Highline’s Re-Entry Education Transition Pathways Program

[MUSIC PLAYING] 17,000 people are incarcerated
in Washington state prisons, and nearly 2,000 people
were released in 2016 back into the community. Only 659 justice involved
people were employed. Highline would like to
change this and increase employment rates. Re-entry education
transition Pathways Program is designed to provide
support and wraparound services to formerly
incarcerated justice involved students. Highline College supports
a high school diploma, GED, short-term professional
technical certificates, transfer degrees,
and bachelor degrees. Highline College is
nationally and internationally recognized as a premier
community college. A reputation earned
through the development of an institutional culture
that values innovation, globalization of curriculum,
and community participation. At Highline, you can
enroll in a variety of associates of arts transfer
degrees and certificate program. The AA degree is
intended to prepare you to transfer
to bachelor degree programs in a wide variety
of fields such as business, interior design, e-commerce,
computer science, database design, networking
specialization, multimedia design, web design, personal
fitness trainer, and software development to name just a few. Highline also offers a wide
range of certificate programs. Here are just a few; accounting,
animation, small business entrepreneurship, CAD,
drafting design, paralegal, visual communications, and
web developer certificates. James Jackson, a former Highline
College student body president, had this to say
about his experience as a justice involved
college student. Hi, my name is James Jackson. I’m a graduate of
Highline College. I graduated with
two degrees, an AAS in personal fitness and an AA. I am also justice involved. My experience with education
before going to prison was rough. I dropped out in the ninth
grade, and I didn’t look back, and so I got to prison. And to really get a good– or I won’t say a
good paying job, but to get a little more money
in prison, you have to program and getting a GED
was part of that. And so I got my GED. From there, my instructor was
like, JJ, you got great scores. You should think about taking
some of these college courses that we offer here
at the prison. She stayed at me. Convinced me to do it, and
I took cultural anthropology and marketing 101. I really enjoyed it. That was an amazing thing. And I got 4.0’s,
and that’s really where the seed of education
was planted for me. The education experience for me
has really changed my paradigm. I’ve went from
convict to student is the way I like to say it. It’s given me hope. It’s given me belief in myself
that I can achieve things that even when I was
first released prison, I didn’t think were
possible for my life. It can be done, right, that
education can be achieved. I wish I knew about
all these services. I wish I knew about re-entry
programs and things like that. But I discovered
all those things in the process of
doing this, so but I think what will help students
coming out of incarceration is if we can get this
information to them before they even hit the bricks,
right, and have them as prepared as possible
to smoothly transition into the Highline
College community. And that is the goal of re-entry
education transition pathways is to really make that
transition smooth for students coming out of incarceration
into colleges. When I first came to Highline, I
really intended on just getting my degree, my AAS in
personal fitness, you know. I’m 47 years old now. I was 44 when I got
to Highline, and so I felt like I was
running out of time, and I just wanted to
get something going. But from my involvement, at
Highline in student leadership and everything, it
really showed me that it’s never too
late for education, and it really opened
up my self-potential. It really showed me that I
could really do so much more and make a difference. I really believe in my
ability to learn today. The biggest thing I got out of
Highline is that confidence. Highline is recognized
as a premier college and is the most
culturally diverse campus in the state of Washington. Through our diverse
educational programs starting from pre-college
through bachelor’s degrees, our re-entry education
transition pathway program will provide support
to help you navigate your educational experience. Be a part of Highline College
and change the employment rate of formerly justice
involved students by earning a
certificate or degree.

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