Stand and Deliver

Early next month I’ll begin teaching a new course to the combined first and second cohorts of Hope-Western Prison Education Program students at Muskegon Correctional Facility. The first cohort students are evolving into fine college students — their mean GPA is 3.77 — but for the second cohort students this will be their first college …

Welcome Amy Piescer

Please join the students, faculty, and staff of the Hope-Western Prison Education Program in welcoming Amy Piescer, who began work last week as HWPEP’s first Operations Coordinator. Raised in Japan, Amy recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a major in Psychology from Calvin University, where she interned with the Calvin Prison Initiative …

The Wisdom of 3000 Years

Libraries are repositories of all that is known and has been known for 3,000 years. They are places — physical structures — containing the written words of millenia. But they are also programs dedicated to connecting those words with eager learners. How do the eager learners of the Hope-Western Prison Education Program incarcerated in Muskegon …

Remarkable Stories From B-104

re·mark·a·ble/rəˈmärkəb(ə)l/(adjective) worthy of attention; striking. Room B-104 is located in Muskegon Correctional Facility’s school building. It is the home of the Hope-Western Prison Education Program. Remarkable things happen there. On Wednesday, January 12 the Hope College men’s basketball team defeated arch-rival Calvin University, 78-65. The next morning we walked into B-104 at Muskegon Correctional Facility …

“Being With” or “Doing For”

As we enter the last week of the semester, the HWPEP students at Muskegon Correctional Facility are hard at work writing end-of-term papers and preparing for their final exam in Professor David Stubbs’ Faith Seeking Understanding course. A COVID outbreak in the students’ living unit forced us to deliver the course in a distanced manner …

Education or Ministry?

Is the Hope-Western Prison Education Program primarily oriented toward education? Or is it more aligned with ministry? The program is an accredited academic program leading to a Bachelor’s degree. It is intellectually rigorous, oriented to the liberal arts, and is therefore broad in its design while also providing depth of study in a major area …

Finding Their Bearings

New college students the world over begin their undergraduate studies by spending a few days being oriented to the academic life by faculty, staff, and more experienced students. The Hope-Western Prison Education Program students at Muskegon Correctional Facility are no different. There won’t be the usual campus tours or “getting to know you” games common …