2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison


With the conclusion of the 11th NCHEP in-person events in Denver, CO and the Virtual Sessions the following week, the 11th NCHEP Planning Team wants to extend its deepest gratitude to all the presenters, in person and virtually: your scholarship has enriched our community immensely. We also would like to express thanks to all of the attendees who showed up day after day with enthusiasm and ready to learn and contribute your own ideas.

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COVID-19 Requirements

The 11th NCHEP will be hosted as an in-person event at the Denver Marriott Tech Center (Denver, CO). We will not ask for vaccination proof although we strongly recommend that only people who are fully vaccinated travel to the conference. Instead, we will rely on each other’s sense of community and responsibility, and ask all attendees to always wear a mask during NCHEP (except when eating or drinking). In addition to working in tandem with the hotel to support safe and physical distancing during sessions, the Alliance will provide masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes at the Registration Desk, Wellness Room and in all breakout rooms throughout the duration of the11th NCHEP (free of charge to all attendees). 

For more information and updates regarding the ways we will prioritize the safety of the conference attendees, please visit the COVID-19 Requirements and Precautions section of the NCHEP website.

Virtual Participation Opportunities

We are pleased to announce that the 11th NCHEP Keynote Address and all Plenary Sessions will be live-streamed on the NCHEP Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialNCHEP/). If you are not able to attend the in-person gathering, you can still view the many special events planned throughout the conference in real time! 

Additionally, a Virtual Event that will take place on Zoom during the week following the conference (November 17-19). This virtual set of sessions will offer the entire community an opportunity to continue the conversations initiated in Denver while accommodating those who cannot travel during the pandemic. All sessions are free and open to the public.

View the Virtual Event Schedule and Register to Attend Sessions.

To stay updated about the 11th NCHEP check in on Facebook @OfficialNCHEP and Twitter @OfficialNCHEPWe will continue to add information to this page as it becomes available.

timeline for the 11th NCHEP:

  • April 2021: Conference Announcement
  • June 2021: Conference Theme and Proposal Submission Process
  • July/August 2021: Proposals Due and Registration and Financial Aid Open
  • September 2021: Notification of Proposal Accept/Decline
  • November 11-14, 2021: 11th NCHEP in Denver, CO
  • November 17-19: Virtual Events (Zoom)

Overview of the 11th NCHEP 

COVID-19 Requirements and Altitude Recommendations

The 11th NCHEP will be an in-person event: while we look forward to returning to this conference format and excited to be together, we want to acknowledge the exceptional circumstances that will surround our gathering in November and prioritize the safety of all attendees. As the current COVID-19 variant continues to persist  throughout the country, we do understand that NCHEP attendees will have questions and concerns about travel and indoor group meetings and that not all community members will be able to travel. 

We are committed to providing updated and relevant information to address the concerns of attendees as well as our efforts to follow facility, state, city and federal guidance regarding the health and safety of participants. This page will remain a hub of information and will be updated frequently.

It is important to remember that the city of Denver is situated at a high altitude: the 5280 elevation can cause a variety of symptoms (such as light-headedness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, and/or nausea) that could be easily mitigated with a series of precautions. The most effective measures to avoid altitude sickness and to adjust to this environment are: 

  1. Drinking plenty of water to adjust to Colorado’s dry air;
  2. Eating foods high in potassium to replenish electrolytes; 
  3. Hydrating your skin to restore the lack of moisture caused by the arid air and high winds; 
  4. Dressing in layers to be prepared for the weather’s variability.  ‍

Review the full set of NCHEP COVID-19 requirements and Precautions.

Planning process

The Alliance’s intention for conference planning this year is to continue evolving in the way it engages the community, and in the ways the community can engage the Alliance and the broader field of higher education in prison in return. We will solicit your suggestions, ideas, and feedback through multiple open discussions on topics such as the conference theme, keynote speakers, special events, etc. These virtual conference planning sessions are open to all community members and will take place twice a month (from June to October), on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in order to accommodate different schedules. 

For years, community-generated feedback on the national conference has helped draw attention to some concerns with the overall quality of the conference. While the NCHEP remains popular and grows year-to-year, it has also become reliant on some approaches that have outlived, perhaps, their utility. In an effort to dispel the idea, for example, that a conference should feature a largely unquestioned structure through which presenters showcase their findings and achievements, the Alliance team decided to try some additional approaches, and is proposing some radical changes involving many aspect of the 11th NCHEP planning process. The variations we are implementing this year stem not only from our recognition of the field's diversity, but also from the profound material inequalities that shape the lives of the workers and students within the field. We are eager to base our mutual efforts in a praxis of knowledge exchange and to enliven some necessary political conversations. Through interactive formats, a career and academic clinic, and a rich variety of special events, educators will get a chance to learn from formerly and currently incarcerated students, activists, and rising scholars (and vice versa). We hope that the 11th National Conference will feature a generative cross-pollination of resources and expertises, distributed through an equity lens. 

In an effort to offer opportunities for more community members to participate in the planning process, we will solicit community suggestions, ideas, and feedback through multiple open discussions and surveys on topics such as the conference theme, keynote speakers, special events, etc. 

Call for Submissions

The 2021 NCHEP Planning Team announced the Call for Submissions for the 11th National Conference on Higher Education in Prison in June 2021.

The theme that will frame the conference is “What is To Be Done?” Posed more than a century ago, this burning question has since inspired generations of revolutionaries to interrogate the intersections of theory and practice, to reflect upon their own positionalities in the face of power and oppression, and to seek the most effective strategies to collectively organize and build resistance. In light of this vision, which speaks to a renewed commitment to make NCHEP a space of knowledge exchange and an occasion to enliven political conversations in the field, a few changes have been made to the submission formats. In order to question traditional conceptions of conference structures, the 11th NCHEP will host presentations that privilege collaboration, mutual support, and participation by inviting submissions for Open Conversations, Roundtables, Workshops, and Meetings.


Conference Registration

The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison is pleased to announce that the 11th National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) registration portal is now open. The online portal will remain open until November 10, 2021. However, we request that you complete the registration process by October 15, 2021 in order to assist the planning team in its efforts. 

This year, in addition to the Financial Aid Program, the community is presented with a sliding scale structure through which NCHEP wishes to acknowledge the attendees' different access to resources. The registration fee contributes to the overall costs associated with the conference and pays for all your meals (dinner on Thursday night; breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and coffee breaks on Friday and Saturday; breakfast on Sunday). The registration portal will also include information on booking your stay at the conference hotel (the Marriott Denver Tech Center) at a discounted rate.  

We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

register to attend the 11th nchep

Financial Aid (and Eligibility)

The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison is committed to supporting equal access to the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) regardless of socioeconomic status. We are pleased to offer an opportunity to apply for one-time financial aid packages to support attendance to the 11th NCHEP.

Each year, Financial Aid packages are available for anyone without institutional support to attend the 11th NCHEP. People who are formerly incarcerated will be prioritized for Financial aid. Financial aid awards are determined by the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison Advisory Board and Team. To learn more about the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison and its Advisory Board and Team, here. Financial aid awards cover the cost of travel, accommodations, registration and other reimbursable expenses. Financial aid will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

The 2021 Financial Aid Application Process opened in July 2021 and award notification will continue through October 2021. The Financial Aid Application process closed on September 20, 2021.

Please direct all questions to: nchep@higheredinprison.org.     

Learn more about The nchep Financial aid program

Conference Schedule

The NCHEP Planning team is pleased to share the schedule for the 11th Annual NCHEP, hosted November 11-14 in Denver, CO. The 11th NCHEP will host presentations that privilege collaboration, mutual support, and participation by inviting submissions for Open Conversations; Roundtables; Workshops; and Meetings. In addition the conference will host a Keynote Event, multiple Plenary Sessions and a series of special events and networking sessions.

Please direct all NCHEP schedule questions to: nchep@higheredinprison.org.

Download the 11th NCHEP Schedule.

Hotel Information

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St.
Denver, CO 80237

(303) 779-1100

Hotel reservations in the conference block of rooms (and at the conference room rate $159/night) will be available through the conference registration portal (open July 2021).

book your accommodations

Transportation Options

The 11th NCHEP will be an in-person event hosted in Denver, CO. The Denver International Airport (DIA) will be the main transportation hub for most NCEHP Attendees. For a full overview of information to aid attendees in navigating the airport and transportation between DIA and the conference hotel (Marriott Denver Tech Center: 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver, CO 80237) visit the NCHEP Transportation Overview webpage.


FAQ: Submission and General NCHEP

Find answers to questions about the Submission process and general information about the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison on the NCHEP FAQ Page.

Additionally, here are a few more ways to ask questions, offer feedback and/or receive information: