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WASHINGTON – April is Second Chance Month, a month set apart to highlight the efforts of bringing higher education to those incarcerated. For the sixth consecutive year, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) will partner with Prison Fellowship to bring awareness to the growing Second Chance movement.
From states such as New York and South Carolina to Missouri, Oregon and even Alberta, Canada, Christ-centered prison education offers incarcerated individuals a second chance through various studies and degree opportunities. With 22 member institutions in 18 states and Canada providing specific courses and majors through their state correctional departments, the CCCU Second Chance programs are part of a national effort in higher education that is also helping address stereotypes and improve the U.S. criminal justice system.
In December of 2022, Lipscomb University in Tennessee held its fifth graduation ceremony at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center, honoring five students completing undergraduate degrees and eight students completing master’s degrees. In May 2023, York College in Nebraska will graduate ten women from the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women earning their associate degrees. In June, Samford University will launch its third academic program with an Alabama correctional facility. And in the fall of 2023, Oklahoma Baptist University will welcome its second cohort of 34 students to begin their studies through the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
“The fact that Second Chance Month falls in April when we celebrate Easter beautifully coincides with our ongoing mission to bring Christ into every educational experience,” says Shirley V. Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. “The CCCU’s growing prison education programs cultivate the power of a second chance through college courses, reminding incarcerated persons that they are worthy of a new life and future, even behind prison walls.”
Prison Fellowship enacted the national observance of Second Chance Month in 2017, which has since become an increasingly recognized initiative. Last year, President Joseph Biden in his 2022 Proclamation recognized Second Chance Month: “By supporting people who are committed to rectifying their mistakes, redefining themselves, and making meaningful contributions to society, we help reduce recidivism and build safer communities.” Now, over 700 businesses, churches, and organizations participate in Second Chance Month.
As the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, Prison Fellowship advocates to empower men and women to end the cycles of brokenness at every stage of the U.S. criminal justice system, from arrest to reintegration, advancing justice that restores and reflects the God-given value of all persons.
As a long-time visionary for second chances and increased access to education for incarcerated individuals, Prison Fellowship this year has also launched a #BeTheKey awareness campaign through social media. The campaign encourages supporters to use their personal social media platforms, advocating for those with criminal records to move forward as flourishing members of society.
As partners, the CCCU is also highlighting this month its member institutions’ prison education programs, raising awareness and unlocking second chances for the 70 million men and women who imagine of a better future. Each year through events, media, toolkits and resources, Prison Fellowship and partners like the CCCU work toward a culture of second chances to be realized.
“As Christians, we are called to visit those in prison. If our message to people behind bars is that all things are possible through Christ, we can’t be complacent about the legal barriers that hold them back from their God-given potential upon release,” shares Heather Rice-Minus, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Prison Fellowship who was recently named as the organization’s next president, beginning in July 2024. “Prison Fellowship is grateful to join with the CCCU in celebrating Second Chance Month and removing barriers to education for people with a criminal background.”
CCCU’s advocacy in Second Chance Month will also highlight the Second Chance Pell Grant. The U.S. Department of Education expanded the Second Chance Pell experiment for the 2022-2023 award year. The FIRST STEP Act passed in December 2018 and in December 2020, Congress decided to pass bipartisan legislation, lifting the 26-year ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students, a significant legislative initiative creating life-building opportunities for incarcerated individuals. And the Department of Education will implement legislative changes to allow eligible students in college prison programs to access federal Pell Grants beginning on July 1, 2023.
Under Secretary James Kvaal visited the Calvin University program in Michigan last August because of his department’s interested in the impact of the Second Chance Pell grants, especially given the reinstatement of Pell eligibility for incarcerated individuals beginning July 2023.
“We expect to see colleges and universities across the country creating new programs to serve incarcerated students, so we want to be in a position where we are visiting, listening, and connecting people,” said Kvaal. He said that Second Chance Pell programs have “strong bipartisan support, and we’re really excited to open it up to every college and university that is interested.”
Within the two dozen CCCU prison education programs currently, hundreds of inmates have participated in Christian liberal arts education opportunities behind bars. A participant of the Alliance University program in New York said that, “[For the faculty] to treat us like we were people was kind of amazing. It showed us that there was something more out there.”
For specific updates, quotes, and stories from the CCCU prison education programs, please review below.
Program Updates: Verbatim
Alliance University, New York
Alliance University (Previously Nyack College) was one of 67 colleges and universities selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell pilot program in 2016. Alliance has offered bachelor’s degrees at New York Correctional Facilities since 1998. The new funding allowed them to expand their offerings. In 2022-2023, they enrolled almost 100 students at Fishkill Correctional Facility. Since the beginning of their offering college in prison they have seen over 150 men and women graduate with undergraduate degrees
Alliance University currently offers two bachelor’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentration options in: Psychology and Social Work or Psychology and Business, as well as an Associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences. Although choices are still limited for job-seekers with a criminal record, earning a degree prepares prisoners for employment and increases their job opportunities as well as dramatically lowers recidivism rates. For their students who have been released, there is a zero percent recidivism rate. Graduates go on to thrive in careers like construction, transportation, Christian ministry, counseling, social work, entrepreneurial endeavors and more. In the words of some students:
“When I am in an (Alliance University) classroom, I’m not in prison.”
“[For the faculty] To treat us like we were people was kind of amazing. It showed us that there was something more out there.”
“All of the professors are beautiful people.”
“Alliance University completely changed the trajectory of my life.”
“Alliance allowed me to grow within the confines of four brick walls”
Over the last 16 years, Baylor University and the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) have collaborated to provide education and opportunities for incarcerated individuals. The Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion has studied the program’s effectiveness with Baylor MBA students working closely with PEP participants since 2007, reviewing their business plans and providing guidance, research, editing and marketing information.
PEP participants serve as Baylor MBA students’ first consulting clients. In addition, PEP works closely with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty to enrich underserved and underrepresented communities. PEP delivers results at the intersection of restorative justice reform and economic mobility through intensive character development, an entrepreneurial boot camp, and specialized mentorship that, when combined, produce successful business owners, exemplary employees and good neighbors. Overall, the collaboration between PEP and Baylor University has been a powerful force for social change, providing education and opportunities for incarcerated individuals and helping to reduce recidivism rates in Texas.
“Before encountering PEP, the only thing I thought I was good at was getting arrested and creating havoc. PEP helped me to realize that with some introspection and a shift in thinking, what I was really good at was being a leader and an influencer for good. Never would I have imagined that I would graduate anything, much less a business program with a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from Baylor University. Instead of running the streets, I now serve as multi-site manager, running operations for a national moving and storage company.” – Chavoun M.
“I spent the first 30 years of my life just trying to make ends meet and take shortcuts to success. The only thing that sort of living got me was repeat visits to the county jail and eventually five years in prison. While in prison, I was offered the opportunity to join the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and my life was transformed by the executives and MBA students who came to support me and mentor me. With their help I was able to not only develop a legitimate business plan but execute that business plan when I was released. I now own a successful mobile detailing business that operates in three cities with 23 employees who are all second-chance citizens.” – Cameron G.
Bethel University partners with the Prison Fellowship Academy (PFA) to provide incarcerated students, who complete the PFA curriculum and enroll as degree-seeking students, with 12 credits from the University. These credits are automatically applied to a student’s Bethel transcript or can be transcribed to be transferred to any college or university upon payment of a fee. For the purposes of this initial pilot collaboration between PFA and Bethel, only prisons located in the state of Minnesota are eligible.
Bethel also partners with FreedomWorks to provide support and online classes to formerly incarcerated men. FreedomWorks is a 150-bed transition housing and services center that creates a safe and encouraging environment for men recently released from incarceration. The high support it offers provides a great additional community and structure for these students, and Bethel hopes to grow its partnership and in-person class offerings in the future. Janna Collins, director of admissions for the College of Adult & Professional Studies at Bethel Seminary and Graduate School said, “It is our deep desire that FreedomWorks students find a warm and accepting community here that challenges them to grow while providing a variety of support services to meet their unique needs.”
Campbell University, North Carolina
In 2019, Campbell University, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, began offering an Associate of Science in Behavioral Science at Sampson Correction. The AS in Behavioral Science program at Sampson Correction consists of 23 academic courses which are completed in six semesters over a two-year period. Each semester the students are enrolled in the same three or four courses, with each course lasting fifteen weeks. The incarcerated students receive instruction in a classroom setting inside the education building within the prison. The mode of instruction for the program is a mixture of in-person and synchronous, virtual instruction; the use of synchronous virtual instruction allowed the program to continue successfully through the COVID pandemic and continues today. Courses are offered four days a week, one class per day, with each class lasting three hours and beginning in the morning. The students have access to research materials provided by the Campbell University Library. Group tutoring in academic areas such as math and foreign language is offered virtually through the Campbell University Student Success Center.
The first cohort of Campbell students at Sampson Correction graduated with their Associate of Science in Behavioral Sciences degree after completing the summer semester in 2021. These students then continued their educational journey by starting their Bachelor of Science/Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Addiction Studies in the Fall of 2021 and are schedule to complete their degree after the 2023 summer semester with a graduation ceremony scheduled for August 31, 2023.
This group of students has earned numerous academic honors and has had several of their poems and essays published in the University publication. Prior to graduation, one of the courses the students will complete will be a one-hundred-and eight-hour internship in an Alcohol and Chemical Dependency program at Sampson Correctional. In addition to completing courses towards their degree, the students will also earn certification as Peer Support Specialists by completing forty hours of instruction.
In the Fall of 2021, a second cohort of Campbell students began their education journey by taking courses that will end with them earning an Associate of Science in Behavioral Science degree. The program began with a cohort of fourteen students with the students scheduled to complete their associate’s degree at the end of the summer semester in 2023. During their time in the program, the students have earned numerous academic honors which include earning Dean and Presidential Honors, six students being inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society and several students being selected to present their work at the 2023 Wiggins Memorial Academic Symposium. As the cohort students near their graduation, the majority, if not all, of the graduating ASBS students plan to continue their higher education journey by moving forward and taking courses which will earn their Bachelor of Science/Arts in Communication Studies in 2025.
In January of 2023, a cohort of 39 students began their higher education journey by enrolling in the Associate of Science in Behavioral Science program at Anson Correction in Polkton, North Carolina. The AS in Behavioral Science program being offered is the same program being offered at Sampson Correction. The students are scheduled to graduate with their AS in Behavioral Science degree after completing the Fall semester of 2025. After completion of the associate’s program, the students will then have the opportunity to enroll in the Bachelor of Science/Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Addiction studies program while they remain at Anson.
Finally, a private organization is partnering with Campbell University to offer recently released offenders an opportunity to earn an Associate of Science in Behavioral Science program at the Campbell University campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Seven students began the program in January of 2023 with plans to complete the ASBS at the end of the Fall semester in 2025. The first eight-week semester was recently completed with six of the seven students successfully completing the first semester.
Calvin University, Michigan
Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) began offering unaccredited courses for inmates at Michigan’s Handlon Correctional Facility in 2010. Inspired by the students’ desire to learn, CTS partnered with Calvin University and, in 2015, launched a fully-accredited five-year program for inmates to earn a bachelor’s degree in faith and community leadership.
The Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) accepts a cohort of 25 students each year and offers degrees to inmates serving long or life sentences. While many prison education programs focus on employment readiness for soon-to-be-released inmates, CPI seeks to transform prison culture from within by equipping graduates to be servant leaders in the prison community. By affirming the inherent dignity of all inmates, even those who will not re-enter the larger society, the CPI brings hope and a sense of vocation to those who will have the greatest impact within the prison walls. Students and graduates who are released from prison are prepared to serve their communities and to contribute in meaningful and positive ways. To date, the CPI has granted 45 Bachelors degrees, 76 Associate degrees, and 132 Certificates.
Columbia International University, South Carolina
Columbia International University’s Prison Initiative continues to train inmates to impact the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) with the gospel of Jesus Christ. After 15 years, the Prison Initiative has graduated 195 inmates who received an accredited Associate of Arts degree. These graduates serve in 21 institutions around the state under the supervision of SCDC Chaplains. They are serving their institution in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, preaching and teaching, hospice care, worship leaders, crisis and suicide prevention, and chaplain clerks.
Over fifty graduates or former students of the program have been released from prison and continue to serve the local church and their communities. Prison Initiative presently holds a recidivism rate of 5 percent. Our graduates are light bearers and peacemakers on a difficult mission field, and God is with them and uses them for His glory to reach the lost. Here is what some of them say about the Lord’s work in their lives and through this program:
“We don’t often see the connection of things as we’re going through our life, but God is always working, and sometimes lets us see those connections later.” Jerry C. from Cohort #2 served 20 years, going in when he was 16. He is now working at CIU and completing a BA, while serving in ministry with his church, both with seniors and in evangelism.
“The success of those around me is my mission; it’s my responsibility. God has sharpened my life for the benefit of others, not self!” Derek (Cohort #3)
“Even though we are restrained by our incarceration, and we live with the uncertainty of the chaos of changes to our physical circumstances in our confinement, I must remind myself that our spiritual situation is greater than our temporal issues.” Dean (Cohort #4)
Corban University, Oregon
Modeled after other highly successful programs, Paid in Full Oregon does what has never before been done in Oregon: provide student inmates with a fully accredited four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Psychology, Social Service, and Leadership through a partnership with Corban University and the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC). Transforming convicted felons into spiritual leaders and then sending those leaders throughout the prison system to transform the lives of others is the heart of the mission and purpose of Paid in Full Oregon.
Recently, in our Bible Study Methods course, two students discussed the Lord’s work in the prison. “Jesus must live in prison,” said the first student to the second. In response, the second student asked, “Why, what makes you say that?” The first responded, “Because inmates keep finding him in here.”
Crown College, Nebraska
This is CCCU’s newest prison education program, with a tentative launch in the fall of 2023. In 2020, Steven Scott, a former prisoner felt called to bring Christ into the prisons and teamed up with Crown College to create Hope to the Hopeless (H2H). This program will offer a two-year associate degree in Christian Ministry within the Nebraska State Penitentiary with the goal of educating and equipping those incarcerated with the knowledge and power of Christ. Hope to the Hopeless plans to enroll a cohort of 15 students each year.
This program is in the fundraising stage with a goal to raise $390,000 before the first cohort graduates, which will ensure the successful graduation of at least two different cohorts of students. Thus far, H2H has successfully raised nearly $200,000 at the publishing of this press release with support from the surrounding community. Their goal is to fundraise tuition for the students as well as the necessary learning materials required for each course (e.g. textbooks, notepads, writing materials, etc.). These students will gain a valuable general education with courses offered through a partnership with Metropolitan Community College. Crown College’s Hope to the Hopeless program is being launched to help to improve the safety and security of communities, expand the kingdom of God on earth, and bring Christ’s hope to one of the most hopeless places in our country.
Greenville University, Illinois
The relationship between Greenville University (GU) and the Greenville Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) dates back to the opening of FCI in 1994. GU faculty and staff volunteered in a number of roles ranging from directing plays and leading Bible studies to conducting mock interviews and tutoring inmates enrolled in the prison’s GED program.
The Greenville University @ Greenville FCI program began offering credit classes to inmates in 2014. GU faculty have taught classes at FCI’s medium-security facility for men and its minimum-security satellite camp for women. The classes at the camp entail a blended format in which GU students study alongside women inmates. FCI students who participate in the program learn, feel a sense of accomplishment and experience the love of God in fellowship with others. Currently, the program is on hold due to Covid-19, but Greenville is looking forward to restarting the program again soon.
Hannibal-LaGrange University, Missouri
In partnership with the Missouri Department of Corrections and the Global Prison Seminaries Foundation, Hannibal-LaGrange University provides theological education for long-term prisoners by offering an undergraduate Christian studies degree program within the maximum-security Jefferson City Correctional Center. The program began July 1, 2020, and is entitled Freedom on the Inside. Its vision is to equip and send offenders out to work as field ministers in prisons across the state by teaching them to think biblically and deeply, to act justly, and to live as Christ’s representatives in the prison system and the world.
Indiana Wesleyan University, Indiana
Indiana Wesleyan University is making plans to offer credit courses leading to a certificate in “Essential Business Practices.” These courses will be initially offered at Plainfield Correctional Facility near Indianapolis. Courses will be tailored to meet the unique needs of men and women after being released from prison.
Research has indicated that gaining college credit while incarcerated is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism. Participants in this program will be able to take advantage of Pell Grant funding to cover the cost of tuition and books. IWU’s partnership with the Indiana Department of Correction offers a unique opportunity to provide support and preparation for incarcerated learners. We are optimistic about how this program might expand in the future, serving a population of students motivated to reorient their lives toward life in the community.
Lipscomb University, Tennessee
At Lipscomb University, students can take classes held onsite at the Deborah K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center (formerly the Tennessee Prison for Women). The Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) began in 2007, with 15 inside and 15 outside students. In 2018, Lipscomb started the first seminary in a women’s prison in the country. Its Hazelip School of Theology offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, emphasizing spiritual care. As a result of grants from the state of Tennessee, enrollment has expanded and programming added at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute (a men’s prison).
In December 2022, Lipscomb held its fifth graduation ceremony at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center and honored five students completing undergraduate degrees and eight students completing master’s degrees. Currently 10 students participate in programming at the men’s prison and 47 participate at the women’s prison. For students who are released before finishing a degree, Lipscomb offers the Richard C. Goode Scholarship, named for the LIFE Program’s founder. This scholarship currently supports seven students who began studies inside prison and now study online or on campus.
North Park University
In 2018, North Park Theological Seminary partnered with Stateville Correctional Center outside of Chicago to offer graduate courses onsite. North Park now offers a full Master of Arts Degree in Restorative Justice Ministries at both Stateville Correctional Center and Logan Correctional Center, a women’s facility, enrolling over 80 incarcerated students to the four-year degree program.
This degree program, open to both incarcerated and free students, is to prepare people for ministry in contexts that are susceptible to violence. They offer traditional seminary courses as well as other courses on conflict transformation, race relations, and trauma and healing. North Park offers several for-credit courses for non-degree seekers and allows North Park seminary students to take these courses for credit. They also offer a writing course to certify incarcerated students to become writing assistants under North Park’s Writing Center. View our first cohort inside Statesville Correctional Center’s graduation, which includes student speakers, at this link.
Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Baptist University offers a four-year, 120 credit hour Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Studies at the Lexington Correctional Center in Lexington, Oklahoma. Each course is taught face-to-face at the prison by OBU professors and adjunct instructors. Students also complete two semester-long internships as part of their graduation requirements. The facility chaplain is the field supervisor for the internships.
Our goal is to impact the lives of students and those within their circles of influence through OBU’s traditional transformational education. The ultimate objective is to change the prison culture in the state of Oklahoma. To that end, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections will consider graduates as Field Ministers and transfer them in teams of 2-4 to prisons throughout the state. These men will doubtless influence their specific communities through their character, conduct, and learned skills. Our first cohort of 35 students will complete their sophomore year in May 2023. Twenty of these students made the President’s List in the fall semester. Our second cohort of 34 students begin their studies in the Fall 2023 term.
Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Christian University’s began courses that will lead to an Associate’s Degree in Business at Mabel Bassett Corrections Center (MBCC) in the fall semester of 2021 with 15 students. Simultaneously, Dr. Jeff McCormack, CAO of Oklahoma Christian, founded the HOPE Institute, Helping Oklahoma through Prison Education.
Currently, 22 women are in the program and most of them have 15-18 hours of coursework towards the 60-hour degree in such areas as speech communication, Bible, English composition and math. A second cohort of 20 students is expected in the fall of 2023. The work at Mabel Bassett Corrections Center is completely missional to the work of Oklahoma Christian University. Christian faculty teach all OC classes from a Christian worldview. Evidence from the first cohort shows that, without exception, the MBCC students welcomed and preferred discussions of faith when appropriate during class and pursued faith-based options when given a choice in assignments. An art show of scripture art that the women created in their Gospel of Matthew class was given a full gallery exhibition in the spring of 2023.
Prairie College, Alberta, Canada
The Prison Bible Encounter Program is a first year college certificate program that is offered by Prairie College in various Canadian Federal Correctional Facilities in Alberta. Students who successfully complete the program earn a Certificate in Bible. While the program in its entirety consists of ten courses, potential students are encouraged to enroll even if they cannot complete the entire certificate program, which takes upwards of three years to complete. Students receive credit for each course they complete and each course has tremendous value and merit, even as standalone courses, for personal development. The program began in September of 2016.
Each course requires no less than 30 instructional hours. In addition students are required to invest at least 70 hours in study/homework. In a typical class schedule, we are delivering the courses by teaching a 2.5 hour class each week. A course is thus completed in 15 weeks. The ten courses of the Certificate program are offered in a consecutive (back to back) model.
Prairie College provides the program at no direct cost to the institution or the student. Inmate students are enrolled on a scholarship basis. Program costs are underwritten through the generous donations of supporters who contribute to the Inmate Scholarship Fund at Prairie College. Prairie College receives no public or government funding for this program. Currently, Prairie is delivering five classes in three federal institutions in the Province of Alberta, with approximately 40 inmate students enrolled. We are also pursuing requests from two additional institutions in Alberta and there are an additional 20 applicants on a waiting list.
Samford University, Alabama
The Ministry Training Institute of Samford University (Samford Extension Division) currently offers four non-credit diplomas to inmates at Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution and South Central Correctional Facility. Each academic year at least four courses are offered at these facilities providing the opportunity to earn a Diploma in Biblical Studies, Advanced Diploma in Biblical Studies, Biblical Studies Diploma of Distinction, and the Diploma of Superior Achievement.
Samford has offered classes at the Aliceville Federal Correctional Institution (A Federal institution in Pickens County Alabama) since 2014 with hundreds of inmates taking classes and dozens receiving diplomas over the past nine years. We began classes at the South Central Correctional Center (A state facility in Wayne County Tennessee) in the fall of 2022. The three courses offered this academic year at South Central have enrolled an average of 15 students. Samford will add a third prison location soon. The Bibb Correctional Facility (A state facility in Bibb County Alabama) will launch their first class in June of 2023. The Hispanic educational track, which launched in Aliceville in the fall of 2018, continues to enjoy great success with enrollments increasing in the non-English population of the prison each year. Over 60 percent of the inmates at this facility are Hispanic and more than 200 have participated in classes since the inception of this program.
Southern Wesleyan University, South Carolina
Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) partners with SCDC and Healthy Routines to offer currently incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to earn a BA or BS degree or complete a certificate program. Bachelor degree programs that are available include a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration w/Entrepreneurship Concentration, a Bachelor of Science, Psychology w/ Recreation and Sports Management, and an Associate of Arts, General Studies. As a U.S. Department of Education Second Chance Pell Experimental Site grant recipient, SWU is able to offer these programs at no cost.
“The Second Chance Pell Program is an extension of the mission of Southern Wesleyan University. Since 1906, the institution has been educating individuals to be productive in today’s society. These funds provide incarcerated individuals with access to monies to fund postsecondary education and training that lead to viable jobs when they are released. The University is excited to be a part of this outreach program.” –Dr. Sandra McLendon, Dean of the School of Education
Trinity International University, Wisconsin
Trinity International University (TIU) has collaborated with the Wisconsin Inmate Education Association (WIEA) to establish an extension site inside Waupun Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Waupun, Wisconsin. TIU offers a full-time, cohort-based, four-year Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies program to inmates serving sentences ranging from many years to life.
Upon graduation, these men seek opportunities to bring positive change to their peers and circles of influence as they fill varied prison roles throughout the Wisconsin correctional system. There are three cohorts at present utilizing a newly designed educational facility in the prison complex. In 2021 and 2022, thirty -one total students graduated and celebrated commencement ceremonies with their fellow cohort members, families, and friends.
University of the Southwest, New Mexico
The USW Inmate Education Program is designed for incarcerated students to be able to receive a four-year degree from USW at a discounted cost. Degrees offered through the Inmate Education Program include a Bachelor of Arts in Community Leadership and Social Engagement and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. The Community Leadership and Social Engagement degree is an interdisciplinary program meant to prepare the graduate to effect positive community change through best practices in leadership, communication, ethics, and Christian studies. Students enrolled in this degree plan take a combination of face-to-face classes and online classes.
The Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management includes courses from a variety of business disciplines. Courses include accounting, business law, finance, management, marketing, human resources, managing diversity, strategic planning, leadership, and effective organizational teams. USW is working closely together with the administration and education teams at LCCF to create the best student learning environment for the students. The program will continue to consist of face-to-face learning as well as online learning. USW is excited to be partnering with LCCF in offering these degrees.
Wheaton College, Illinois
Wheaton College houses the Correctional Ministries Institute (CMI) which offers specialized training for chaplains and volunteers through its continuing education Correctional Ministries Certificate Program. CMI gives men and women a “Second Chance” by offering the Charles W. Colson scholarship to formerly incarcerated persons to attend Wheaton College for an undergraduate or graduate degree.
York College, Nebraska
York University works in collaboration with the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women to provide the opportunity for incarcerated women to take college courses with the goal of completing an Associate of Arts degree in three and a half years. The first cohort of 12 students graduated with their A.A. degree in August 2019. The second cohort of 10 women is scheduled to graduate with their A.A. degree on May 1st, 2023.
Photo is from Prison Fellowship.