Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Prisoner Education Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

RVCC has partnered with NJ Department of Corrections to run a statewide prisoner education program, teaching the curriculum for our Liberal Arts associates degree and STEM classes at all NJ state prisons. This is a no-tech program (no access to computers or equipment, just pen and paper), so the classes require some materials adaptation from the on-campus classes, but the learning outcomes remain the same. (For example, for learning about DNA, the students work with strawberries, which can be brought into prison buildings. For astronomy, rather than looking at the stars at night they use sun spotting scopes to study the sun during the day.) All teaching locations are approved by Middle States.

The student population is highly diverse, as NJ has the highest percentage of African American prison population in the country. Students are eligible for Second Chance Pell grants to provide federal funding for their education. RVCC maintains a lending library of textbooks so that the students do not need to buy their own books. Graduation gowns are reused. If students are transferred to other facilities, they are able to transfer into the same class at the new facility if it is offered.

Retention rates are similar to on-campus, but GPAs are higher, with about 75% of the students earning a 3.0 GPA or higher. Since inception in 2010, 25,000 credits have been awarded. In academic year 2018-2019 (fall, spring, and summer), seven facilties offered a total of 159 courses to 1,356 students for 7,467 credits.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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