A new program offered by Fresno State will allow incarcerated students at Valley State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility to earn a bachelor’s degree in social science, expanding access to higher education among one of the most marginalized populations in the state.

The new program is a collaboration between the College of Social Sciences, the Division of Continuing and Global Education and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The degree program was accredited on May 5 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — an organization that provides accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary and elementary schools in California and Hawaii. Incarcerated students will receive face-to-face coursework from Fresno State instructors.  

“Given the demographics of the prison population, we anticipate that the student population will disproportionately consist of first-generation college students, students of color and students from impoverished backgrounds,” said Dr. Scott Moore, dean of the Division of Continuing and Global Education at Fresno State. “Without the engagement of a university like Fresno State, these students would have no access to face-to-face opportunities to earn a bachelor’s degree. The presence of Fresno State at these facilities will help enhance the existing culture of learning that has the power to change lives.” 

Read the full story in Fresno State News.