Interested in Changing Lives?
We are currently looking for professors, lecturers and instructors interested in teaching General Education courses at OCC or other Nebraska prisons for the upcoming fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.
If you are interested in participating, or have further questions, please contact Program Director Dr. Matt Tracy at email@example.com for details.
What is The Nebraska Prison Post-Secondary Education Project?
Victor Hugo once said, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” It is with this belief that the Nebraska Prison Post-Secondary Education Project (NPPSEP) was created. This program was developed last year through private funding to create a partnership between the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) and the Omaha Correctional Center (OCC) The primary purpose of this project is to offer UNO courses, taught by UNO professors, lectures and instructors, within OCC. Since the project began, two different professors, Dr. Nikitah Imani and Dr. Daniel Wuebben, have taught three different courses at OCC during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters, and Mr. Joel Case will be teaching Political Science at OCC this summer.
These courses have not only given the student-inmates an opportunity to transform their lives but have also given the professors teaching the courses a unique life experience and an opportunity to not only teach, but also learn from, a unique and diverse population. Dr. Wuebben writes, “Teaching courses for UNO at the Omaha Correctional Center has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. The students are bright, inquisitive, and appreciative. Despite the institutional challenges, these class meetings allow me to feel the palpable and transformative effects of sharing knowledge and striving for social justice.”
Why Teach College Courses in Prison?
In a study by Vishner and Lattimore (2007), the researchers found that “more education” was one of the most commonly reported reentry needs by prisoners. Furthermore, a study by Davis and colleagues (2013) revealed that, on average, an inmate who participates in post-secondary education in prison is half as likely to reoffend and is more likely to obtain post-release employment compared to one who does not. Unfortunately, post-secondary educational opportunities are limited in the Nebraska correctional system, leaving many inmates who possess a GED or high school diploma few options for advancement. However, this program provides an opportunity to change this, as it enables interested professors an opportunity to teach courses to a population that desperately needs an opportunity to transform their lives. The NPPSEP was created with the belief that education is one of the most powerful ways to accomplish this change. Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons”. We believe that through college education, the NPPSEP can transform troubled individuals in prison into productive members in society, and we hope that you will consider helping us to do so.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.