Yale Prison Education Initiative: Credit based liberal arts course

Yale University, since 2018, has been running the Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI), in which they aim to educate the incarcerated people or the ones who are completing their sentences in the US federal prison. Other universities like Princeton University with the help of other universities in New Jersey follow a similar program under the motto of “Education for all”.

The common approach in these prison teaching programs is focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and careers. Recently Yale has brought Liberal Arts to the table for the interested students. 

Last summer, Yale had given four for-credit classes at two of Connecticut prisons in which courses like ‘Basic Drawing’ or ‘Paint Basics’ were taken. However, this summer, with the same program, Yale has involved the Art, Sociology, Philosophy, and Classics department too. Courses like ‘Criminal Justice’ and ‘Pastoral Wisdom’ were one of the most popular this year.

Before 2018, teachers and students used to make their individual efforts for teaching at correction facilities, primarily in Connecticut. Teachers at YPEI believe, and probably rightfully so, that taking in subjects like Liberal Arts is a huge step and can change the lives of the people at the correction facilities. 

Prison teaching initiative programs to change the lives of incarcerated students

The incarcerated students are no less than brilliant and they pursue their courses with interest. A student of YPEI describes how the education initiative has changed his and his mates’ life. Now they see the potential in themselves which they never could.

It’s about time that other colleges or universities are going to either join Yale or come up with their initiative programs. Many institutions have been looking up to Yale’s model, especially for taking liberal arts credit-based courses to the correction facilities.

The students have been pro-active, completing their assignments twice are beaming with confidence. Not only they are happy with the knowledge, but they are also proud to have earned Yale credits.