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

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.

The Eutychus Phenomenon

Part of the Eutychus phenomenon is viewing those with diverse viewpoints in the room as fortunate, but not vital contributors. The narrative that affirmative action scours the earth looking for inept candidates to give them what mediocre White people rightfully deserve is oft repeated and sadly, embraced by many.

Three Black Presidents in Higher Education Announce Their Resignations

Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, and Morehouse College President David Thomas have all announced their plans to step down from their respective presidential appointments.

Three African Americans Appointed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roles in Higher Education

The appointments to diversity positions are Tamara Clegg at the University of Maryland, Andrew Alvez at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and Kendriana Price at the University of Kentucky.

Featured Jobs