In Virginia, Prisoners Can Now Earn College Credit

PRISONER'S DILEMMA: The State of Virginia wants prisoners to quickly reintegrate into society, but societal barriers can be formidable. Governor Terry Mcauliffe announced Thursday that more help is on the way—inmates in his state now have the chance to earn college credit.

Prisoners held through Virginia’s Department of Corrections may now enroll in five career and technical education courses recommended through the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT), reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Students in the program can take Introduction to Business, Business and Software Applications, Commercial Arts and Design, Computer-Aided Drafting and Digital Print Production. All classes have already been offered for two years and are taught by teachers working in the prison system.

The course credit is not guaranteed. Just as with transfer credit from community college to four-year institutions, students must submit transcripts to institutions, which then decide whether or not to accept the credit. The cost of the program to prisoners is free.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Virginia is the first state to offer such a program. It is not.

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