Lee College received a $750,000 grant from the Greater Texas Foundation and Trellis Foundation to launch a project to help incarcerated students complete their college degrees once they are released from prison.

The gist

The project, called the “Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education,” expands access for students at Plane State Jail to receive stackable, transferable credits, according to a Jan. 25 news release from the college.

The project also provides services for incarcerated program participants, including housing, child care, mental and physical health care, and transportation, per the release.

Lee College President Lynda Villanueva said in the release she believes the program builds on the success of the Lee College Huntsville Center, which is the largest prison education program in the state and the second largest in the country, according to the release.

By the numbers

Forty-four percent of formerly incarcerated individuals released return before the first year out of prison, according to the National Institute of Justice.

At Lee College, recent data revealed that 94% of Huntsville Center’s prison education program students obtain employment and avoid recidivism after re-entering society, according to the release.

Quote of note

“We know access to higher education degrees and certifications disrupts the cycle of generational poverty for many of our students,” said Selah Tacconi, executive director of the Lee College Foundation, in the release. “Lee College and the Lee College Foundation are committed to serving all students with quality educational opportunities that meet their unique needs as learners.”