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Program Coordinator, Center for Prison Education-York CI Site

Wesleyan University
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Mar 6, 2024

Job Details

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand.

Position Details
The Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education (CPE) works in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) to bring the transformative power of a liberal arts education to students incarcerated in Connecticut prisons. The program operates in Cheshire Correctional Institution (CCI– a maximum-security prison for men) and in York Correctional Institution (YCI– the state’s only prison for women), offering an AS (Associate in Science) degree through a partnership with CT State Community College, Middlesex, and aBLS(Bachelor of Liberal Studies) degree through Wesleyan.

Reporting to the Director of theCPE, the Program Coordinator is responsible for cultivating college community, fostering shared ambition, and inspiring intellectual curiosity among studentsat York Correction Institution. There is opportunity for expansion and enhancement of CPE’s program at this facility, and this position will lend critically to planning and implementation of improvements and new initiatives.

The position provides training and close, ongoing support toCPEfaculty and student tutors from Wesleyan’s campus, and works with the Department of Correction and with York CI staff on the ground to ensure successful implementation of the academic program at the women’s prison.

Responsibilities will include:

Serve as primary point of contact for student body and principal liaison between students and theCPEteam and faculty
  • Maintain thorough understanding of student body at York CI: their degree progress and academic interests as well as issues impacting their participation in the program. Serve as a resource and a support to non-traditional, incarcerated, adult students in reaching their full potential
  • Assess students’ strengths, interests and academic records to offer counsel on course enrollment and Concentration selection; serve as conduit to students’ faculty advisors & the furtherCPEteam around students’ academic interests and needs, and contribute toCPEsystems of student-related record keeping
  • Understand curriculum & maintain working knowledge of courses on offer semester by semester, to support with coursework & serve as a conduit to students’ course instructors; facilitate two-three in-prison study hall sessions per week
  • Coordinate extracurricular programming with an understanding of student interests and needs

AddressCPEfaculty needs as a primary liaison between faculty and theCPEteam and students·
  • Participate in interviews of prospective faculty, preparing them for the constraints and challenges of in-prison teaching; support during recruitment and semester course planning the adaptation of courses for the prison context
  • Plan and implement faculty orientation with CPE’s Director, preparing professors new to in-prison teaching for the challenges — pedagogical, emotional, and cultural – of the environment and its codes of conduct
  • Provide ongoing support to faculty in troubleshooting prison-related issues impacting teaching as well as navigating issues students may be facing
  • Assess faculty schedules to develop course schedules atYCI, including arranging makeup classes, to ensure sufficient contact hours, and advising sessions

Support academic program design and implementation to enhance incarcerated students’ learning experience & engage main campus volunteers inCPE
  • Coach and prepare studentTutors/Teaching Assistantspedagogically, culturally, and emotionally to navigate the complex prison context and its rules, written and unwritten, and to appropriately engage with incarcerated students and prison staff; design and facilitate their pre-semester orientation; create and implement systems for documentation and assessment of the tutor experience
  • Supervise and manage and support student Tutors/TAs throughout the semester & create structures for their professional development and community-building: supporting their growth as tutors and their increasing awareness and sophistication about the prison context and the issues incarcerated college students face
  • Develop and implement systems to enable incarcerated student research, despite an offline learning environment at York CI; collaborate with Wesleyan University Library and CPE’s Director to make databases and catalogs accessible in prison classrooms; train, support, supervise and manage undergraduates serving asResearch Partnersto incarcerated students

Develop and maintain productive working relationships with Department of Correction partners
  • Attend quarterly meetings at CTDOCCentral Office and monthly meetings withYCIleadership, judiciously advocating program needs and supporting maintenance of positive relations · Exercise continual good judgment and knowing atYCIon the ground in navigating conflicting educational and security priorities
  • Act as liaison with the Department of Correction andYCIstaff to coordinate necessary pre-semester processes, orientations, and documentation for faculty and students’ clearance to work in the prison setting
  • Manage submission and approvals byDOCof each semester’s course content, including approval by designated Central Office contacts of audio/visual materials; organize withDOCCentral Office Security Division andYCIstaff the pre-semester transfer of digital course materials onto in-prison student laptops
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of CPE’s program at York CI, collaborating withYCIstaff and conforming to prison protocol to ensure that classes, study halls and further on-site activities run smoothly and on schedule

Collaborate closely with and support CPE’s program coordinator for CPE’s program at Cheshire CI

Other duties as assigned

This position is required to work on campus.

(Relocation assistance to CT is available for those who qualify).

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 4 years of experience relevant to college in prison, or the equivalent combination of training, education and experience. Combination of relevant professional, student, and volunteer experience will be considered.

Demonstrated ability to work with diverse stakeholders at multiple levels and to manage nuanced relationships.

Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with a broad range of constituents.

Experience teaching, tutoring, or leading workshops.

Experience training, coaching and managing volunteers.

Creative problem-solving skills.

Acute organizational and time-management skills.

Excellent Microsoft Office skills.

Eligibility for appropriate security clearance(s) for work inside Department of Correction facilities.

Valid Driver’s License and reliable transportation to get to facilities.

This position regularly requires work outside of traditional business hours including early mornings and evenings.

Preferred Qualifications
Experience working with college faculty at an institution of higher learning.

Experience teaching in prison.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Position is open until filled. For full consideration please apply by April 8, 2024 when first review of applications will begin.

In your cover letter please address what draws you to this position and what prepares you to be successful in it.
Additional Information
All offers to external applicants are contingent on the candidate’s completion of apre-employment background check screeningto the satisfaction of Wesleyan University.

Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or non-position-related criminal record. We welcome applications from women and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiries regarding Title IX, Section 504 or any other non-discrimination policies should be directed to Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator. Wesleyan University complies with the Clery Act and maintains records of campus crime statistics and security policies. Copies of Wesleyan University's Clery Act Report are available on request and online at


Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. 

Our student body of approximately 3,000 undergraduate and 200 graduate students is housed on a beautiful 316-acre historic New England campus that offers the comfort of an intimate and collaborative learning environment supported by renowned faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and unique research opportunities.

With our distinctive scholar-teacher culture, creative programming, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. Our graduates go on to lead and innovate in a wide variety of industries, including government, business, entertainment, and science.

At Wesleyan, we are all educators. We welcome your interest in Wesleyan's diverse, energetic community of employees who, by their creativity, innovative thinking, and generosity of spirit, help make Wesleyan a great place to work. In this energetic and inclusive community, our talented faculty and staff foster a liberal arts educational experience characterized by boldness, rigor, and practical idealism. Genuinely open-minded, intellectually curious, and mission-driven, our employees invest their impressive talents in fulfilling careers.

Wesleyan offers a broad range of growth and wellness opportunities—comprehensive health benefitsfitness incentives, generous paid time offretirement plansflexible work schedules, and educational benefits, including free employee access to Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies program and undergraduate tuition reimbursement for dependents of eligible employees. Benefits-at-a-Glance

Campus life affords employees countless opportunities to experience general-interest, academic, artistic, and athletic events. Our location in scenic central Connecticut provides easy access to Boston, New York, and the many other exciting and culturally rich destinations of New England. Few workplaces are like Wesleyan, and we welcome your interest in learning more about us.

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