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Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education

Grants Awarded

Unrestricted Funding

Funding Type Unrestricted
Funding Total $400,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Justice and Community Wellness
Years Funded 2014-2024

The Wesleyan Center for Prison Education (CPE) was established by a group of Wesleyan undergraduates who had spent time in college engaged in prison activism and volunteerism. The outcome of extensive collaboration between faculty, students and administrators, CPE was officially founded in 2009 to expand university access to traditionally underserved populations. In the fall of 2009, CPE admitted its first cohort of nineteen men at CT’s Cheshire Correctional Institution, a high-security men’s facility. In spring of 2013, CPE expanded to York Correctional Institution, the only state women’s facility in CT, admitting an inaugural cohort of nineteen. Now in its twelfth academic year, CPE currently enrolls more than 70 incarcerated students per semester. In 2016, CPE and Middlesex Community College developed a public-private educational partnership which enabled CPE to grant general studies associate degrees. In 2019, Wesleyan approved a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree, which created a pathway to a four-year Wesleyan degree for incarcerated students, among others. This funding provides general operating support for CPE’s work and mission.