Higher Education in Prison Program Cohort Application

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The Higher Education in Prison Cohort Program

The application process is currently closed.  

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The project is a collaboration between the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah, and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Beginning in September 2022, the Cohort Program will bring together twelve higher education in prison programs to serve as co-learners in an on-going national project aimed at understanding the broad landscape of higher education in prison. With the support of an external facilitator, the cohort members will work collaboratively with one another for a full year to develop a co-learning environment, to share resources and information that will support their programs, and to work with the project team to share real-time feedback on the Landscape Project.

In 2019, the Alliance launched the Higher Education in Prison Cohort Program to strengthen the network of higher education in prison programs and promote meaningful co-learning and collaboration. We do this by supporting program leaders and staff who are working to create, sustain and grow higher education in prison programs.

Each cohort represents the diversity of the higher education in prison stakeholder community, including credit and non-credit bearing programs, degree and non-degree granting programs, various institutional types, geographic locations, and types of facilities; size of program; diversity of staff, leadership, and program participants; and existing program infrastructure. By bringing these programs together, we hope to foster a supportive environment where practitioners can collaborate and engage in collective problem solving. The outcomes of the cohort will help inform future projects of the Alliance.

Generous support for the Higher Education in Prison Cohort Program is provided by Ascendium Education Group and the Sunshine Lady Foundation.

Participating programs receive:

  • $20,000 grant award for program participation (administered by the Alliance) to support the work of the higher education in prison program
  • Financial support for attending meetings, including flight and accommodations (if travel applies)
  • Support in compiling and submitting project-related data and using individual program data to communicate program metrics to funders, stakeholders (internal and external), and other supporters
  • Shared resources, materials, networking, technical assistance, and other opportunities that derive from participation in a professional cohort

Participating programs commit to:

  • Designating a primary representative within program leadership who will be responsible for the program’s participation in this project, including interviews, report reviews, survey responses, participation in meetings, project related assignments, and generally will be responsible for ensuring that the program achieves the participation standards and expectations
  • Participating in in-person cohort meeting(s) (if travel applies) and participating in quarterly facilitated cohort web discussions and other cohort activities
  • Signing up for the cohort list-serve
  • Assisting in setting up one site visit from the project leadership team
  • Sharing anonymized student data
  • Conducting annual reporting on cohort-related activities and expenditures

Eligible programs must meet the following criteria:

  • Courses provided to adult (18 years and older) students who have earned a high school diploma, GED or equivalent secondary credential
  • Courses and programs provided in partnership with a post-secondary accredited institution
  • Instruction provided by two-year and/or four-year colleges and universities with public, private or nonprofit status
  • Credit or not for credit coursework
  • Degree or non-degree granting pathways
  • May include courses for college preparation

Please direct questions about the cohort to: cohort@higheredinprison.org

Please sign up for our newsletter to receive updates about the current Higher Education in Prison Cohort Program and receive announcements about future cohort opportunities.