On November 4-6, 2011, the Transformative Education Behind Bars (TEBB) hosted The National Conference on Prison Higher Education, bringing together prison higher education leaders at the University of Washington, Seattle.
UBB teachers and volunteers have played an important role in the TEBB collective, which is generously supported by a grant from the University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities.
In its first year (2010-2011), TEBB focused on assessing current prison-based education efforts in the region and developing local curriculum for college readiness courses. Now in its second year, TEBB aims to develop a broader coalition of prison higher education programs, create and implement educational assessment plans for University Beyond Bars, and explore the possibilities of an Inside-Out program at the University of Washington. The TEBB conference will help facilitate the process of identifying and moving towards the shared goals of stakeholders in prison higher education.
Gillian Harkins, University of Washington professor of English and volunteer instructor for UBB, heads up this initiative.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011
4:00-9:30 pm: Site Visit to WSR Monroe Correctional Facility
5:00 pm: Screening of SEAN PICA’s ZERO PERCENT, CMU 120 (view trailer)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011
9:00 am: Welcome & Coffee
9:30 – 11:00 am: Panel 1: PRISON PEDAGOGIES
- Moderator: Vik Bahl, Green River Community College
- Jenifer Drew, Boston University Prison Education Program
- Carol Estes, University Beyond Bars
- Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah
- Kaia Stern, Prison Studies Project, Harvard University
This panel gives us a chance to discuss teaching in the prison context. Is there anything unique about teaching inside prison? Have you found specific obstacles or opportunities teaching in this context? Are there particular strategies that you have used to create a learning environment or to reach learning objectives? Can you discuss one example of pedagogical experimentation that met with success or failure and reflect on what you learned from this experiment? How important is pedagogy in creating successful learning in this environment?
11:15 am-12:45 pm: Panel 2: PROGRAM MODELS
- Moderator: Tanya Erzen, Ohio State University
- Melissa Crabbe, Inside-Out
- Simone Davis, Inside-Out
- Kenneth Parker, St. Louis University Prison Program
- Loretta Taylor, WWCC at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
This panel gives us a chance to share program models and to consider how programs are designed to meet specific needs within a range of contexts. Is there one program model that meets a wide range of needs/contexts? Or are all models necessarily different? Are there common approaches to working with the Department of Corrections, with host Universities/Colleges, and with student populations? What kinds of record keeping, admissions and enrollment processes, advising, and teacher training have you found effective? How do you use a Board of Directors, advisory committee, or other governing bodies? How much/little structure is suited to a prison higher education program? What would make a model scalable (expandable to other institutions) and is that desirable?
12:45-1:30 pm: Lunch Break
1:30 – 3:00 pm: Panel 3: ASSESSMENT TOOLS
- Moderator: Carrie Mathews, University of Washington
- Rebecca Ginsburg, Education Justice Project
- Mary Gould, St. Louis University Prison Program
- Jody Lewen, Prison University Project
- Stephen Meyer, RMC Research
This panel gives us a chance to collaborate on best practices for assessment within prison higher education programs. Why is it important to document what works and what does not? For whom are we documenting our success and how can we disseminate our findings most effectively? How do we design assessment that measures success as defined by funders or a broader public? How do we design assessment that measures our own standards for success, which may be different among programs as well as between programs and funders? Are there common goals that we can assess across programs? How do we relate student learning assessment, effective teaching assessment, and overall program assessment? I’m also interested in knowing what other programs’ evaluation protocols–i.e. what are the on-the-ground logistics of their evaluation practices? Who collects data? From whom? In what form? Who evaluates it? How and with whom is data shared?
3:15 – 4:45 pm
Panel 4: PROGRAM SUSTAINABILITY
- Moderator: Stuart Smithers, University of Puget Sound
- Celia Chazelle, Center for Prison Outreach and Education (TCNJ)
- Stephanie Haas, College and Community Fellowship (CCF)
- Sean Pica, Hudson Link
- Kyes Stevens, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project
This panel gives us a chance to share ideas about program sustainability and access to higher education behind bars. How important is a well-rounded fundraising strategy to sustaining higher education programs inside prisons? What are the obstacles and opportunities presented by working with major foundations, with state contracts, and/or with private donors? Has anyone met success with grassroots or community-based support campaigns? What kind of institutional support is required to sustain programs over time: from Universities/Colleges, from the Department of Corrections, from volunteers/staff? Are grassroots, public media, and/or legislative campaigns important to sustain programs and access to higher education on the inside? What kinds of connections to broader higher education initiatives might help in this work?
Closing Comments: Bernie Warner, WA Department of Corrections
Simpson Center Reception, CMU 202
7:00 – 10:00 pm
University Beyond Bars Silent Auction Fundraiser
(sponsored by University Beyond Bars)
Lake City Elks Club
14540 Bothell Way NE
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2011
Roundtable Discussion: Moving Forward
Moderator: Gillian Harkins, University of Washington
11:00 am–12:00 pm:
NW Regional Coalition Meeting
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