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lauratje86
lauratje86

I have been browsing the internet recently looking for free correspondance courses for inmates, and I came across a charity called College Guild (College Guild Home - Offering free non-traditional correspondence courses to prisoners.) that offers free, non-traditional correspondance courses for inmates. It seems that by "non-traditional" they basically mean courses that don't lead to qualifications, but are just something for inmates to do to pass the time, develop their interests etc.

I was wondering if anyone had heard of them, or knows (of) anyone who has done one of their courses? I just emailed them to offer my help, on a voluntary basis, with developing and/or teaching courses/units - not sure if they'll want me as I don't live in the USA, but it's something I'd love to do!

So yes, I was basically just wondering if anyone had any more information about them, or what people's opinions on them are when you've looked at their website. And I wanted to mention them, in case anyone would like to volunteer with them or thinks that their pp's may be interested in their courses :-)


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gooddog
gooddog

I think the free courses are beneficial to the inmate's mind but not for college credit. You have to pay for college credit somehow in this country, either yourself or subsidized by loans.

 
gooddog
gooddog

I'm about to begin "Nagging About Education, Phase 2" with mine. Wish me luck! ha ha ha!!!

 
lauratje86
lauratje86

That's awesome Qessie! :-) I hope that your pp manages to get onto a course with them that he'll enjoy too Franconia :-)

 
Franconia
Franconia

Months after having first written to them, my pen pal informed me last night that he's finally received the application form to fill out! He's super excited and wants me to help him choose which course to apply for!!!

Naturally, I'm just as excited for him!! If not more so!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad to hear that, and it's cool that he asks for your help to choose a good course. :)

 
Qessie
Qessie

Months after having first written to them, my pen pal informed me last night that he's finally received the application form to fill out! He's super excited and wants me to help him choose which course to apply for!!!

Naturally, I'm just as excited for him!! If not more so!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Franconia
Franconia

By now, I told two of my pps about it. I haven't all the replies yet but one of them said "I have recently written to the College Guild. They have put me on a waiting list for acceptance. I'm worried that it will be a waste of time but I've got to try"

Well, at least he gives it a try (if so, lol). Just wanted to make an update here. I clearly told them what it's all about so they have to decide themselves whether it's a waste of time or if their recent "hobbies" are more fun :shrug:

 
gooddog
gooddog

That's a shame gooddog, but you're right, hopefully one day he will choose education for himself! :-) It's good that you sent him the info, glad he appreciated it!

Franconia and fee, you're welcome. I hope that it will be useful to someone! Like I said, the waiting lists are pretty long, but hopefully they'll find more volunteers soon and will be able to shorten them a bit!

I would love to see this person apply his intellect to school but it seems really daunting to him, I think. That's why I thought these courses were a GREAT start to ease into that world. A great way to prove to yourself that you can be part of that world if you have not been.

But...can only lead the horse to water. I wish it were "easier" for him in that there was something offered right there for him but they only give that to people that are getting out in two years. (oops, I feel a multi level rant coming on, better stop...) Rant at HIM, too. I do try to just accept him where he's at even though he could be doing more for himself, true.

 
lauratje86
lauratje86

That's a shame gooddog, but you're right, hopefully one day he will choose education for himself! :-) It's good that you sent him the info, glad he appreciated it!

Franconia and fee, you're welcome. I hope that it will be useful to someone! Like I said, the waiting lists are pretty long, but hopefully they'll find more volunteers soon and will be able to shorten them a bit!

 
fee
fee

It's good that this topic came up once again, because I haven't seen this thread before. It sounds good and I am thinking about telling my penpals about it. I can't tell if they are interested at all but I don't want to keep back information ;)

iv not seen it before either and its pretty good :)

 
Franconia
Franconia

It's good that this topic came up once again, because I haven't seen this thread before. It sounds good and I am thinking about telling my penpals about it. I can't tell if they are interested at all but I don't want to keep back information ;)

 
gooddog
gooddog

Just wanted to bring this thread back onto the first page, really. Due to personal circumstances I wasn't able to volunteer with them last year, but I've just sent off my application form so I'll see if I hear back from them.

Apparently they now have a 6 month waiting list after Playboy mentioned them in an article! :-D So it'd be a bit of a wait if any of your PP's are interested, but if you or someone you know would like to volunteer for them I'm sure they'd appreciate it!

Those of you who replied to this before and said you were mentioning it to your PP's, did any of them sign up for the waiting list/start a unit with them?

I did send it but unfortunately my pp is...how can I say this kindly... I think that when he's ready, he'll work on that aspect of himself. I'd love to go into his head with a screwdriver and fix that into "NOW" but since I can't, all I can do is send it. He appreciated it. (I wanna smack him, ha ha!!) Nah, I try not to nag and pester, just send stuff. They make their own decisions, right? I hope one day he'll choose education.

 
lauratje86
lauratje86

Just wanted to bring this thread back onto the first page, really. Due to personal circumstances I wasn't able to volunteer with them last year, but I've just sent off my application form so I'll see if I hear back from them.

Apparently they now have a 6 month waiting list after Playboy mentioned them in an article! :-D So it'd be a bit of a wait if any of your PP's are interested, but if you or someone you know would like to volunteer for them I'm sure they'd appreciate it!

Those of you who replied to this before and said you were mentioning it to your PP's, did any of them sign up for the waiting list/start a unit with them?

 
gooddog
gooddog

Glad it's come in handy for some people! :-) Happy nagging, gooddog :-D

All cued up in an envelope and ready to go, Guild stuff, Clep stuff, email comments. (and pithy letter that says nag nag nag nag nag on it!) God it's a good day to nag.... *sighs contentedly, puts feet up*

 
lauratje86
lauratje86

Glad it's come in handy for some people! :-) Happy nagging, gooddog :-D

 
ArtemisIsLove
ArtemisIsLove

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much for this thread!!! I shall be copying ALL of the info and sending it immediately to someone that I enjoy finding creative ways to nag!!! More ammunition for my nagging, yay!

Nag away gooddog! Nag away!

 
gooddog
gooddog

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much for this thread!!! I shall be copying ALL of the info and sending it immediately to someone that I enjoy finding creative ways to nag!!! More ammunition for my nagging, yay!

 
ArtemisIsLove
ArtemisIsLove

Having reviewed some of the courses, I just thought of something else that might be useful to inmates, but likely not until they are on the outside.

But because I see they have a course in psychology and Greek Mythology and Histories...if they learn the material through this course they can take a CLEP exam and turn it into college credit. Maybe if you had a really inspired inmate he could get the college board to proctor exams at the prison, but since that may be a slim chance, I'm only saying that if they learn the material, they can take the test and when they are ready to go go college, a passing exam becomes credit for the course. You can see what I mean HERE.

 
Qessie
Qessie

This is the response that I got from my enquiry:
[QUOTE]Thank you for contacting College Guild. Our courses are offered to inmates throughout the United States. They are non traditional and do not count for college credit. There is no charge and no text books are required. At the present time, we have a 3 month wait list. Inmates wishing to join should write to us requesting to be put on this list:

College Guild
PO Box 6448
Brunswick, ME 04011

We have about 20 courses that are available at the moment, and a course list will be sent with the application.

Hope this is helpful.
[/QUOTE]
I'm going to be passing this on to the pp's that I know want to further their education. 3 months isn't terribly long in the grand scheme of things, so this could really be exciting for them. I'll come back with their responses after they've gotten their course work and are plugging away at those books, haha.

 
lauratje86
lauratje86

No, definitely not! They do seem to be a properly registered charity (though I don't really know how that works in the USA), and one of their staff/volunteers replied to my email already. From what it says on their website they have secured extra funding, so are looking for more volunteers so that they can expand and decrease their waiting list somewhat! I guess there are lots of inmates who are interested in finding some free studying to do to pass the time - doesn't surprise me in the slightest! I'm sure one or two of my pp's would be interested too - and the only reason the other one probably wouldn't be is because he has the opportunity to study for an Associate's Degree!

They are sending me an information pack by post, so I shall let people know what I find out :-) I'm glad that the link was (potentially) useful for you, Qessie! :-) Do let us know what they say....

 
Qessie
Qessie

Thanks for the link. I've just asked them about the process for signing up a pp of mine, so I'll report back on what they say. From what I read online, seems like there's a waiting list of inmates, so they must be quite popular. Looking through their newsletters, seems like they've been going at it for 10 years already. So, not a fly-by-night operation at all!