Site menu:


Prison Education Program
Cornell University
300 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853


Apply to be an Instructor

There are two main components to the instructor application process: (1) completing an application (see below) which includes several components that must be requested in advance of the deadline such as academic transcripts and letters of reference, and (2) a course proposal which entails some negotiating between your area of expertise/interest and the needs of the program (see further below). We prefer submissions that are complete, printed single-sided, with all signature lines double-checked, and delivered to our office at 300 Kennedy Hall at the Cornell University Campus in Ithaca. Please submit a CV and letter of interest by July 9, 2017, for an initial review — full consideration will be given upon submission of a complete applications for the Spring 2018 semester.

Application for Instructors:
Eligibility: Generally, doctoral students who have passed their ‘A’ exam are considered eligible to submit a proposal to teach a course in the prisons. We occasionally build courses for graduate students in specific fields who have taken at least 5 courses in the area of instruction. We are able to subsidize a finite number of doctoral candidates as instructors each semester, and selected law students receive course credit for teaching. We also welcome proposals from postdoctoral fellows and faculty, and only PhD Candidates who have passed their ‘A’ exams are eligible to teach, as are 2nd year graduate students in professional programs (e.g. MBA). Feel free to contact our office to learn about the selection process and curricular needs. Use the following application form to apply; there is a checklist of requirements on the front page:

Course Proposals:
To propose a course you must submit a syllabus that contains course objectives, lesson plan, a one-meeting-per-week breakdown of activities for a 15-week course, and proposed course texts or literature to be used. Accepted proposals will have to align with the program offered that has been approved and developed within the prison system. For a broad introduction to the experience of serving as an instructor for the program, see the following instructors’ manual (work in progress):

The Cornell Prison Education Program convenes a Curriculum Committee composed of faculty and staff who review all course proposals before applicants are notified of decisions regarding course selections and subsidies.

Documents for Selected Instructors
Certain instructors will need these forms: