The College in Prison New Directions (CPND) program, which started in 2016, is funded by the District Attorney of New York under the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative and provides a tuition-free education to incarcerated students. The City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for State and Local Governance is the technical assistance consultant for the grant. The CPND program has transitioned from Mohawk Correctional Facility to Marcy Correctional Facility. 

Program Requirements

In order to qualify for the CPND program, prospective students must meet the following requirements:

  • GED completion, earned high school diploma, and/or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)
  • Satisfactory scores on MVCC’s placement test
  • Clearance from current correctional facility
  • Six months clear of conduct from NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS)
  • Agreement to enroll in assigned courses
  • Between 18-60 months from their Earliest Release Date (ERD)
  • Complete CPND questionnaire and attend interview


  • Advising academic schedules 
  • Career planning
  • Cultural events 
  • Instruction 
  • Preparation for employment
  • Re-entry support 
  • Study groups 
  • Tutoring
  • Workshops

Our Philosophy

An unbiased approach to education and inspiring growth and personal development. We encourage students to rebuild their lives by offering hope and opportunity to foster their imagination, passion, intellectual curiosity, and critical thinking. 

Our Vision

To develop and broaden positive attitudes that reflect cultural quality and acceptance of others’ personal beliefs that promote success as individuals to perform at their highest potential. 

Our Purpose

To administer the College in Prison New Directions program and ensure the success of both former and current incarcerated students. It is the goal of the CPND program to remove the stigma of incarceration and foster advancement of students’ goals. 


CPND would like to thank you for supporting us! If you would like to make a donation to the program, you may give a gift by calling Morris Pearson, founder and program administrator, at 315-731-5812, or by mailing a check to:

Mohawk Valley Community College
Morris Pearson, Program Administrator
College in Prison New Directions Program
1101 Sherman Drive
Utica, N.Y. 13501

Donations to the CPND program are tax deductible.

For more information, contact Jim Lynch at 315-792-5316, or; or Patricia Washington at 315-792-5432 or