

  • Winter 2016

    Visions of the Good Life (Greg Watkins and Jeremy Sabol) 

  • Spring 2016

    Philosophy and Social Justice (Debra Satz)

     Full list of past courses
  • Roland Prize Awarded to Rob Reich and Debra Satz (2010)

    Debra Satz and Rob Reich, who founded the Hope House Scholars Program, shared the 2010 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize. This award, given by the Haas Center for Public Service, is presented to faculty who make significant contributions through public service and encourage their students to do the same. 

    Stanford's Community Partnership Awarded to Hope House (2008)

    In 2004, Stanford’s Office of Public Affairs created the Community Partnership Awards. These annual awards serve to recognize individuals and programs that have formed successful community partnerships between Stanford and its neighbors. This year, we are pleased to report that Ethics in Society’s partnership with Hope House has been chosen as one of four recipients of this award. According to Jean McGown, Director of Community Relations, "The Scholar’s Program partnership has been selected for its initiative, leadership, and involvement in a collaborative project that promotes the vitality and well-being of our mid-peninsula community."

    Debra Satz' Lecture About The Hope House Scholars Program

    Center Director Debra Satz gave the 2009 Miriam and Peter E. Haas Centennial Professorship Lecture on Public Service and the University. In her talk, entitled Riches for the Poor, Satz speaks about our Hope House Scholars Program. Watch Satz' talk on Youtube:

    The story of Hope House through audio

    Mitch Neuger produced a series of audio recordings about the Hope House Program.