Eastern Michigan University’s College in Prison program partners with Writing Center to expand support for incarcerated students

green chalkboard drawing of people writing in journals

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University's College in Prison program has forged a new partnership with the EMU Writing Center to extend tutoring and writing support to incarcerated students at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, an institution exclusively for women located in Washtenaw County. This initiative aims to provide incarcerated students with access to the same academic resources available to their counterparts on EMU's main campus.

"We aim to faithfully recreate the student experience, ensuring equitable opportunities for all of our students," said Meghan Lechner, director of the College in Prison Program and Returning Citizens Fellowship. "This endeavor necessitates ongoing dedication to enhancing and expanding resources tailored to our incarcerated students."

The College in Prison program has long been dedicated to providing incarcerated individuals with educational opportunities, offering classes taught by EMU professors that count toward bachelor's degrees. By equipping students with valuable skills and knowledge, the program seeks to enhance employability prospects and reduce recidivism rates, thereby fostering positive societal outcomes.

To further enrich the educational experience of incarcerated students, the Writing Center partnership brings tutors into the prison environment twice a month. The tutors work closely with students on assignments, and essays, and hone their academic writing skills through personalized one-on-one sessions. 

"Even with two associate degrees, transitioning to EMU's rigorous curriculum felt like a leap. Thankfully, one-on-one resources like the Writing Center bridged the gap,” said A.S. a student at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. “Our professors and Writing Center services have been invaluable for my creative writing, philosophy, and social work courses. I have no doubt my writing has become stronger thanks to their feedback and I am so appreciative of the helping hand they extend to us.”

Additional developments lie ahead for the program, including the installation of a mural within the student living facility depicting the EMU campus. This artistic endeavor aims to cultivate a sense of community and connection among students. Additionally, Lechner hinted at several forthcoming projects that will be unveiled in the coming months, proving the program's ongoing commitment to innovation and growth.

For more information about the College in Prison program and the Writing Center partnership, email to mlechner@emich.edu or visit the webpage.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

April 03, 2024

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley