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Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)

Purpose. The project provides participants with a clear path from education (GED/HSED, diploma, AA/AS degree, and four-year) to a fulfilling career. It enhances and expands existing services, providing support and training leading to employment with local businesses and industries, which are intimately involved in curriculum development and training. This includes options for credit-bearing stackable credentials and programs that address local workforce shortages.  

Primary Activities. Moraine Park Technical College participates in the Second Chance Pell Experiment, providing incarcerated individuals with educational opportunities. Moraine Park will leverage those efforts, offering programs in multiple formats and career areas, giving individuals at five correctional institutions a variety of educational opportunities to meet their interests and goals, including adult education for GED/HSED, seven certificates, 13 technical diplomas, and three associate degrees. The College developed and uses a secure learning management system (LMS) in collaboration with five correctional institutions that allows students to access online coursework and interact directly with instructors. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections Information Technology department approved the LMS, which meets all security requirements. The system’s unique features make it replicable across Wisconsin and other states. This initiative brings education to those who often lack access. By expanding this program, MPTC will significantly impact the lives of participants, equipping them with employable skills to succeed upon release.  

Expected Outcomes. Services will expand to 200 additional individuals (140 men, 60 women) across six medium or minimum-security facilities, with at least 60% being minorities. All participants will have a high school diploma or equivalent, at least 80% of which will be within five years of release. Curriculum modification, peer mentoring, programming expansion, hiring new staff, starting student government, service learning, post-release advising, and job center services expansion will be implemented.  

Service Area. This project will primarily impact Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, and Washington counties, as well as portions of Calumet, Columbia, Marquette, Sheboygan, Waushara and Winnebago counties in Wisconsin. However, impact may extend beyond these areas, especially in the southeastern Wisconsin communities of Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha. 

Intended Beneficiaries. Education and services are designed to meet the specific needs of justice-involved individuals, who are often marginalized, low-income, and belong to minority groups. 

The project conducts outreach specifically tailored to historically underserved and marginalized communities to encourage participation and incorporates members representing historically underserved and marginalized communities in program evaluation, surveys, and other forms of feedback.

Date Created: September 25, 2023