College in Prison New Directions 

The College in Prison Program (CPND), housed at Marcy Correctional facility in Marcy, N.Y., provides individuals who are incarcerated an education through MVCC while serving their sentence. CPND enrolls nearly 25 incarcerated men and offers three to four courses yearly to go towards a Business Administration and/or Liberal Arts degree. To date, CPND has enrolled nearly 80 students. The program was established in 2014 and oversight was taken over by the Office of Civic Responsibilities in January 2016. Original funding for the program was provided by the Sunshine Lady Foundation, however, we now receive state funding through Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the District Attorneys of New York - Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII). For more information on the program, visit this page.

MVCC has been involved in providing higher education in the prison environment since 2014, originally at Mohawk Correctional Facility and now currently at Marcy Correctional Facility. The College in Prison New Directions (CPND) program provides individuals who are incarcerated with an MVCC education while serving their sentence. CPND recognizes the educational gaps that exist within the criminal justice system and works to strengthen those particular barriers by challenging incarcerated males to complete an education by inspiring them. MVCC academic standards and coursework are stringent and foster developmental growth.

All students are fully matriculated and in pursuit of a General Studies or Business Administration degree.

The program varies and depends on how many courses a student takes per semester. Some students may have transferrable credits allowing they to potentially graduate sooner. CPND estimates it will take about three to four years for degree completion.
CPND enrolls 20 to 25 students part-time. More than two academic classes are offered every semester at Marcy Correctional Facility. The program is growing steadily and plans are in the works to expand to other facilities/jails.
Yes! The CPND program is cost effective as it saves taxpayer money yearly. The criminal justice system is very expensive when it comes to housing criminals.

CPND students will be supported with an unbiased approach to education and growth through personal development. Through the means of education, CPND team members will help rebuild students’ lives by offering hope and opportunity to foster student’s imagination, passion, intellectual curiosity, and critical thinking. Students will be treated with dignity and provided with a healthy learning environment that foster their ability to excel through academia.

Through the stringent academic study in the degree programs offered, CPND students are able to discover new strengthens, attributes, skills, and a direction for their future. Students are able to return home with confidence, with support from CPND, and a plan while others may continue their education and enroll in other universities or colleges. Another benefit of CPND is that it prepares students to focus and challenge themselves no matter what path they choose.

All students are required to have either a high school diploma or have completed the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) to apply to the CPND program. The CPND coordinator and Admissions Office verify that these are completed.  From time to time, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) educational supervisor may have a copy and can assist with this requirement/document. Per the DOCCS, all potential students must have six months of good behavior prior to applying to the program, which includes not receiving any two tier tickets (higher level offenses) within that six-month time period. All applicants must also take the MVCC placement/entrance exam, which is the same entrance exam offered to all potential MVCC students on our main campus, to determine if they are able to enter our general classes for both math and English or if they need remedial courses before entering the CPND program. Students are also required to complete a questionnaire and be interviewed for the program.
Anyone who is in prison and meets the CPND criteria for eligibility can participate in the program.
 The courses within the CPND program are taught by MVCC faculty members who are union-based and compensated by MVCC. Instructors who are employed by MVCC are compensated per hour, per semester, and per course they teach.
The criminal justice system does provide a punitive punishment for wrong-doers. Although the criminal justice penal system is enforced, it is also equally important that individuals in prison are provided with the resources to be law-abiding citizens once returning to society. This involves educating individuals and providing them with resources as they transition back into society. The CPND program prepares students to be better individuals and help to prevent individuals from returning to prison.