EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Record number of inmates earn degrees through SLCC program

May 14, 2024, 8:00 PM

31 students received their associate's degrees Monday from SLCC's Prison Education Program....

31 students received their associate's degrees Monday from SLCC's Prison Education Program. (Utah Department of Corrections via X)

(Utah Department of Corrections via X)

SALT LAKE CITY — A record number of inmates at the Utah State Correctional Facility received their degree from Salt Lake Community College’s Prison Education Program this year.

 

“We had 31 students earn associate’s degrees, and we had three students get general education transfer certificates,” said Chris Bradbury, the prison education coordinator at SLCC.

Inmate students in the program received associate’s degrees in anthropology, criminal justice and General Studies.

SLCC’s prison education program allows inmates to register for and attend courses while incarcerated.

“We have over 40 faculty that go inside and teach [our currently incarcerated students] face to face. We work with them to help them be successful and meet their academic dreams,” Bradbury said. 

Salt Lake Community College began the Prison Education Program back in 2017, according to Salt Lake Community College’s website.  The program was funded by the Utah Legislature. 

“Students sign up to go to college, just like they would on any other campus,” Bradbury said. “They take classes inside the prison.”

Bradbury said lots of tears were shed at the graduation Monday. He described the ceremony as a “transformative experience.”

“It means a lot to them,” he said. “At the graduation, one of our student speakers got up and shared about how this is helping her keep her promises to her children. Allowing [the students] to be able to know that what put them into prison doesn’t define what they are, that they can make a change in their life and be successful. ”

Read more: Sandy crossing guard retiring after more than 30 years

KSL NewsRadio’s Emma Keddington contributed to this article. 

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Record number of inmates earn degrees through SLCC program