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Columbia College Recognized For Excellence In Incarcerated Students Education

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Columbia, CA — Columbia College has been picked to take part in a “Vision 2030 Rising Scholars Demonstration Project” that will highlight best practices for educating incarcerated students who are preparing to re-enter the community.

Columbia is one of 59 community colleges in the state that are part of the Rising Scholars program, and only six schools were picked for the project. Since 2015, Columbia College has offered an increasing variety of face-to-face classes and academic support services to hundreds of inmates through a partnership with the Sierra Conservation Center and its affiliated fire camps.

Columbia College President, Dr. Lena Tran, says, “This is a tremendous honor from the state chancellor’s office and recognizes many years of outstanding work by our Rising Scholars team and our partners at the Sierra Conservation Center. Incarcerated students face some of the most difficult barriers and we are dedicated to assisting them in transitions into productive lives as they are released.”

Columbia College’s program serves over 250 students per semester who typically enroll in multiple classes per term.

Yosemite Community College Chancellor, Dr Henry Yong, noted that the program is important to the district’s educational mission.

He adds, “We are committed to supporting education for incarcerated students because it helps to reduce recidivism, by showing them that education can provide an avenue to gainful employment upon their release.”