Cornell Prison Education Program Marches On

CornellPrisonIn the mid-1990s when an act of Congress and subsequent state legislation caused the collapse of taxpayer-funded college programs in most state prisons, a few faculty members at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, led by Professor Pete Wetherbee, undertook to offer a handful of classes on a volunteer basis in Auburn Correctional Facility. In 1999, Cornell enabled these college classes to be given for credit, charging neither tuition nor fees. In 2009, with a two-year seed grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation and additional support from the Provost’s office, Cornell greatly expanded the prison education program.

The Cornell Prison Education Program provides a liberal arts curriculum leading to an associate of arts degree for men incarcerated at the Auburn and Cayuga Correctional Facilities. Many of the participants in the program are African Americans. Cornell faculty and doctoral students serve as instructors for all courses. The program offers nearly a dozen courses each semester in fields such as economics; constitutional law and individual rights; creative writing; genetics; medical anthropology; international human rights; writing; and mathematics.

This December, Cornell will hold its second graduation ceremony at the Auburn Correctional Facility. Twelve men are scheduled to receive their associate’s degrees.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Johns Hopkins University Launches New Major and Center for Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism

The new Chloe Center for the Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism will provide research opportunities and educational events for the Johns Hopkins University community. As part of the new program, the university has announced a new undergraduate major in critical diaspora studies.

Chicago Library Receives $2 Million to Digitize Collection of African American History and Literature

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection housed within the Chicago Public Library will soon be available online to the public thanks to a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Featured Jobs