1) Does CPEP provide services at facilities other than Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility?
Our work is limited to provide a free college-level education at these institutions.
2) Who is eligible to teach a class?
Cornell faculty, doctoral students, and professional graduate students (i.e., MBA, law school) are eligible to teach. There are, however, different factors that potential volunteers must consider. The program is designed to support prison students who hold GEDs or high school diplomas and are pursuing associates degrees conferred by Cayuga Community College. We do NOT offer classes requiring pre-requisites. Our classes need to fulfill SUNY community college and general education requirements. So we welcome proposals from the humanities, sciences, and arts with the expectation that we will work the course instructor to shape classes will help out students' satisfy state requirements.
CPEP encourages faculty participation. Unfortunately we are unable to compensate faculty for their time or travel expenses.
Phd students who have passed their 'A' exams are welcome to submit course proposals. Foundation support allows CPEP to subsidize 7 doctoral students to teach every semester. You must submit a course proposal, transcript, CV, and academic reference.
Graduate students in professional programs (i.e., MBA or law) may submit proposals, as well, with CVs, transcripts and academic references.
3) How do I propose a course?
If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Marge Wolff (email@example.com). CPEP holds informational meetings and calls for proposals mid-term each semester.
4) If I am a community member and hold no appointment at Cornell, can I teach a course?
All of our courses must be rostered in Cornell departments. So our pool of candidates is limited to students, faculty and fellows holding full or part-time appointments at the university. However, CPEP would encourage you to get involved through other volunteer opportunities. Please contact Marge Wolff (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to explore possibilities.
5) I know that courses are supported by teaching assistants. Who is eligible to serves a teaching assistant? Are these paid positions? Can you earn academic credits for volunteering?
Graduate students and undergraduates, alike, are eligible to volunteer as teaching assistants. It is possible to do support courses outside your discipline upon instructor approval. These are NOT paid positions. In some cases, CPEP will endeavor to subsidize student travel to the correctional facilities. Currently, CPEP cannot offer academic credits for your participation. We are exploring vehicles to do so in the future. You may be able to arrange independent studies with faculty members on campus, using your volunteer experience at the facility as a service-learning frame that complements coursework.
Students interested in becoming teaching assistants should contact Marge Wolff (email@example.com). You will need to submit a resume, transcript and academic reference. It is advisable to attend the mid-semester informational meetings.
6) Can I conduct research among the prison population as part of my volunteer service?
We do NOT conduct research among the population with whom we work. This is strictly an academic outreach initiative and as such is not a vehicle for short or long-term research projects.
7) How are prison students selected?
Throughout the academic year, CPEP holds entrance exams at the prisons. Eligible students hold GEDs or high school degrees. They also possess good disciplinary records in the facility and are thus recommended by the prisons' education department. The entrance exam is composed of both English and math sections. Students who demonstrate potential but require additional preparation are encouraged to enroll in non-credit preparatory and writing classes. In the 2008-2009 academic year, 200 candidates sat for the entrance exam at Auburn Correctional Facility. Exceptional students may be selected as 'full-time' students who can take 3-4 courses/semester until completing the AA degree. Others maintain a part-time status, accruing Cornell credits that will transfer towards the Associates degree as well.
CPEP cannot facilitate the transfer of prisoners interested in pursuing college education from other facilities to Auburn or Cayuga correctional facilities. CPEP operates at the invitation of the NYS Department of Corrections. While we collaborate closely with administrators at the above institutions, all decisions regarding transfers and eligiblity for entrance exam participation are the prerogative of the NYS DOC.
8) Are prison classes condensed or scheduled for an entire term like campus classes?
Classes at Auburn and Cayuga correctional facilities run 15 weeks. For instructors' and teaching assistants' convenience, we schedule the prison semester's start one week later than classes begin at Cornell each semester.
9) Do I need prior experience in correctional settings to participate?
Absolutely not, you need a commitment to outreach and education and a willingness to share your time and expertise.
10) Will I be expected to work one-on-one with prison students?
All work takes place within the confine of the classroom. So, while we do provide individualized attention when appropriate (i.e., writing workshops, preparatory math classes), you will always work in a group setting.