National Conference on Higher Education in Prison

About the NCHEP

The annual National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) is not only an event—it's a lifeline for many people committed to expanding educational opportunities for people regardless of their location or circumstances.

2020 Conference Details

This annual gathering brings together people from around the United States working to expand the field of quality higher education in prison. More than just an annual opportunity to convene with colleagues from the field, the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison is a place for higher education in prison community members to be heard, supported and inspired.

The annual convening encourages and fosters collaboration. It’s an incubator for new projects and initiatives. It’s a trusted venue for constructive dialogue. And it’s a valuable resource for practitioners and students seeking training, professional development and new connections.

Attendees leave the conference with new tools and connections, as well as a renewed sense of purpose and confidence.

2020 NCHEP is postponed

Originally scheduled for November 12-15th
at the Denver Marriott Tech Center (Denver, CO) to
2020 NCHEP has been postponed because of the
coronavirus pandemic. To learn more, visit our page
for the 2020 NCHEP.

2020 Conference Details

Thanks to all who joined us for the 2019 NCHEP conference in St. Louis!

Beyond Barriers
2019 NCHEP - St. Louis
November 14-17, 2019

The weekend was full of engaging presentations and plenaries, collaborative meetings, and meaningful discussions about some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the field.

Review the Exit Report

To receive updates about NCHEP 2020, be sure to follow the Alliance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn @AllianceforHEP.

Conference Gallery

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Conference Archives

The first national conference in 2010 was hosted by the Education Justice Project at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. About 75 people attended the 2.5-day gathering. Year after year, the conference grew in both attendance and the types and number of events and sessions it offered. By 2016, almost 300 people registered for the conference and by 2019 that number grew to more than 500 people representing more than 350 organizations, including higher education in prison programs, colleges/universities, community-based partners, media outlets and philanthropic foundations. The Alliance started hosting the conference in 2017, which was the 7th annual NCHEP. Click on the year below to learn more about each event.

Exit Reports

“It's an amazing space. I am completely inspired by people's passion for the work and people's interest in engaging and learning. It's so clear that there's already so much expertise and work that has been done, but there's also new ways to work and new ways of thinking happening here. There are other conferences that might be just folks that only want to get their point across and have their way be seen. It seems like people here are really committed to learning with each other.”
Hez Norton, Executive Director, Laughing Gull Foundation
“One thing that I think is just striking is that this conference is larger than ever, and it's got very full program of interesting people. That seems to me to be an incredibly healthy thing for the movement for higher education in prison.”
Bill Keller, Founding Editor-in-Chief, The Marshall Project
“There's something really powerful about being together at a professional conference with people who you knew when they were incarcerated and students on the inside. I have that experience more and more -- being on panels or watching people give talks and seeing them connect with other members of the community who they would never have had access to before.”
Jody Lewen, Executive Director, Prison University Project
Founding Advisory Board Member, Alliance for Higher Education in Prison