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Bridge Programs in Corrections Education

Colleagues, 
I invite you to read PATHWAY TO SUCCESS: CREATING INDIVIDUALIZED CAREER PATHWAYS FOR INMATES AND REENTRANTS from the COABE journal Prison Literacy. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections implemented a 60-hour "Pathway to Success" course as a bridge to vocational coursework. The purpose of this course is to ensure inmates have the requisit skills needed to succeed in the vocational courses and build the skills for workplace success. 

How are you integrating bridge programming in your classrooms? What barriers are you experiencing? I'd like to use the wor from Pennsylvania as a springboard for discussion and I'd love to hear what you are doing. 

Sincerely, 
Kathy Tracey

 

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Kathy_Tracey's picture
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Colleagues, 
I want to loop back to this conversation about bridge programs and revisit this article, PATHWAY TO SUCCESS: CREATING INDIVIDUALIZED CAREER PATHWAYS FOR INMATES AND REENTRANTS. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections implemented a 60-hour course for inmates who wish to enroll in vocational coursework. Their course outline is:

  • Module 1: Completed O*Net Interest Profiler and 3-5 jobs within the student's Job Zones
  • Module 2: Review of previously identified jobs to identify any barriers imposed by the student's criminal record
  • Module 3: Use of county-level labor market information to determine if previously identified jobs are in-demand, and to determine average wage. Creation of a personal budget based on the average wage
  • Module 4: Use of O*NET job profiles to explore wages, job outlooks, and demand; inventory of personal strengths and areas of improvement needed for the identified jobs
  • Module 5: List of inmate jobs within SCI that may provide the student with relevant work experience to meet his or her goals
  • Module 6: Creation of SMART goals to follow a Career Pathway for the student's goal job(s)
  • Module 7: Information on the PA CareerLink (Pennsylvania's name for American Job Centers, or "onestops") resources and services
  • Module 8: Cover Letter and Resume
  • Module 9: Mock Interview information, including how to address conviction questions, resulting in an Interview Script
  • Module 10: Parole Hearing script that reflects positive language, behaviors, and discusses skills learned while incarcerated
  • Module 11: Final Career Pathway Plan

Check out their article - and share your thoughts and ideas. Do you have bridge programs like this? I'd love to hear what you are doing. 
Sincerely, 

Kathy Tracey

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