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Postsecondary Education in Prison CTE Accelerator Network

November 22, 2023

At a Glance

JFF’s Postsecondary Education in Prison CTE Accelerator Network promotes expanded access to high-quality career and technical education programs for people who are incarcerated 

Contributors
Lucretia Murphy Vice President
Rebecca Villarreal Senior Director
Jenna Dreier Director
Leah Grassini Moehle Senior Manager
Lauren Miller Senior Manager
Practices & Centers

Challenge

In recent years, only 12% of U.S. degree-granting institutions have been able to offer postsecondary education to people who are incarcerated. The 2023 restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for members of this population is expected to spur an increase in the number of those programs, including an expansion of access to career and technical education (CTE) courses intended to prepare learners for jobs paying more than $35,000 per year. However, CTE programs won’t deliver on that promise and create equitable opportunities for learners of all backgrounds unless they are able to overcome common barriers to implementing high-quality instruction in correctional facilities. 

Approach

JFF created the Postsecondary Education in Prison CTE Accelerator Network to help institutions that are expanding access to credit-bearing CTE courses to people who are incarcerated. The goal is to connect institutions with subject matter experts and a network of peers for support in overcoming shared challenges and building high-quality programs. A top priority is developing strong relationships to help corrections partners advocate for student and program needs, including equity and inclusion practices. Network members are supported by a wide-ranging group of subject matter experts, including people who have led postsecondary CTE programs at correctional facilities and people who themselves have studied in CTE programs while incarcerated. 

Results

The network launched in 2023 and members connect through learning events and affinity groups focused on their highest-priority topics, including: 

  • Developing strong employer partnerships  
  • Implementing technology and other equipment  
  • Adjusting and modifying curricula based on facility restrictions 
  • Supporting students to reenter their communities   

The network currently includes the following schools, education and training providers, and two-year systems:  

Thank you to our funder:

 

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