Goucher College Announces Bachelor of Arts Degree for Goucher Prison Education Partnership Students

Goucher College announced that it will confer a bachelor of arts degree to students currently incarcerated. Through the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), Goucher now has the distinction of being one of fewer than 20 colleges across the United States offering a bachelor’s degree to men and women completing appropriate coursework while incarcerated. Goucher is currently the only college in the state of Maryland offering the full coursework for a bachelor’s degree on site at the prisons.

Since its inception in 2012, GPEP has offered more than 85 courses in two Maryland prisons and awarded college credits for Goucher students. For the current academic year, Goucher has enrolled approximately 100 students at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) and the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup (MCIJ). Of those accepted to GPEP, 70 percent are first-generation college students.

“With the Goucher Prison Education Partnership, students earn a college education. The ability to confer a Goucher College degree to students successfully completing that coursework has been the vision since GPEP was founded,” said Amy Roza, Director of Goucher Prison Education Partnership. “Now Goucher College students at the prisons can officially be recognized as Goucher College bachelor’s degree candidates.”

The related approvals come from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and Goucher College’s own faculty. Students will major in American studies, an existing interdisciplinary Goucher major, allowing them to take courses in sociology, history, political science, religion, English, media studies, and other fields within a single dynamic degree. Goucher professors teach the classes on site at the prisons where students pursue the rigorous academics for which the college is known.

“Goucher continues to be a leader in innovation with the dynamic and impactful Goucher Prison Education Partnership,” said Goucher College President José Antonio Bowen. “It will be very powerful to confer a bachelor’s degree to the first class of graduating GPEP students.”

GPEP is made possible by private grants and individual donations. Beginning this spring, GPEP expects to receive about ten percent of its funding from Pell Grants. To make a gift, please visit www.goucher.edu/GPEPgift.

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