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How To Enroll In College From Prison

By Christopher Zoukis

INTRODUCTION

In prisons across the country, a GED is typically the highest level of academic achievement facilitated by the prison administration. The administration’s focus – in terms of education – is almost exclusively upon how fast they can funnel their prison’s population through their GED programs. It’s a never-ending cycle that ends with each prisoner earning a GED and starts over with the next prisoner who has yet to earn one. While a good first step, it dooms many to failure. It does so by starting the prisoner on an academic track, but the track comes to a screeching halt upon attainment of the GED.

This single-minded focus on the GED creates a void for prison systems nationwide. This void is education above-and-beyond the GED level. Some prisons offer Adult Basic Education or Adult Continuing Education courses (of which I am an instructor), but rarely do any offer educational programs at the career or university level. This level of study – the credentialing level – is desperately needed by each and every prisoner because studies at this level translate directly into lower recidivism rates and jobs upon release.

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