College Program for Women at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility

By Christopher Zoukis

Established in 1997, the Image courtesy highered.com offers women who are inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility coursework that leads to an Associate of Arts degree and beyond.  In the wake of 1994’s discontinuance of public funds supporting prison education programming, various colleges in the region met to design a new Bedford Hills program supported by private funding.  Operated by Marymount Manhattan College, the program features faculty from other nearby colleges as well such as Mercy College, Sarah Lawrence, Barnard College, and others.  Currently, each semester regularly sees more than 175 students working toward their degrees and earning college credits. 

The Program

Marymount Manhattan College offers Bedford Hills program participants the opportunity to take college preparatory classes, earn an Associate of Arts degree, and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.  To apply to the program, inmates of Bedford Hills must have either a high school diploma or a GED.  Moreover, upon taking placement tests, participants may initially have to take college preparatory classes to prepare for the degree programs themselves.  All degree-seeking candidates must take general education courses just as any other college-level students. 

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