Will Your School Start Recruiting Incarcerated Students?

Podcast

Will Your School Start Recruiting Incarcerated Students?

Episode 137. February 7, 2023.

Welcome to the Office Hours with EAB podcast. You can join the conversation on social media using #EABOfficeHours. Follow the podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and Stitcher or visit our podcast homepage for additional episodes.

EAB experts Caylie Privitere and Matthew McAloon examine the benefits to students and institutions from the restoration of Pell Grant funding for incarcerated persons who want to pursue a college education. Caylie and Matthew explore the challenges and opportunities for institutions that are eager to tap into a new market of at least 700,000 potential students.

The two also offer examples of schools that are doing a good job of managing logistics around delivering educational content as well as resources, from counseling to computers to things as basic as pencils and pens, to students behind bars.

Transcript

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0:00:11.6 Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. Our guest today discuss the restoration of Pell Grant funding for incarcerated students. In layman's terms, that means that as many as 700,000 adults currently behind bars will soon become eligible to receive federal funds to pursue a college education. There are some unique logistical hurdles to be addressed, but as you'll hear, a number of colleges are already serving incarcerated students and it's working well for the schools and students involved. Give these folks a listen and enjoy.

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0:00:52.9 Matthew McAloon: Hello and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. My name is Matt McAloon, and I'm a researcher here at the firm. With me today is my colleague, Callie Privitere. Would you mind introducing yourself a bit, Callie, and telling us about the topic we're gonna cover today?

0:01:03.6 Callie Privitere: Yes. Hello, Matt. Very excited to be on Office Hours with EAB. My name is Callie, I am a research analyst at EAB and I've always been interested in criminology. I was a sociology major and explored it every chance I got. So when I wrote my blog post for EAB, I really wanted to be in that realm. And I'm here to talk about the restoration of Pell Grant funding for incarcerated students that's anticipated to happen in this upcoming July.

0:01:39.1 MM: When exactly is that going to take place? Do we know? Is that early July or late July?

0:01:42.8 CP: Oh, July 1st, 2023.

0:01:45.3 MM: Fantastic. And I know you wrote a blog post about this topic, correct?

0:01:50.1 CP: Yes.

0:01:50.4 MM: Cool. Can we kind of start off with the broad summary of what does this mean for those students, what's happening with that Pell Grant? What does that do for them?

0:01:58.4 CP: Yes, for sure. So, I guess we'll just start by saying that 26 years ago, Pell Grant funding for incarcerated students was repealed in the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act. So, this actually squandered a flourishing landscape for incarcerated students to access higher education. So this legislation will restore that funding, and now allow any school... Well, I should clarify. Should allow any not-for-profit school to offer pathways to serve incarcerated students.

0:02:37.4 MM: Gotcha. And why should our partners care about this market? Is this a new student population they can tap into? What do you think the appeal here is?

0:02:46.4 CP: Yes. Well, I think the biggest appeal is 700,000 students will be eligible. That's around 50% of the incarcerated population. So this is a staggering number. Definitely generates some interest, but I also think we could talk about the civic value in the role higher education plays in serving the community. The RAND Institute has conducted studies that estimate that there is a 28% lower chance of recidivism for students who access higher education. And I also think it's important to mention just higher education's overall goal in serving the community, and facilitating successful re-assimilation for these students to return as productive members of society.

0:03:33.4 MM: I love that it's just an aspect in that way that our partners can really kind of serve their communities and bring people back into their community, but what really jumped out at me first there was that 700,000 number. That is a huge amount of students. And considering we have I think this demographic cliff as we called it, where undergraduate enrollments are probably going to taper off around 2025, how do you think that might impact? Is this something where institutions might be able to mitigate that demographic cliff? Tell me a little bit more about that.

0:04:00.4 CP: Yeah, I definitely think it's an option for institutions to explore. I also think that institutions should be aware that this is a slightly higher risk population and this population has higher needs. We're talking about people who have not had formal access to higher education most likely, especially not since being incarcerated. So, it's definitely exciting, but I would just caution that institutions need to be fully aware of the population they're going to be serving.

0:04:35.0 MM: Right. They need to be mindful of what this new student audience needs, what it looks like, all those sorts of things. I'm curious, what do we know about interest from those incarcerated peoples? Do we have any sense of if these are people who are interested in more education? You mentioned the RAND Institute. Have they done research around how many people reach out for education while they're incarcerated? Who manages to obtain that?

0:04:56.9 CP: Yes, yes. Well, this is probably the most exciting part, but there is vast interest for just education programs in general among incarcerated people. The numbers are 80% of incarcerated people report interest in education programs, and 50% are actually able to access them, and that discrepancy is largely due to financial barriers. Sorry, a cat appearance. Financial barriers are the biggest constraint, and this includes tuition, which the Pell Grant will remedy, but also, this includes things you may not think of like paper and pens and textbooks and other resources, which is another thing to note about institutions being aware of the population they're serving. The Pell Grant, yes, that will provide the tuition funding, but you need more to succeed in school than just your tuition being covered.

0:05:51.5 MM: Right. What more are you talking about? Is that the delivery of these programs? I know you mentioned textbooks, pencils and papers and things of that nature, but are there other support systems you're talking about here that these students might need that would be outside the typical for what we'd expect?

0:06:06.3 CP: Yeah, for sure. Definitely the material support, but also the emotional support. As I mentioned before, this is a population that... Who just hasn't accessed higher education, doesn't necessarily have that experience. So particularly, this population needs resources and peer support, mentorship programs. I think you may have been hinting at this in terms of modality of programming. We can sort of dive into that later if you want. But I will flag right off the bat that given COVID and given the emergence of online programs, it's definitely very tempting to immediately think that online is the way to go, and I think online is a possibility. I think you... Online programs must exist in conjunction with offering this more emotional support and just facilitating a community. I think we all experienced a bit of the isolation that online brings. And for persistence, particularly with this population, it's so important to make sure you're building that community.

0:07:09.1 MM: Yeah, you kind of took the words out of my mouth. I was right on the cusp of thinking, "Okay, just went through the pandemic. All of these institutions that we've partnered with, everyone we work with, figured out how to get their online programs or how to get their undergraduate programs working for online." And I was thinking, "This is that clear one-to-one." But it sounds like that might not be the best way for these students to be served. They might need more of that community touchpoint. I kind of think of the nature of an incarcerated person, right? They likely may not have finished high school, or that's the highest level of education they've had, and I think of being an independent learner there may not be the most successful way there.

0:07:44.4 CP: Totally.

0:07:45.8 MM: I do wanna move toward though... We were talking about these students and their interest, how many of these students kind of reach out, or potential students reach out for education programs. Do we have a sense of how this has been communicated to incarcerated peoples? Do we think they'd be aware of it? Are prisons communicating this to the incarcerated population? Or is this something where institutions can now take on themselves to communicate that, communicate to them?

0:08:09.6 CP: That's an interesting question and definitely I'm not entirely sure how incarcerated people have been communicated this information. My gut is leaning towards... I definitely think institutions should do... Should play a role in communicating with incarcerated people and just making them aware of programming or plans to launch programming. That definitely seems like the right direction. So I'm really not sure. Maybe that's something we could research more for later.

0:08:42.0 MM: I think that's also something helpful for our partners too. If we're not sure of it, it might be the first step for them, is to reach out to like that local correction system or criminal justice system, and figure out, "Is there an opportunity for us to work with you? How many students, or how many incarcerated people do you have who are interested in education?" I feel like that might be that first thing for them to do to see if they can really get this up and running. Does that seem right to you as well?

0:09:05.3 CP: Yeah no, I definitely agree. And I just also wanna note that this legislation, which we can talk more of the nitty gritty in a bit, but this legislation is supposed to take effect July 1st. So we're kind of on the frontier of Pell Grant eligibility. Now is the time to act. No one has really done anything yet. It's all happening in the future, so we're not entirely sure how people will approach this or we're not entirely sure how institutions will create programs to serve these students, but this is definitely the time to be thinking about that and just kinda getting ahead.

0:09:44.7 MM: Awesome. Yeah, I wanna go back to that legislation you're talking about. I read through your blog post before we got on here and learned some things myself. I looked into, I think, it was last year in July, July 2022, where they expanded the Pell Grant opportunities to, I think, it was like 200 institutions or something like that.

0:10:01.1 CP: Yes.

0:10:01.5 MM: How does this change that? Does this open up to all of these institutions? What happened with those first 200? Do you have any sense of what's the historical precedence here, and what's changing this year?

0:10:12.1 CP: Yes, for sure. So this is all part of the FAFSA Simplification Act, which as I said before, overturns the ban on Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated people. And good reading, good research before the podcast, but yes, so starting in 2020 to 2022, there is the Second Chance Pell Initiative and this was experimental funding for 200 institutions nationwide to offer programming to incarcerated students. And it's just... Oh no, did that freeze? Oh, we're good. You're just very... He was very still for a second. And this was all part of the momentum towards eventually repealing the ban on Pell Grant funding. And so now that the Pell Grant funding has been restored, we will see all public... Sorry, not public, all institutions that are not-for-profit have the potential to offer programming to incarcerated students. The only constituents are the program needs to be approved by the US Department of Education, and this is just to protect these students from any sort of predatory programs that offer fraudulent credits or something like that.

0:11:25.3 CP: But otherwise, it is pretty simple. And then in terms of incarcerated people, all incarcerated people who have a bachelor... Sorry, have a high school diploma and meet the financial requirements can qualify for Pell grant funding. The Pell Grant funding is sentence blind, meaning that any length... Sentence length, or conviction, you can still be eligible. And just to reiterate, incarcerated people are on average much less educated than the general public. So we're talking about a vast number of people who are eligible for the Pell Grant. And incarcerated people also earn 41% less than the average American of similar ages at the time of incarceration. So that's another reason why that offering funding to access education could really be a big game changer.

0:12:15.9 MM: I do wanna clarify one thing there. You mentioned the prerequisite for getting that Pell Grant funding. I understand that the financial need is part of it. You mentioned the high school diploma. Would people who just got a GED, maybe they didn't finish high school, but became incarcerated, finished their GED while they were incarcerated, would they be eligible for this as well, or is this distinctly people who have a high school diploma from a definitive high school?

0:12:36.8 CP: Well, my understanding is that a GED is largely equivalent to a high school diploma. So I would assume so. And yeah, I would assume so. And Matt, you might also be able to answer your own question there.

0:12:50.0 MM: I'm kind of intuiting that that would qualify. I don't see why that wouldn't benefit the Pell Grant there. I also... With that 700,000 number, I have to imagine that that scales to people with a GED.

0:13:00.8 CP: Yes.

0:13:01.1 MM: So maybe I have answered my own question, but this is worth clarifying for us.

0:13:05.4 CP: Yeah, for sure.

0:13:07.0 MM: I did want to come back to kind of the different programs they can offer. We talked a little bit about that online offering and that that's maybe not the right idea there. And then we just covered kind of the background of a lot of these incarcerated people. They likely haven't finished education beyond high school. But going back to that, the ease of integration for programs, one of the things I think would be on top of our partner's minds, and it comes to me as someone who focuses on adult learner education is certificate and master's programs. Those were already online prior to the pandemic. They were kind of the first most accessible, and most flexible programs, and that seems to me kind of the easy integration. Does that seem like something our partners should be targeting, or should we really be just looking at the bachelor's degree?

0:13:51.9 CP: That's a fair question for sure, but to reiterate, we're talking about a population that is not even college educated. So the bachelor's degree... Sorry, the master's degree is a little bit out of scope for now. Maybe that could change, but for now I think we're really trying to target helping incarcerated students get that bachelor's degree.

0:14:17.7 MM: Gotcha. Let's dig a little more into that too, knowing that we already talked about online is really not the way to go for this. What do you think would be those critical touch points? And we can kind of just speculate on this as people who work in higher education. What do you think would be those critical things that those students need, those incarcerated people need to have finished programs? To make sure that there's no attrition through this, they finished the full program. What do you think would be different from a traditional face-to-face program or what we'd expect for easy online integration? What do you think those resources would be? I can kind of start off too if...

0:14:49.9 CP: Yeah, start us off. [chuckle]

0:14:51.2 MM: Yeah. I would think probably like wanting face-to-face with faculty, kind of that sense of community, having someone that you can talk to specifically. Those things seem like they'd be important to me. I know even when I did my undergrad, I liked having small classes and getting to meet my teachers. I feel like that would be particularly important for people who feel like they've probably been disadvantage by their community or just don't feel like they're a part of their community anymore now that they've been incarcerated. That's the one that sticks out to me, is kind of that face-to-face time. Is there anything else that you're thinking of?

0:15:20.7 CP: Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think just as important as the academic support and the academic face-to-face would also just be the mentorship that goes for academic mentorship, but also just assimilation mentorship and help returning to society.

0:15:41.9 MM: I do wanna dig a little more into the sense of the things that they would need, that face-to-face time. I almost talked myself into a question of my own. Do we think we need to have professors visit prisons? Would they need to kind of go meet these incarcerated students where they're at? Do we have any sense of what that looks like yet? Did the Department of Education give us any sense of what that's looked like for, I guess, those 200 schools that already got the experimental funding?

0:16:07.1 CP: Yeah. Well, I can definitely talk about a few of them, 'cause I did profile three in my blog post, so I can get into that. There is research that supports the face-to-face education model for sure. That is various think tanks that cover higher education in incarcerated spaces. Really emphasize just the importance of that and also how to make prison space accommodating to higher education. However, I think it's also worth noting that that may not be the reality just given the pervasiveness of online learning, and it is... Online learning does have this going for it. It can really expand access to incarcerated people across the nation. So I'm not gonna say right off the bat that online learning is a never, never okay, or never the way to go, but I do think it's really important that there is that emotional and supportive component. So launching into a few examples, the first example I'll highlight is an online program, and that's Ashland University, and that's Ashland University's Correctional Education Program.

0:17:18.5 CP: So this is the longest operating program in the US. It's distributed... Or sorry, bestowed, I believe 2000 different degrees. Sorry, it's bestowed 2000 degrees. Not sure if they're different, but 2000 degrees, which is really cool. And this is an online program, it's individualized just given that incarcerated people can do the program at their own pace. And it's also potentially customizable to each correctional facility. So that's cool. There is some benefit there, and it's also been able to serve a lot of people, which is also very cool. Moving on to a different...

0:17:55.5 MM: I wanna pause you before we jump into the next one, if you don't mind.

0:17:57.8 CP: Yes, yes, for sure.

0:17:58.6 MM: Kind of going back. Since they did do the online thing, which we've kind of talked about not being the best option, but they still managed to kind of like build that community. Do we know... And you may not have the answer to this. We may just look into this after the fact. How did they deliver those courses? Was it maybe online with a video proctor, kind of a Zoom thing, where people got to watch a lecture? Do we know how it was delivered? What did that online look like?

0:18:23.6 CP: Yes. So my understanding is it was delivered through tablets that were distributed to... I believe it was at least 12 states. It could have been more honestly, but a lot of states, and partnered with a lot of different correctional facilities. And I'm not entirely sure if it was synchronous versus asynchronous. My instinct is asynchronous just given that a lot of the lessons and lectures were preloaded onto the tablets. I would have to research more into the nitty-gritty of how this program was delivered. Hopefully that answers your question.

0:19:00.0 MM: No, that does. And I think for our partners, what that does for me or what I feel like that communicates to them, it kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier. They need to reach out to those correctional systems and figure out, what is the way that we pilot this? Do we need to bring a professor to a prison or can we do kind of the talking head on a tablet that talks at a group, but does it live or like pre-recorded sessions? And it sounds like the way to figure that out really is talking to those correctional systems first and not kind of just saying, how do we bring programs we already have to this institution as opposed looking at what is the way this is gonna work with that prison, and then going back to your portfolio.

0:19:36.3 CP: Totally agree.

0:19:38.3 MM: I loved getting into Ashland a little bit. Let's talk about a couple more of the examples you have of who've done this successfully.

0:19:44.2 CP: Yes. So the next example I'll talk about is Portland State University, and this is their prison and education program, pretty concise title. And this is... This program, the intent is for students to matriculate directly to Portland State University and graduate upon release. So kind of not a sentence blind situation where students will start classes in while they're incarcerated and then upon release will transfer. And one really cool thing about this program to sort of, as I have mentioned many, many times so far, this program is really good about offering resources in terms of peer groups and peer support and also just different levels of counseling both academically and just for reintegration purposes. So that's very cool. And this is the first program in the State of Oregon to serve incarcerated women. So again, kudos to Portland State University.

0:20:44.8 MM: I'm curious now. You mentioned for the Portland State program that they matriculate directly to Portland State. I don't think we touched on how that worked for Ashland. Were they able to transfer after they finished the Ashland program? Did they have to go back to Ashland after they've been released from incarceration? Do we have the answer to that?

0:21:02.1 CP: Yes. Well, I would say, I don't have the answer directly, but from what my understanding of the differences in these programs is Ashland University's program just reaches so many more students because it's going...

0:21:17.6 MM: Right. It's so flexible.

0:21:17.7 CP: Yeah, it's so flexible. And with the Portland State University program, the people that are eligible are really people that are sort of towards the end of their sentence.

0:21:30.0 MM: I see.

0:21:30.3 CP: That is a potential downside, but again, this program would definitely be such a game changer for students that are eligible to participate.

0:21:39.9 MM: Right. And I see kind of that almost gives us two different ways to interpret this for our partners. One where you could be kind of more of that Ashland, where you have that sort of universal service, right? Where you can go to kind of any prison system, the credits can go elsewhere after the fact. You don't need to finish it all at Ashland. Or you can do something more like Portland State where you're serving a very specific audience. We're going to target a specific demographic of people of color or a specific gender orientation. And that seems like what Portland State did. So I think that's helpful for our partners to think of, okay, are we a really mission-driven institution? Is there a particular demographic we're gonna serve maybe for HBCUs, right? That might be black incarcerated people. Or our other Latinx serving partners that might be the same thing where they wanna keep with kind of what their mission already looks at. Or you could have sort of those broader schools, right? The really big ones. Those regional publics could look at doing more what Ashland has done because they may have the resources to serve that wider student audience. But I think you said you had one more example and I think we can discuss that.

0:22:42.2 CP: Yeah. [chuckle] So one more example to throw into the mix is the Princeton University's prison teaching initiative. This was founded in 1994 right during the initial repeal of Pell Grant funding for incarcerated people. And this is sort of a band of New Jersey colleges and universities and community colleges that work together to serve seven different correctional facilities in New Jersey. This program is 150 volunteers that teach. This includes grad students and fellows and professors and just community members. And the program has been able to serve 250 incarcerated students. And just to contrast, especially with Portland State University, this program, incarcerated students won't graduate with a Princeton degree. It's more of an initiative that combines and pulls resources from a bunch of different colleges and universities.

0:23:42.1 MM: Gotcha. Okay. I like that idea too or like that example kind of in contrast where you can sort of think about the different university systems, right, where it doesn't need to be you as one institution. You can kind of bring a couple together. I understand with Princeton, they're the flagship part of it and I'm sure that's probably helpful in some of their marketing and the way to appeal to those criminal justice systems of this is helmed by Princeton. But I think for other less nationally prominent institutions, that's something helpful where they can partner with somebody else who maybe has a bigger name brand and still benefit from this Pell Grant funding that would ultimately come back to them. I'm really happy with going through those examples and I think that actualized this a lot for our partners and kind of makes it real in terms of how does this look, what does success look like in this space?

0:24:24.7 MM: And that there's not just one right way of doing it. There's a whole myriad of ways you can kind of go through this, whether or not you're gonna serve a specific sector of people, you're gonna kind of be that let's do everything or a specific geography, kind of like Princeton. Well, we talked about earlier how 80% of incarcerated people are interested in education, but only 50% of them manage to obtain that education. That kind of provokes some worry for me. Do you think that'll close this gap? Do you think this is something where that can fix that problem or might this permeate through there?

0:24:58.8 CP: I guess there's no way to know quite yet, but I really hope so. I really hope that overturning this legislation motivates institutions to at least look into creating ways. I also think it's worth saying that in addition to the benefit for incarcerated students, which cannot be overstated, and I think we've dedicated a lot of time in this podcast to demonstrate that. I also think this would be a beneficial initiative for universities in addition to mission-driven type work. I also think this creates a lot of research opportunities for universities. This really... Oh, were you... [chuckle]

0:25:42.4 MM: No, I just liked that idea. Keep going, keep going.

0:25:43.2 CP: Okay. So yes, research opportunities for sure. I also think it contributes to an inclusive environment that I think higher education really stands for, and I think it prepares typical academic students to navigate a morally complex world, which is the world we live in, and I think part of the purpose of higher education is to prepare people for the world.

0:26:08.1 MM: Yeah. I love that answer. I do. I agree. Like higher education is here to serve our whole community, prepare people to be back into the world or to go into the world, right? Kind of we think of the traditional undergraduate student who's that maybe 17 or 18-year-old, who has the world in front of them, right? And they're learning who they are as they go through their undergraduate experience. And I wonder if these incarcerated people kinda have that similar experience of self-discovery, figuring out what you wanna do in the world, how you can give back after these institutions have given back to you. I also kind of wanna tap on one of my own personal experiences. In Virginia, they restored the voting rights to people who have been convicted of felonies. And I remember getting to interact with people. I was part of like, kind of that dispersion campaign, and how that made people really feel whole, right?

0:26:51.1 MM: Like they're back and part of their community. They really feel like they got to contribute again. This seems like a similar opportunity to me where whereas that was Virginia’s state government, this seems like an area where higher education can kind of tap in and say, "We're here to make the community better. We want to get you back into the community. We want to make you part of your community again, we want to make you feel whole." And especially in states like Virginia, where they get the voting rights back, they almost kind of coalesce there, where we're making people whole again, right? And we're using those tools of higher education to really get them back into their community and fully integrated there. So I just kind of wanna tap on that for especially our very mission-driven institutions. This seems like an opportunity for them to kind of live that mission out and really display how they're bringing their community back, they're building that community, not just for the people already at their institution, but these incarcerated people as well.

0:27:36.7 CP: Matt, that was beautifully put and I could not agree more. I definitely think that the purpose of a justice system is to... Should be humanizing and it should have the goal of returning people to society. And I think higher education and higher education institutions can play a really big role in that.

0:28:00.4 MM: I'm now gonna slip or switch my angle to a little more devil's advocate. I know we're talking about how institutions lean in here, the opportunity for them. What if this legislation doesn't go through? Congress isn't always completely reliable on getting bills across the board that they've been talking about. We're again, facing this budget passing thing again, where we're gonna be having both sides kept competing with each other. Is there a chance this would stop out? Is there a chance it would get delayed?

0:28:26.2 CP: I definitely think that skepticism is warranted for sure. I do think that all signs point for this legislation being successfully passed. We talked a bit about the Second Chance Pell Initiatives in the last few years, which I think is just part of the momentum building. I also think that this bill in particular is unique because it has a lot of bipartisan support, which is definitely key for getting things across. And there's also a pretty strong economic argument. The RAND Institute has concluded that investing $1 in higher education saves taxpayers $4 to $5. So where we're at now, it's looking good. Obviously, skepticism is warranted, but I would say that now is the time to prepare for... To prepare, at least investigate serving this population.

0:29:19.6 MM: Yeah. So it sounds like our partners really should plan on this happening versus the opposite angle, and I do... I heard that underlying kind of theme there, the fiscal aspect of it, right? I, as a taxpayer, I certainly like that my money will go further if this program goes through. And I think that appeals to both sides of the aisle for us. So I think, fingers crossed, this seems like something we can... I don't wanna say bank on, but it's more likely than not to occur. And it seems it would behoove our institutions to instead plan for this to happen as opposed to ride with the skepticism, think that Congress might stop it out. I'm curious, is there anything else that we wanna touch on? Is there anything else in this list, like whole diagram we've gone through of what this Pell Grant institution means or reinstitution means and everything that's happening here that you wanna touch on?

0:30:05.9 CP: Ooh, this is the moment. I think we covered a lot. I guess the one thing I'll flag, I've sort of already mentioned this, but it was very exciting and interesting to research this topic. And I'm just very personally passionate about expanding education opportunities in this country in general, and I think this is a big blind spot for people who are undereducated. And I just can't stress enough that I think this is the time to start investing in these pathways. And I think this could be something that makes a huge difference for... In our country that struggles with incarceration.

0:30:52.1 MM: Awesome. I love hearing that and I love the idea that this kind of behooves institutions in two ways, right? You get that Pell Grant funding that's more funding for your institution, for research endeavors like you talked about, or other things to kind of empower your school to do better. And then on the side, you're already doing right by your community, you're gonna serve these people. I think that's all a great thing for them to keep at the forefront of their mind. And I've really enjoyed talk about this, but we're just about out of time. But before we close off, I do wanna leave our listeners with what we feel like are probably those definitive next steps. To really get this ball rolling, how do you start planning before July gets here? And to me those seem to be first contact their local prison and criminal justice systems and figure out, okay, who can we work with?

0:31:36.4 MM: What kind of education opportunities do you have? What is the way that we can help serve you and your incarcerated population? Maybe a step before that might be going to the US Department of Education and getting that program approved, making sure you have something that you can deliver here. I know there is the angle you talked about, whether US Department of Education needs to pass on these programs to predatory. "We're not doing that degree mill thing here for these students who would already sort of be disenfranchised from their communities." And then finally, what I would think, especially from being in the adult learners space, is looking to your bachelor's level degree completion programs. Those covered things that are much more flexible already. You can kind of mishmash different ideas together. It doesn't need to be a definitive degree. I think those are the three things I would take away from here, is contact the Youth Department of Education, get your program approved, contact your local criminal and correctional system, and then look at those bachelor's level degree completion programs. Does that sound right to you, Callie?

0:32:31.6 CP: Yes. Wow. Yes, Matt, you crushed it.

0:32:36.5 MM: Awesome. Well, thanks again for sharing your time with us today, Callie. I was so happy to talk about this and I'd love to get to learn a little bit more and pick your brain about it. I'm sure we could talk about all the theories of ways to implement this, but like I mentioned, we're about at time and now we've given our partners those first steps. So let me go ahead and close out here. Thank you so much.

0:32:55.8 CP: Thank you so much, Matt.

0:32:56.8 MM: Thanks, Callie. And thank you for attending the EAB-Office Hours. We'll be with you next time.

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0:33:07.2 S1: Thank you for listening. Please join us next week when we discuss whether ChatGPT and artificial intelligence will spell the doom of higher education or maybe change it for the better. Until next week, thank you for your time.

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