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Odyssey Project

The Kaplan Institute provides a stipend to Northwestern faculty and graduate students who teach in the Odyssey Project, a free, 32-week, college-credit granting humanities program for income-eligible adults with limited to no access to higher education, sponsored by Illinois Humanities. The program is offered in the Chicago neighborhoods of Rogers Park, Woodlawn, and Pilsen (taught in Spanish), as well as in Urbana-Champaign. 

The Odyssey Project is divided into two semesters—fall (September-December) and spring (February-May)—with two courses offered each semester. (Note: some flexibility is offered for start and end dates to accommodate faculty commitments.) Faculty teach a two-hour seminar per week for a total of eleven sessions.

Students focus on four disciplines: Philosophy, U.S. History, Literature, and Art History. At the start of the program, they participate in a 5-1/2 week intensive Critical Thinking and Writing seminar that meets twice a week. Writing tutors also meet with students throughout the year to provide additional support.

Northwestern faculty and graduate students have taught Odyssey Project classes in various disciplines in both English and Spanish. There are also volunteer opportunities for people interested in facilitating workshops for Odyssey alumni. If you are interested in teaching in this vital program, please contact Tom Burke for more information at

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