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MCTC inmates to graduate adult education program

November 09, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

On Wednesday, 13 inmates at the Maryland Correctional Training Center will graduate today from the adult education program, designed to prepare them to find jobs when released.

The program offers a certificate in business management with an optional minor in marketing from Hagerstown Community College. It is funded by the Center on Crime, Community and Culture and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, said Daphne Mathews, prison education department principal.

The one-year educational program is for inmates scheduled to be released or have a parole hearing within five years, she said.

"The goal is to give them the credentials to get their foot in the door," she said.

Today's graduation ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m., will feature guest speaker Vernon Savage, director of counseling programs for Johns Hopkins University.


A former MCTC inmate who graduated from an earlier prison educational program, he went on to obtain a Ph.D., said Mathews.

A business management certificate program was selected because it would qualify graduates for a range of careers, Mathews said.

The first class began in the fall of 1998 with courses in English, marketing, accounting and information technology. Of the 15 original students, 13 completed the necessary 34 credits, she said.

Since then three other classes have started, each with about 15 participants taking two, three-hour classes, she said.

"We've had a very good success rate," she said, with two graduates receiving highest honors with 4.0 averages, she said.

Mathews praised the students for their academic achievement, which she said was not easy for them.

"People think all they have to do is study, but there is no quiet area to study in so it's quite a challenge," said Mathews.

To be eligible for the program an inmate must pass an entrance exam, have a high school diploma or GED and be under 25 years old.

Mathews said she anticipates there will be enough money to keep the program going for at least three more years and possibly to add a technology certificate.

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