Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Central Valley Inmates Can Earn Fresno State Social Science Degree
News
By News
Published 2 years ago on
June 30, 2022

Share

 

Fresno State News

A new program offered by Fresno State will allow incarcerated students at Valley State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility, both in Chowchilla, to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science, expanding access to higher education among one of the most marginalized populations in the state.

The new program is a collaboration between the College of Social Sciences, the Division of Continuing and Global Education and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The degree program was accredited on May 5 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — an organization that provides accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary and elementary schools in California and Hawaii. Incarcerated students will receive face-to-face coursework from Fresno State instructors.

“Given the demographics of the prison population, we anticipate that the student population will disproportionately consist of first-generation college students, students of color, and students from impoverished backgrounds,” said Dr. Scott Moore, dean of the Division of Continuing and Global Education at Fresno State. “Without the engagement of a university like Fresno State, these students would have no access to face-to-face opportunities to earn a bachelor’s degree. The presence of Fresno State at these facilities will help enhance the existing culture of learning that has the power to change lives.”

‘Good for Public Safety’

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation believes in the transformational power of education and is committed to providing opportunities for academic growth during incarceration, said Brant Choate, director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs.

“Incarcerated students who achieve a bachelor’s degree are the least likely to return to prison,” Choate added. “This program is good for public safety.”

The new degree program expands access to higher education following the passage of SB 1391 in 2014. The State of California already offers associate degree programs from community colleges in 33 of the state’s 34 prisons and has more than 15,000 students enrolled in face-to-face and correspondence college programs as of fall 2021. Initially, this new degree program will serve 27 students at each facility.

Valley State Prison in Chowchilla is a Level II, general population institution open since 1995, and was converted from an all-female to an all-male institution in 2013. Central California Women’s Facility, also in Chowchilla, opened in 1990 and is the largest female institution in the state.

“Providing opportunities for those housed at CCWF to obtain a bachelor’s degree is the meaning of rehabilitation,” said Warden Michael Pallares. “They are choosing to become a better person than when they arrived in prison.”

Valley State Prison Warden Landon Bird agreed. “Earning a four-year degree changes the trajectory of an incarcerated person’s life,” Bird said. “They realize they are not defined by what got them there. They can invest in themselves and change their future.”

Office of Correctional Education Superintendent Shannon Swain states, “The multi-generational impact of correctional education helps transform students, their families and their futures. The majority of folks incarcerated in CDCR institutions will eventually return to their communities; it just makes sense to help them return with new knowledge, skills, and abilities.”

Education Reduces Recidivism

Research indicates that correctional education is a solid investment in public safety. The RAND Corporation has published numerous formal evaluations citing correctional education as effective in reducing recidivism.

Since spring 2021, Fresno State’s Division of Continuing and Global Education has offered standalone upper-division courses in Valley State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility on a pilot basis, and the response from students has been overwhelmingly positive.

The program will be funded through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Starting in fall 2023, students may be eligible for federal Pell grants.

For more information, visit cge.fresnostate.edu.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

5 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

16 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

17 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

18 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

19 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

19 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

19 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

20 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

20 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

22 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

4 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

4 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

5 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

16 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

17 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

18 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

19 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend