New prison-oriented tablet released

JPay has just released a new tablet, the JP5mini, an Android-based tablet that’s specifically designed to deal with some of the rigors of use in the prison setting. Its purchase cost to inmates is $69.99, and there are additional per-use fees with it. Its casing is more durable than the typical tablet’s,  its firmware is locked

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University of Minnesota Independent Study

Online, Distance, and Evening Courses   Image courtesy

The Spring 2014 CCE Course Catalog is now available online.

Convenient, Flexible Courses 

Complicated schedules are a fact of life in the 21st century. For many adults, juggling work, family, and personal commitments can be challenging. But don’t let that keep you from pursuing your personal, professional, and academic goals. Enroll in a University of Minnesota evening or online course today through the College of Continuing Education:

  • You’ll have access to University of Minnesota faculty experts, whether you’re taking a class via on-campus evening courses or distance learning.
  • You don’t need to be admitted to a University program to register for these courses.
  • These courses may be applied to a certificate or degree at a later date.
  • Some degrees and certificates can  be completed partially or fully online.

Start with a Single Course

If you are wondering if returning to school is right for you, try starting with a single course. You don’t have to be admitted to a program to enroll in a course. Many non-admitted students take courses to:

  • Fulfill program admission requirements
  • Try out a course before applying to a program
  • Satisfy their thirst for knowledge
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Distance Learning: Moody Bible Institute



Independent Study was the first mode of distance education provided by Moody Bible Institute, beginning in 1901. Independent Study courses allow you to take undergraduate courses on your own time and at your own pace through print correspondence. 

Independent Study courses do not operate on the traditional semester format – Register for courses at any time. Students have six months to work through the course material and successfully complete a course. Students may choose to enroll in a single course or participate in several courses at one time.

Earn College Credit or Work Toward Your DegreePhoto courtesy

Moody Distance Learning offers Independent Study undergraduate courses in Bible, theology, ministry and general education for college credit.

You can take Independent Study courses to earn college credit and accelerate you towards a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies degree, an Associate of Biblical Studies degree or a Certificate of Biblical Studies

Independent Study courses are also available to non-degree seeking students, visiting students from other universities, and 11th and 12th grade students.


These courses are available through Independent Study for undergraduate college credit. All listed courses are available in Independent Study print correspondence format. 

To find corresponding textbooks for each course, go to Undergraduate Required Textbooks.

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The University of Oklahoma

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Oklahoma Center for Independent and Distance Learning is to create and deliver flexible, high quality, college courses via distance learning formats accessible to all students.

Q:  What are the differences between Distance Learning and Independent and Distance Courses?

A:  The differences between the two courses are time and flexibility. With Distance Learning courses you have 160 days to complete your coursework and you must follow a course schedule set by your instructor.

Independent and Distance courses are 180 days and self-paced. You submit assignments and exams on your own schedule.

Student Services   Image courtesy
(405) 325-1921

(405) 325-1208

Toll Free
(800) 942-5702

Fax: (405) 325-7687

E-mail: [email protected]

Center for Independent and Distance Learning
1600 Jenkins, Room 101
Norman, OK 73072-6507

Office hours:
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central Standard Time

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More Colleges Announce Online-Only Course Methodologies

By Christopher Zoukis

The other day a good friend passed along a few letters which several schools had sent him concerning college-level correspondence education.  He was digging through the Distance Education and Training Council’s (DETC) directory of accredited schools and wrote to several concerning his own studies.  As a result of his letters, these schools responded that they either no longer — or never — offered paper-based college-level courses.  The goal of this post is to simply alert you as to which schools solely offer online-only course methodologies.  This way you won’t waste time contacting them on behalf of your incarcerated students.

The schools which informed him that they are online-only are as follows:

~ Aspen University

~Columbia Southern University           

~Texas Tech University

~Washington State University, Global Campus

~University College & Extension Services, California State University at Long Beach

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Brigham Young University Closes Their Doors to Incarcerated Students

By Christopher Zoukis

In a recent letter from Brigham Young University (BYU), university officials acknowledged that they have ceased all paper-based correspondence courses.  This is a blow to incarcerated students country-wide considering that BYU, while never offering a degree program to incarcerated students, did offer a significant number of high-quality paper-based courses which those in prison could complete.  These included high school, college, and personal development courses.  I, for one, am sorry to see them go as I have even recommended BYU in my book, Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security.  This is a most unfortunate development. 

The BYU letter reads, in part, as follows: “Thank you for your interest in our BYU Independent Study program.  Due to changes and upgrades to our course delivery system, we are no longer offering university courses in a paper format.  Students enrolling in our university courses must have access to a computer and the internet. . . If your institution supports having internet access . . . [y]ou may enroll with the enclosed enrollment form via mail, online, or over the phone. . . We do not offer any degrees or certificate programs through Independent Study to students who have not already completed 30 credits on BYU campus.  We do offer courses that can be transferred to other Universities with approval from that University. . . We hope that your educational goals will be realized and commend you for your desire to grow academically.  If you have further questions, please let me know as I am happy to answer them.”

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Prison Education Basics 104 (A Little History Explains a Lot — or does it?)

By George Hook

A near universal belief is that education is an essential ingredient to minimizing recidivism.  Equally universal is the belief that federal and State prison education programs are too generally unavailable.  Some might state that Uncle Sam and the States are “criminally negligent” on this score.  Others might even delete “negligent” and assert that the “criminality” is specific, targeted and intentional.  Those making such assertions would not just be suffering prisoners, who might expect misunderstanding, at least, and even targeting.  Educators and administrators may be numbered among the jury as well.  Primarily, the educators and administrators are the ones more vocal, among them sociologists and criminologists, who do the statistical and other research, the most distressed and making the clarion call to reform.

Prison education is expensive.  Although the students and facilities are readily available, the teachers’ availability and access to them is quite problematic.  Usually, teachers have had to stand up before their students and lecture.  That means having teachers enter the prison facility.   Many, if not most, teachers from traditional backgrounds would be very wary about teaching in any prison environment or to persons regarded to be potentially, if not patently, dangerous, generally, if not so specifically, by the teachers individually.  Transporting groups of prisoners beyond the prison walls is substantially more bothersome, and, potentially more risky and dangerous.  Admitting teachers to prison and transporting prisoners to outside classrooms, both, have usually been substantially more expensive than the general public, as represented by their political voices in government, could tolerate.  So the more acceptable alternative has been the correspondence course curriculum.   

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Prison Education: The Correspondence Method

By Christopher Zoukis

In prisons across the country a GED is typically the highest level of academic achievement that is 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 tract, but stopping them upon attainment of the GED.

The single-minded focus of GED attainment creates a void for prison systems nationwide. This void is education above-and-beyond the GED. Some prisons offer Adult Basic Education or Adult Continuing Education (of which I am an instructor) courses, 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.

For the prisoner who desires to advance their education above the level of studies offered by their prison

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