October 17, 2019
Delta College and the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland, Michigan, held a graduation ceremony recently for ten students who completed their associate’s degree in Small Business Management/ Entrepreneurship. These men were the first group to graduate through a program in which 53 students at the facility are taking Delta courses.
"This ceremony was a highlight of my career in education," said Dr. Jean Goodnow, President of Delta College. "I believe in the power of a community college education. In fact, several of the ceremony attendees, including the warden, revealed that they too are proud Delta College graduates."
Federal funding for the program was made available in 2015 when President Obama's Education Department announced an experimental program called Second Chance Pell. Delta College is one of three community colleges in Michigan working with correctional facilities to offer incarcerated individuals an opportunity to earn college credit toward a degree.
"This partnership is important to our community because as a society, we must equip incarcerated people with the skills to build a life for themselves upon release from prison," said Tom (O’Bell) Winn, Warden, Saginaw Correctional Facility. "We also know education is tranformative to how people view themselves. It saves the state money by lowering recidivism, giving more incarcerated individuals access to disirable careers, and buidling a stronger workforce."