The Department of Corrrections (DOC) affords the inmate population opportunities to participate in structured educational programming designed to enhance their academic skills and prepare them to take the GED examination, enroll in occupational skills training and/or access postsecondary educational opportunities.
Inmates who lack high school diplomas and achieve the required assessment scores may choose to participate in the GED Peer Tutoring Program. The GED Unit is largely designed for inmates designated for release within a period of 90 to 120 days who express a desire and show determination to earn their high school equivalency. The program is voluntary and each inmate promises to work diligently to pass the pre-test and formal examination while interacting harmoniously with other participants in the unit. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) collaborates with the agency in administering the GED examination.
The program is unique in that inmates serve as GED peer tutors. DOC has designed a specialized assessment tool to evaluate inmates wishing to become peer tutors. To qualify, an inmate must show proof of a high school diploma or GED, a two-year degree, college diploma, or transcript. A prospective tutor is required to pass the DOC educational assessment with a minimum score in all five subject areas including mathematics, English writing, English reading, science and social studies. Those chosen as peer tutors are expected to serve as positive role models for inmates moving through the GED preparation curriculum. DOC also offers structured adult basic education programming that addresses the educational needs of inmates functioning at grade levels 0 to 6.0 in the essential academic skills.
Course work is focused on increasing knowledge and skills in English, mathematics, science, social studies, reading, writing, literature, and the arts. Educational program staff conduct ongoing assessments of student progress to determine follow-up educational programming for this population.