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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

Newsletter Article January 20, 2021

Groundbreaking New National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs Released

The Alliance for Higher Education Policy (AHEP) has launched the National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs, an interactive database funded by a two-year, $925,000 grant from Ascendium. This directory is the nation’s most comprehensive, up-to-date resource for postsecondary education in prison programs. It is supported by the newly published report of base-level data, The Landscape of Higher Education in Prison 2018-2019. These new resources will help the field answer key questions about postsecondary education in prison programs.

While this information has been collected before, it has not been previously collected on this scale or in the form of an online, interactive platform. The directory tells a descriptive story about the landscape of the field, including number of programs (by state), types of academic partners (both 2-year and 4-year) and degree pathways.

The interactive nature and multiple views of the directory mean that users can search by program type, facility type, academic institution type, credential pathway and more, as well as update their own data. The directory also allows for users to connect with others working in this field, helping to develop the partnerships that underlie high-quality postsecondary education in prison programs.

Ascendium funded this work as part of our focus area to Expand Postsecondary Education in Prison and to develop a better understanding of incarcerated learners through data and research. As part of this focus area, Ascendium also sponsored the report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Supporting Success: The Higher Education in Prison Key Performance Indicator Framework, which focuses on the development of metrics for guidelines on standardizing postsecondary education in prison quality. Background information on this issue is available in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Market Primer: Educating the Incarcerated.

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