Wesleyan University’s Prison Education Program Graduates Seven Women

Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, recently held a commencement ceremony at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic. It is the only state prison for women in Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Correction, in partnership with Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education and Middlesex Community College, bestowed associate’s degrees on seven women.

The Wesleyan Center for Prison Education began offering classes at the women’s prison in 2013. Since that time, the program has offered nearly 140 classes to more than 150 incarcerated students, according to the university. The program has succeeded thanks to the work of approximately 250 undergraduate volunteers, and 40 university faculty.

“Thanks to collaborations with institutions of higher learning, such as Wesleyan and Middlesex Community College, these women are able to achieve something they may not have thought was possible,” noted Chery Cepelak, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Correction.

“Earning a college degree will not only help them successfully reintegrate into their communities, but it will benefit them for the rest of their lives as well,” Cepelak added.

The Wesleyan Center for Prison Education hopes to expand the program further with a bachelor of liberal studies degree program starting next fall.

Filed Under: Degree Attainments


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