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Georgia Pathways to Campus: Developing Pre- to Post-Release Support at Georgia State Universities and Technical Colleges

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)

Postsecondary education reduces recidivism and increases earnings and employability. Georgia has exceptionally high rates of incarceration and community supervision, yet rates of postsecondary education among system-impacted people are dramatically lower than those of the general population. This educational attainment gap has negative implications for the safety, wealth, and well-being of communities, and it reflects deep-rooted racial inequities in justice and education. The Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison (GACHEP) is dedicated to expanding higher educational pathways, from pre-college coursework to degree completion and meaningful employment, for system-impacted people across the state. Our members include colleges, universities, and nonprofits who deliver education to incarcerated people in state facilities in partnership with the Georgia Department of Corrections. We expect the number of these programs to grow with the reinstatement of Pell grants; for this growth to lead to improved educational outcomes, however, we must provide robust support for students to continue their education post-release. We propose to pilot comprehensive pre-to-post release educational support and case management services for people in reentry with Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and Georgia State University (GSU). GACHEP will provide pre-release guidance on continuing education, will survey students on their needs and educational goals, and will develop personalized education plans with students preparing for reentry in GACHEP-affiliated postsecondary students at fourteen correctional facilities. Post-release, these students will be connected to Reentry Ambassadors (RA) at the Atlanta and Macon campuses of GSU Perimeter College and CGTC. RAs will serve as a one-stop shop for formerly incarcerated current and prospective students in two major hubs for reentry statewide: Atlanta and Central Georgia. RAs will support students in applying, enrolling, and navigating campus resources, and will provide referrals to trusted colleges, universities, and wraparound services. RAs will additionally train faculty and staff on supporting students in reentry, and will develop a guide for Georgia schools on providing this support. The proposed project will significantly expand pre-to-post release on-ramps to higher education in Georgia with significant scalability. By starting with two major schools in the Technical College and University Systems of Georgia, we will establish the foundation for state colleges and universities across Georgia to pave pathways to campus for formerly incarcerated people. We are submitting this proposal for priority consideration under priority area 1(A) as detailed on pages 11-12 of the application.

Date Created: September 28, 2022