Georgetown University Degree Program Launched in Maryland Prisons

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“This degree program is a model of how universities can provide transformative educational opportunities in prison and support second chances,” said Marc Howard.

JESSUP, Md. — Editor’s Note: The video above was originally released in December 2020.

The first cohort of students in Georgetown University’s degree program for prisons in Maryland has begun classes, officials said.

Classes in person at Patuxent Institution, in Jessup, Maryland, began Feb. 14 for the 25 students accepted into the program. Officials announced the liberal arts curriculum last spring as an extension of the Prison Scholarship Program that Georgetown offers to the DC prison. Students who complete the program will earn a bachelor’s degree from the university.

“This degree program is a model of how universities can bring transformative educational opportunities to prison and support second chances,” Marc Howard, director of the Georgetown Prisons and Justice Initiative, said in a statement. Press.

A second cohort of 25 students will be admitted later this year, and officials said they expect 125 students to enroll over the next five years in the 120-credit interdisciplinary program.

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The college’s admissions process for the program began last fall with help from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections, officials said. After more than 300 people applied across the Maryland prison system, those selected from other facilities were transferred to the Patuxent facility, officials said.

The curriculum offers cultural humanities, interdisciplinary social sciences and world intellectual history as its three majors, officials said. Students in this semester take introductory courses in writing and philosophy. The program will take most students about five years, officials said, with two four-credit courses offered each semester.

Officials said the curriculum is supported by donors, including Georgetown alumnus Damien Dwin, the Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experience and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which gave a grant. $1 million grant.

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“This new Bachelor of Liberal Arts program is an expression of our university’s deeply held values ​​– our commitment to education, service, and the common good – and we are honored to welcome these 25 new students as Fellows. of our Georgetown community,” Georgetown University President John DeGioia said in the press release.

Rasheed Edwards, a new cohort student, said the program will open doors.

“I think this Georgetown program is going to take me further in life, take me to places I didn’t even think were possible for me,” Edwards said in the statement. “It gives me a chance to change my trajectory in life.”

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