Inmates now have the opportunity to pursue their education through Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program. This program allows incarcerated students to enroll in higher education correspondence programs, which they can complete through the U.S. Mail. The educational program helps inmates transition back into society after their release from prison.
Table of contents
- Ohio University Prison College Program
- Degrees Through Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program
- Ohio University Prison Program Correspondence Courses
- College Examinations in Prison
- Continuing Studies at Ohio University Following Release from Prison
- Ohio University Correctional Education Program
Ohio University Prison College Program
Since 1974, Ohio University’s Correctional Education has provided incarcerated students the opportunity to study through print-based courses, earn college credit, and pursue an Ohio University degree. The staff works with students and their families to provide college-level classes, degree programs, and certificates in a print-based format acceptable in most prisons.
The Higher Learning Commission has granted Ohio University accreditation. Since 1974, Ohio University has worked with incarcerated students and their families to offer college-level courses in a print-based format available in state and federal prisons. The educational process is carried out by mail, including:
- Academic Advising
- Course Material Shipments
- Lesson Coordination
Incarcerated students have three options for study through Ohio University Correctional Education:
- College Degrees: Degree-seeking students may pursue a college degree behind bars.
- Individual Courses: Non-degree-seeking students may take individual college classes before deciding whether to pursue a degree.
- Paralegal Classes: Through the Center for Legal Studies, prisoner students may complete numerous paralegal classes. Upon completion, students receive a paralegal certificate.
The U.S. Postal Service is utilized for all distance learning communications. Students with access may contact Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program by email or phone in certain circumstances.
Correctional Education Program Contact Information
Haning Hall 102
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
800-444-2420 or 740-593-2910
Degrees Through Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program
Many students choose to start with an associate’s degree because it counts toward both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees if they decide to continue their education.
Degree residency requirements are satisfied through these courses. Prisoner students don’t need to come to campus to earn resident credit. The criteria are fulfilled by combining courses completed at Ohio University (rather than transfer credits).
Most Ohio University Correctional Education associate’s degrees require at least 60 credit hours. Twenty percent of the total credits earned toward the degree must be from Ohio University. To graduate, students must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
The following associate’s degrees are available to incarcerated students:
- Associate in Arts (with an emphasis in Arts and Humanities)
- Associate in Arts (with a Social Sciences emphasis)
- Associate in Science
- Associate in Applied Business (business management technology major)
- Associate in Individualized Studies
Ohio University offers two bachelor’s degrees through the mail: Bachelor of Specialized Studies and Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies. Incarcerated students must graduate with a 2.0 cumulative GPA. At least 120 credit hours are required to earn these degrees.
The Bachelor of Specialized Studies is a multidisciplinary degree that allows inmate students to select their own areas of emphasis. While this degree requires faculty approval, it permits students to develop their educational programs to suit their personal needs.
The Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies is for students who already have an associate’s degree. It requires a minimum of 24 credit hours in a technical discipline. Students learn how to plan a research project as part of the abilities developed throughout this curriculum.
Legal Education Courses
Ohio State University collaborates partners with The Center for Legal Studies (CLS) to provide inmate students with high-quality legal education in a paper-based format.
The following courses are available to prisoners:
- Paralegal Certificate
- Advanced Paralegal Certificate
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Legal Investigation
- Legal Secretary
- Victim Advocacy
Students must complete the listed assignments and exams to complete each course. Completed course materials are sent to The Center for Legal Studies for grading and issuing Certificates of Completion.
Ohio University Prison Program Correspondence Courses
Students may choose to obtain college credit through print-based courses, including a structured format of lessons and exams. There’s also an alternative to finishing course credit by examinations, which doesn’t require instructor assistance.
Students have eight months from enrollment to finish a print-based course. For a course credit by examination, the student has six months from the date of registration to complete the exam.
Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program offers courses in various subjects, including English, math, science, history, and social studies. Inmates who complete a course receive a certificate from Ohio University. The program is open to all inmates in Ohio and elsewhere interested in advancing their education.
A complete list of Ohio University Correctional Education courses can be found on their course list. University staff ship all course materials directly to students.
Students who wish to obtain an Ohio University degree or transfer credits to another institution can do so after release. Students not striving for a degree may take courses for personal growth. To enroll in a class, students must complete any prerequisite courses and provide evidence of completion.
College Examinations in Prison
Incarcerated students must take examinations proctored by an individual authorized by Ohio University. Inmates should check with their prison’s Education Department to determine if a testing proctor is available before applying for admission. In federal prisons, the College Coordinator proctors all examinations.
Students may not take the proctored exams in their cell or dormitory. Instead, they must do so in their Education Department. eCampus staff must approve the proctor.
Examinations are completed in the facility where the student resides. All testing materials are sent directly to the College Coordinator. Students must find a proctor to administer their examinations. If proctors are not available at the prison, students may not apply for admission.
Continuing Studies at Ohio University Following Release from Prison
Students at Ohio University with a felony conviction must undergo a review procedure. This is only postponed for students in the Correctional Education Program during incarceration.
Students who wish to enroll in a new course after being released must fill out a re-enrollment form and undergo the felony review process with the Office of Legal Affairs. The post-release enrollment choices for students, including on-campus, online, and print-based enrollment, are determined using this procedure.
In some instances, Ohio University may prevent a Correctional Education student from continuing following release. See the Correctional Education application for admission for more information about this rule.
Students can continue and complete any existing enrollments without going through the felony review process. They do not need to submit a re-enrollment form after their release for active courses. Additional tuition and fee assessments are not charged for current enrollments.
Released inmates may complete their existing courses without undergoing this review process. Additionally, they are not required to pay additional fees other than what is already required for their studies. Students enrolling in new courses are charged tuition and fees at re-enrollment.
Ohio University Correctional Education Program
Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program is an important step forward in helping inmates reintegrate into society after being released from prison. This program provides inmate students with the opportunity to earn an education to help them find employment and lead successful lives.
Ohio University’s Correctional Education Program is an excellent opportunity for inmates to pursue their education. If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling in the program, please visit their website.
Published Jun 16, 2017 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jul 25, 2023 at 12:37 pm