The Blue Mountain Community College Corrections Education program will receive a much-needed boost thanks to a $10,000 grant recently awarded by the Bank of the West.
The $10,000 grant will enhance operational support for the program, which serves approximately 400 Adults In Custody (AICs) at three prisons – Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) in Pendleton, Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla, and Powder River Correctional Facility (PRCF) in Baker City.
The Corrections Education program provides adult basic skills development courses, including English Language Acquisition (ELA), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Education Development (GED) preparation. The BMCC Corrections Education program started at EOCI in 1985, and since then more than 3,250 students have been awarded a GED.
The grant will also indirectly support the program’s New Directions Education Project, which offers college-level courses at EOCI at a reduced tuition rate. AIC students who complete these courses earn credit towards a college degree. This program serves an average of 50 students per year, and to date, 14 have earned college degrees.
The Corrections Education program fundraises annually for unrestricted program support beyond the expense of faculty and instructor salaries (which are paid through a contract between BMCC and the Oregon Department of Corrections) to improve students’ overall learning experience and increase their ability to achieve academic success.
“BMCC’s Corrections Education program is so appreciative of the Bank of the West for its generous grant allocation to our program,” said Tammy Krawczyk, Dean of Corrections Education & College Prep. “These funds will allow our instructors to enhance the way that they engage with students.”