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The Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS) offers a rigorous college program inside the Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW) and works to increase access to educational opportunity for prisoners and former prisoners in Washington State through public education and advocacy. We provide incarcerated women with educational opportunities that improve their ability to achieve economic security post-release. By providing women in prison with access to an education, we help break the intergenerational cycle of incarceration and lower recidivism in Washington. We strive to build coalitions with men and women inside prison, their communities and families, faculty and education organizations. We are creating a model of accreditation and college-in-prison that can be replicated state-wide, and we collaborate with universities through research, teaching and conferences.
Since January 2012, we have offered 15 college classes at WCCW, enrolling 86 students as well as a monthly lecture series and film series. Our classes are taught by professors from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, Evergreen, South Seattle Community College, University of Washington, and Pacific Lutheran University.
Starting in January 2014, our college level classes are accredited by Tacoma Community College. We hope to expand the program, so that students can earn their Associates of Arts and Sciences while incarcerated.
We will also expand our existing college preparatory program in pre-college Reading, Writing and Math during 2014 by training new instructors and tutors inside the prison. Many women have completed the GED but are not ready for college-level courses. A robust college preparatory program would enable us to expand the numbers of students in our program, and to ensure that we continue to provide transformative postsecondary educational opportunities to women from underserved and marginalized communities.