Program Website: http://fridaycenter.unc.edu/creditprograms/correctional/
Associate Director for Correctional Education
Associate Director of Correctional Education
Program Description: The North Carolina Department of Correction works with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for Continuing Education to provide a variety of tuition-free university courses and educational services to incarcerated people. Only those incarcerated in the North Carolina prison system qualify for the Correctional Education Program.
As a top educational institution in the U.S., UNC-Chapel Hill offers the incarcerated a unique opportunity to earn college credits from an esteemed university and is strict in its enrollment and academic performance requirements. Students enrolling in courses must meet specific academic criteria prior to being accepted and must maintain a 2.0 grade point average throughout the semester. Since 1974, 167 participants in Correctional Education’s on-campus study-release program have earned college degrees, including three doctorates and eighteen master of arts or master of science degrees. Many have gone on to thrive in professional jobs. The recidivism rate of study-release participants is only 7 percent.
Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master, and Doctorates of arts or science
Programs Offered: Self-paced Correspondence Courses:
These courses have a nine-month enrollment period. A renewal of four months is available for a $30 fee (paid by the Correctional Education Program).
On-site Classroom Courses:
On-site classroom courses for college credit are offered at approximately twenty-five participating North Carolina correctional facilities. As with campus courses, each course consists of forty-five total classroom hours. Class sessions consist of fifteen three-hour classes, either one evening a week (for fifteen weeks) or two evenings a week (for seven and a half weeks).
Unique Features: N/A
Correctional Facilities Served: Approximately twenty-five participating North Carolina correctional facilities (on-site classroom courses)
Population Served: Incarcerated individuals with a GED score of at least 250, a WRAT reading grade level of at least 10.0, or prior college academic credits. The sentence criteria exclude all whose parole eligibility and discharge dates are more than 10 years in the future. 18- to 25-year-old individuals funded by Federal Youth Offender Act grants must be within five years of parole eligibility or discharge date.
Number of Students: Around 1000 per year
Graduates to Date: 167 students since 1974, including 4 students who were granted PhD’s, and at least 18 Masters degrees
Year Founded: 1974
College/University/Organization Partnerships: UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, UNC Ashville, North Carolina Central in Durham, Fayetteville State, North Carolina State
Funding: Funded entirely by U.S. Department of Education “Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders” grant, also known as the “Youth Offender” grant, via the North Carolina Department of Correction.