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YPEI 毕业标志着康涅狄格州监狱的首次学士学位展示
来源:耶鲁新闻 | 2024/5/26 10:39:11 | 浏览:258 | 评论:0

上周,耶鲁大学监狱教育计划在德怀特大厅和纽黑文大学举行的仪式上,12 名被监禁的学生获得了学位。

YPEI 毕业标志着康涅狄格州监狱的首次学士学位展示

(凯伦·皮尔森摄)
上周,由 耶鲁大学德怀特霍尔监狱教育计划 (YPEI)和纽黑文大学(UNH)牵头的一个项目在康涅狄格州监狱举行了毕业典礼,12 名被监禁的学生获得了学位。

仪式于 5 月 17 日在康涅狄格州萨菲尔德的麦克杜格尔-沃克惩教所举行,10 名毕业生获得了文学副学士学位(AA),其中两人获得了文学学士学位(BA),这在该项目的历史上是首次。
这是有史以来第一次在康涅狄格州监狱举行的学士学位典礼。

耶鲁大学监狱教育计划的创始人塞尔达·罗兰(Zelda Roland '08,'16)博士称其为该计划的历史性里程碑,该计划为被监禁的学生提供耶鲁大学学分课程,相当于严格的校园课程,课程负荷和期望。去年秋天,该项目首次提供由新罕布什尔大学授予的跨学科研究学士学位。

YPEI 毕业标志着康涅狄格州监狱的首次学士学位展示

(凯伦·皮尔森摄)

“我们非常自豪地庆祝我们的毕业生取得的令人难以置信的成就,以及该计划的这一历史性里程碑,”罗兰说。 “YPEI 从一个极不可能、渺茫的想法,到 2018 年提供我们的第一个学分课程,再到现在,在这个意义深远的历史性时刻,我们获得了第一个学士学位。

“该计划不仅仅涉及我们提供的学分和学位,它还提供了一个由支持、资源和社区组成的网络,这些网络有能力和潜力改变人们在监狱内外的生活和轨迹。它产生了一代又一代的影响,也对监狱内部、我们的社区和我们的校园产生了影响。”

自 2018 年成立以来,耶鲁监狱教育计划已成为重振惩教机构文科教育运动的领导者。 (该计划属于 巴德监狱倡议的 国家监狱文科联盟。)

在上周的颁奖典礼上,所有 10 名 AA 学位获得者均以优异的成绩毕业。其中两名 AA 毕业生获得了 4.0 的 GPA,成为共同告别演说者。其中一名学士学位获得者以优异的成绩毕业,另一名则以优异的成绩毕业。诗人兼散文家克劳迪娅·兰金发表了毕业演讲。

在一系列演讲中,毕业生们描述了他们的经历改变了生活的后果。

一位名叫迈克尔的毕业生将他新获得的学位描述为“可以说是我一生中最不可能的成功”。

他还思考了这对于他过去所犯的错误意味着什么。

“现在,我所做的好事可能无法消除坏事,但坏事肯定也无法消除好事,”他说。 “我们不仅仅是各个部分的总和。我可能失败了很多,但我也成功了很多,这就是证据。因此,下次当你想问自己这是否重要时,请记住:这一切都很重要。”

这是该项目的第二次毕业典礼,去年春天首次毕业典礼时,该项目向七名毕业生授予了 AA 学位。那场庆祝活动也是麦克杜格尔沃克监狱有史以来的第一次大学毕业典礼,麦克杜格尔沃克监狱是一所针对成年男子的最高安全惩教设施,也是美国东北部最大的监狱。

今年的该计划还在丹伯里联邦女子监狱颁发了第一个 AA 学位,该监狱目前为美国联邦监狱中的被监禁女性提供唯一的大学课程。这些第一个学位将在明年的毕业典礼上庆祝。

在一次演讲中,一位名叫卡里(Khari)的毕业生反思了该计划的变革效果。

“参加 YPEI-UNH 项目创造了一个挑战自我的机会,让我成长为我从未想过的自己,”他说。 “我接受了这个挑战,它激发了我的想象力,让我看到了一切的可能性。我相信教育是任何有意义的改变的关键。”

卡里补充说,该计划所需的工作非常艰苦,有时甚至令人难以承受。但他也“从来没有像学期末收到成绩时那样感到如此成就感或成就感。”

“每个学期我都会学到一个重要的事实,”他说。 “与可以学到的东西相比,我以为自己知道的东西根本不算什么。”


YPEI graduation marks first B.A. presentation in a Connecticut prison


YPEI 毕业标志着康涅狄格州监狱的首次学士学位展示

(Photos by Karen Pearson)
Last week, a program led by the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall (YPEI)and the University of New Haven(UNH)held a graduation ceremony at a Connecticut prison, at which 12 incarcerated students received degrees.
During the ceremony, held on May 17 at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institute in Suffield, Connecticut, 10 graduates received Associate of Arts(A.A.)degrees and, for the first time in the program’s history, two received Bachelor of Arts(B.A.)degrees.
It marked the first-ever bachelor’s degree ceremony held in a Connecticut prison.
Zelda Roland ’08, ’16 Ph.D., who founded the Yale Prison Education Initiative, called it a historic milestone for the program, which offers incarcerated students access to Yale credit-bearing classes, equivalent to on-campus courses in rigor, course load, and expectations. Last fall, for the first time, the program offered a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, awarded by UNH.

YPEI 毕业标志着康涅狄格州监狱的首次学士学位展示

(Photos by Karen Pearson)
“We are so proud to celebrate our graduates’ incredible accomplishment, as well as this historic milestone for the program,” said Roland. “YPEI went from being a highly unlikely, long-shot idea, to offering our first credit-bearing course offerings in 2018, to now, our first B.A.s in this profound and historic moment.
“This program is not just about the credits and degrees we offer — it provides a network of support, resources, and community that have the power and potential to change people’s lives and trajectories, while they’re in prison and beyond. It makes a generational impact, and it makes an impact inside prison, in our communities, and on our campuses.”
Since its founding in 2018, the Yale Prison Education Initiative has become a leader in the movement to reinvigorate liberal arts instruction in correctional institutions.(The program belongs to the Bard Prison Initiative’s national Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison.)
All 10 A.A. degree recipients recognized during last week’s ceremony graduated with High Honors. Two of the A.A. graduates earned 4.0 GPAs, making them co-valedictorians. One of the B.A. recipients graduated cum laude and the other magna cum laude. A graduation address was offered by the poet and essayist Claudia Rankine.
And in a series of speeches, the graduates described the life-changing consequences of their experience.
One graduate named Michael described his newly earned degree as “arguably the most unlikely success of my life.” He also contemplated what it means in the context of the mistakes he’s made in the past.
“Now, the good I’ve done may not wash out the bad, but the bad sure as hell doesn’t wash out the good either,” he said. “We are more than the sum of our parts. I might have failed at a lot, but I’ve succeeded at a lot too, and here’s the proof. So the next time you’re tempted to ask yourself if it matters, remember:it all matters.”
This was the second graduation ceremony for the program, which conferred A.A. degrees on seven graduates during its first-ever commencement last spring. That celebration was also the first-ever college graduation at MacDougall-Walker, a maximum-security correctional facility for adult men and the largest prison in the U.S. Northeast.
The program this year also awarded the first A.A. degrees at the Danbury federal women’s prison, where it is currently offering the only college program available for incarcerated women in any federal prison in the U.S. These first degrees will be celebrated in a graduation ceremony next year.
In one speech, a graduate named Khari reflected on the transformative effect of the program.
“Being in the YPEI-UNH program created an opportunity to challenge myself, to grow into a version of myself I never thought possible,” he said. “I embraced the challenge and it sparked my imagination into the possibilities of what could be. I believe education is the key to any meaningful change.”
The work required in the program was grueling, and sometimes overwhelming, added Khari. But he also “never felt such a sense of accomplishment or fulfillment as when I received my grade at the end of a semester.”
“And every semester, I walked away learning an important fact,” he said. “What I thought I knew is nothing compared to what can be learned.”


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