Teaching Higher Ed in Prison: A Look at Faculty Training and Development
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PST
Register for the event

The expansion of national access to Higher Education in Prison (HEP) programming has become a priority as Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students is being reinstated after 26 years. By restoring Pell Grant eligibility for students in prison, Vera estimates nearly half a million additional students will qualify for federal funds unavailable to them for the past 26 years. With the Department of Education to begin implementation by July 2023, it is critical to provide faculty training and professional development programs that will ensure high-quality programming in prison.  To address this training gap, the Michelson 20MM Foundation awarded faculty members at Cerro Coso Community College a Spark Grant to develop an openly licensed faculty training and professional development program for HEP. Cerro Coso’s work in the growth of the California Justice Reform area, specifically in influencing higher education in prison reform, stems from building and sustaining the nation’s largest face-to-face prison college program. The funding catalyzed training curriculum development and leveraged a community of practitioners to achieve additional grants, sustainable funding, and ultimately provide well trained faculty for incarcerated students. 

Join the Michelson 20MM Foundation on April 6th to discuss what training is effective for faculty and institutions who are gearing up for federal Pell Grant restoration. A panel of subject matter experts and champions of higher education in prison will discuss their shared vision for the future of faculty teaching in prison. This conversation will look at pedagogy in a correctional facility, building rapport with students while maintaining mandated policies in HEP programs, understanding inherent carceral environment demands on students, and using open educational resources to lower educational costs.

Speakers include:

Associate Dean, University College, The University of Iowa

Andrew Beckett serves as Associate Dean in University College at the University of Iowa. His portfolio includes First Year Programs, Academic Support and Retention, the Center for Conferences, Scholar Development, and Liberal Arts Beyond Bars (UI LABB). He is the treasurer for the Iowa Consortium for Higher Education in Prison (ICHEP). Andrew earned his B.S. in mathematics from Truman State University, M.A. in Higher Education at the University of Arizona, and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to his tenure at Iowa, he worked in the Office of the Dean of Students at Miami University.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Second Chance Educational Alliance, Inc.

Dr. Erin Corbett has spent almost two decades in education access in a number of roles. While pursuing her doctorate, Erin launched a nonprofit that provides not-for-credit, postsecondary level courses in three correctional facilities in Connecticut. In addition to the classes she taught there, and the volunteer instructors she manages, she has also taught in two correctional facilities in Rhode Island with College Unbound and guest lectured, via Zoom, to incarcerated students in the Iowa Medical Classification Center (IMCC) through the University of Iowa Liberal Arts Beyond Bars (UI LABB) program. Erin holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College (PA). She earned her M.B.A. from Post University (CT) and her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation examined the relationship between educational attainment level and post-release employment outcomes for formerly incarcerated people in the state of Connecticut.

Professor, Administration of Justice Department Chair, and POST Academy Director; Cerro Coso College

Peter Fulks is a tenured Professor and Department Chair for Public Services and Administration of Justice. He is also leading social change as a Director of multiple police academy programs. Peter is a faculty lead alongside Alec in program and professional development implementation. Peter is a quantitative analysis expert that thrives on achieving clear measurable outcomes. He loves the outdoors and spending time with his family in the woods. His doctoral work focuses on scalability of publicly funded HEP programming and student outcomes as a functional reintegration model.

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Prison Faculty Lead, Cerro Coso College

Alec Griffin is a tenured professor of Anthropology and Sociology and has taught in the prison for Cerro Coso Community College since 2017. He is currently the Prison Faculty Lead for Letters and Sciences and works on multiple nationwide projects for catalyzing higher education in prison. His specific area of focus is cultural identity, anthropology of education, and the anthropology of policy. When he’s not teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, running marathons, gardening, and studying for his Ph.D. program.

Register for the event

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

To sign up for our newsletter, click here