Post-Secondary Education courses include college-level coursework offered to offender-students through the Voluntary Education Program. Division of Rehabilitative Program’s Office of Correctional Education, in collaboration with various Community Colleges and a partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, offers offender-students opportunities to enroll in college courses that are nationally or regionally accredited in accordance with the United States Department of Education. Courses may be available via face-to-face instruction or correspondence coursework from accredited agencies.
Currently, various community colleges provide face-to-face college courses in 34 institutions. These college courses are non-remedial and lead to a degree in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding established between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Community College serving in that geographical location. During spring and fall semesters, the number of offender-students enrolled in face-to-face college programs can reach or exceed 4,500 students on average.
College courses are also provided to offender-students via correspondence program by 25+ different colleges. Throughout the year, over 7,000 offender-students on average are enrolled in a correspondence college program.
Offender-students are responsible for tuition, fees, textbooks, and materials associated with college course enrollment. Offender-students may be eligible for a tuition fee waiver through the California College Promise Grant that covers tuition for every low-income student in the state’s community colleges, including those who are incarcerated.
Offender-students may be eligible to earn Milestone Completion Credit(s) and Education Merit Credit in accordance with the California Code of Regulations Title 15.
Post-Secondary Education is in CDCR institutions with the exception of the California Health Care Facility, and Correspondence College exists at all 35 CDCR institutions.
Assignments and enrollments into these programs vary. Offender-students’ progress at their own pace.
Enrollment in Post-Secondary Education is voluntary. Offender-students must have earned their High School Diploma or Equivalency and be enrolled in courses that are non-remedial and lead to a post-secondary degree.
An offender who is serving, or has served, their time on good behavior has access to many rehabilitative services and programs if they are determined to be in need. See Rehabilitative and Educational Services
Rehabilitative programs are the best way for an offender to be prepared for success upon release. The link below explains this process with an easy-to-follow diagram
See Technology Solutions for more information.
Technology has opened the door to more educational opportunities while simultaneously reducing government spending. Below is a list of technology initiatives at CDCR.
See Rehabilitative Program Videos for DRP program information and general insight of CDCR's offender rehabilitation.