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Educational building on Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, MA

Source: gregobagel / Getty

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) recently announced that it is now administering Valley State’s Prison Educational Partnership Program (PEPP). Currently, seven colleges and nonprofits offer the program in Mississippi however Mississippi Valley State University is the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to offer the program. The initiative is a part of the Second Chance Pell Experiment, established in 2015 by the Obama-Biden administration.  Pell grants are provided to incarcerated individuals to restore access to postsecondary education programs. Currently, seven colleges and nonprofits offer the program in Mississippi however Mississippi Valley State University is the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to offer the program.

Incarcerated individuals in two prisons in the state can enroll in for-credit college classes and vocational courses beginning this fall. Provost Kathie Stromile Golden of the University says that the program is a good way “to form a connection with an institution of the Black community on the outside.” As of this month, fifty incarcerated students have enrolled in classes at Bolivar County Correctional Facility and the Delta Correctional Facility.  The students have shown interest in business administration, computer science and engineering technology.  Faculty will travel to the prisons to teach classes.