Program Website: www.goucher.edu/GPEP
Contact: Kristen Mitsinikos, Director of Advancement, 410-337-3063, Kristen.Mitsinikos@goucher.edu
Description: The Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), a division of Goucher College, provides men and women incarcerated in Maryland with the opportunity to pursue an excellent college education.
We offer Goucher College courses to students at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) and the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup (MCIJ). We also provide college preparatory courses for prospective Goucher students at the prisons needing additional support to be ready for college coursework.
About 100 students are enrolled with Goucher College via the Goucher Prison Education Partnership. In courses at the two prisons, students are held to the rigorous academic standards for which Goucher is known. Courses are taught on site by Goucher College faculty as well as by outstanding professors from nearby colleges and universities.
The entire Goucher academic community is enhanced and strengthened by the inclusion of these talented, dedicated students at the two prisons. Our work together stimulates awareness and meaningful dialogue in and beyond the Goucher community about justice, incarceration, and educational access.
Degrees Offered: Bchelor’s degree
Programs Offered: American Studies, a major also offered on Goucher’s main campus
Unique Features: In November 2016, Goucher pursued and received the college, state, and regional approvals needed to confer a Goucher College bachelor’s degree on students who complete the relevant Goucher coursework at the prison. As of January 2017, GPEP students are now officially degree candidates. Goucher is the only college in Maryland and one of just a few nationally where students can complete a bachelor’s degree while incarcerated. GPEP students may earn a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, an interdisciplinary major also offered to undergraduates on the main campus. As a degree-conferring division of the college, GPEP staff have taken on additional roles to support the students. More complex academic advising with students and further collaboration with the prison staff to continually offer more advanced and more diverse courses needed to obtain a degree have required the addition of new capabilities and expertise within GPEP’s platform.
Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland
Correctional Facilities Served: Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) and the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup (MCIJ)
Population Served: Prospective students must be housed at MCIW or MCIJ in the general population of either prison (and thus able to attend on-site classes). Prospective students must also have a GED or high school diploma. Students who do not yet have a GED/HSD are referred to existing high school equivalency programs at the prisons and encouraged to apply to Goucher once they have earned their GED/HSD.
Number of Students: 100
Graduates to Date:
Year Founded: 2010
Founder: Amy Roza
College/University/Organization Partnerships: Goucher College
Funding: Private funding including foundations and individual donations makes up the large majority of our funding historically. Second Chance Pell provides a meaningful addition to this funding allowing us to serve additional students. However GPEP fundraising efforts must remain robust, as not all current students are eligible for the limited funding provided. We also receive in-kind support from Goucher College, such as office space, phones and electricity but no direct funding.