Schooled Hearts

It’s graduation season. Western Theological Seminary students graduated yesterday. Hope College main campus students graduate next Sunday. There will be eight graduations in Michigan prisons over the next month, celebrating the degree attainment of incarcerated college students from four colleges associated with the Michigan Consortium for Higher Education in Prison. The most advanced students in …

HWPEP Welcomes Three New Members to the Circle of Advisors

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program is pleased to welcome three new members to its Circle of Advisors. The Circle of Advisors meets regularly with the program’s leadership and serves as a consultative group to help devise and review strategies to help the HWPEP accomplish its goals and purposes. Circle of Advisors members support the missions …

How Does Teaching in Prison Help Main Campus Students?

The principal object of concern for the Hope-Western Prison Education Program is the educational and formational transformation of its students. College has a terrific impact on these students. The spillover effects on the non-enrolled residents of the prison and those that work at the facility are notable. But what about traditional students who study on …

Advent in Prison?

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,     and cry to her that her warfare is ended,     that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand     double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;     make straight in the desert …

Mathematics Can Help Incarcerated Students Flourish Too

“Open your math textbook to page 25 and try solving problem #3.” That’s how I expected Professor David Austin might begin the Hope-Western Prison Education Program’s first-ever mathematics course. Instead, he welcomed the students warmly in his trademark soft, gentle voice. And then he asked the students to play a game with each other. And …

A Grateful Student Speaks

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program relies on the generosity and goodwill of hundreds of people. Most have never met the students they support. Prisons are often located far from public view, and visiting someone in prison is fraught with bureaucratic challenges. Incarcerated people are largely invisible to most of us. Our students are fully aware …

Small vs Big

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program has made terrific strides since launching the degree-granting phase of the program in August 2021. The program’s first two cohorts are succeeding marvelously as college students. Prospective students for the Third Cohort are now applying to begin their college education in July. We’re very well begun in reaching our goal …

Bruised Reeds, Smoldering Wicks

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program’s fall semester just concluded. Our 23 students are taking a well-deserved break from their studies, though the Cohort 1 fellows all promised to practice their Hebrew so they didn’t begin Hebrew II in January rusty from disuse. Do you know what יוֹנָה means? Thanks to professors Travis West, Pam Bush, …

Membership

I’ve sometimes wondered why the incarcerated students of the Hope-Western Prison Education Program are so remarkably committed to their college studies. Anyone who has ever spoken with them can’t help but come away from the conversation deeply impressed by their passion for learning. This overwhelming sense of enthusiasm is perhaps most acutely felt by their …