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California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and College of the Canyons Hosted Summit on Inmate and Reentry Education
California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris and State Senator Loni Hancock among speakers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and College of the Canyons hosted a two- day Summit on Inmate and Reentry Education that explored educational opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students, as well as showcased efforts toward effective and sustainable college program development. The event was held in Sacramento on Monday and Tuesday.
The summit included remarks by state Senator Loni Hancock; California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris; California Community Colleges Board of Governors member and Anti-Recidivism Coalition Founder & President Scott Budnick; Dr. Denise Noldon, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office interim vice chancellor of student services and special programs; and Dr. Robert ‘BJ’ Snowden, the director of inmate education for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.
Notable presentations included members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition sharing how the organization has positively impacted their lives. The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, launched in 2013 by Budnick, is an organization comprised of high- achieving, formerly-incarcerated young adults who work to support one another, while stopping the flow of men and women into the criminal justice system. Two former inmates, now students, shared their stories of receiving an education while in prison, and how it prepared them for life after parole. More information on the Anti-Recidivism Coalition can be found here.
The summit also included a look at four community colleges that were selected in July to receive grants to create innovative and sustainable academic programs within California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reentry hubs. The colleges selected to receive the grants are Antelope Valley College, Chaffey College, Folsom Lake College and Lassen Community College. The session introduced each pilot program and explored the processes of establishing the academic programs.
In addition, the summit included an in-depth look at the background and history of the college program at San Quentin by Dr. Jody Lewen, executive director of the Prison University Project, as well as panels on how to best provide support for incarcerated and formally incarcerated inmates entering college, how to best integrate college programs both inside and outside of prison, and the best ways to go about preparing faculty to teach in a prison setting.
The summit was hosted jointly by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and College of the Canyons through a collaborative effort called the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative, created to help advance the institutional effectiveness of the California Community Colleges in order to better serve students.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor's Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/, https://www.facebook.com/CACommColleges, or https://twitter.com/CalCommColleges.