Let’s Get Smart

It is proven that access to higher education reduces crime and recidivism. There are currently hundreds of online courses free on the internet. Why can’t we figure out a way to get these courses into the prisons?

Let’s Get Smart is a small group of people realizing the ideas and dreams of a group of people incarcerated in PA who want access to higher education regardless of college credit (although that would be nice). Our vision is based upon providing all people in prison including prisoners, correctional, custodial, probation and parole personnel access to 21st century education and training, which is easily accessible and affordable through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), offered by Harvard, MIT, Stanford and a plethora of other prestigious education and training institutions. Join us in bringing this vision to fruition!

“What if, a few times a week, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, were streamed on the prison’s internal station, channel 3? Companies like Coursera already record university lectures — in subjects like psychology, sociology, existentialism, economics and political science — and stream them online for free. The MOOCs, which are free for the rest of the world, could help American prisoners become more educated and connected.

By John L. Lennon who wrote this op-ed entitled “Let Prisoners Take College Courses” Attica Prison for the The New York Times 2015

“CEO of the World’s First MOOC Provides Hope to Former Prisoners Through Education.”   by Peter High  Forbes 2015

The Last Mile – has been operating since 2010 in California bringing education to people in prison specializing in virtual courses in computer programming and tech.

5 Top College Correspondence Programs for People in Prison – Huffington Post Jan.2018 This article is written by participated in a lot of these programs while he was incarcerated. These cost money.

What is Open Education?

Open education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge.

Proponents of open education believe everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources, and they work to eliminate barriers to this goal. Such barriers might include high monetary costs, outdated or obsolete materials, and legal mechanisms that prevent collaboration among scholars and educators.

MOOC’s take this philosophy to the internet. 

Below you can find links to many Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms:

EDX – is one of the largest of the online free college classes.  Here is what they say about themselves: edX is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. edX is where you go to learn. EDX School Partners

ALISON Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free online, at any subject level. Through our mission we are a catalyst for positive social change, creating opportunity, prosperity, and equality for everyone. Alison Publishers

Coursera Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online. Coursera Partners

And there are still more! Future Learn  Khana Academy This is an online learning site. Not accredited through university. Free for all levels who need to work on specific skills.

Yale  and MIT  have online open courses.

By Dhawal Shah January 4, 2019

The Higher the Degree, the Lower the Recidivism Rate

Studies conducted over the last two decades almost unanimously indicate that higher education in prison programs reduces recidivism and translates into reductions in crime, savings to taxpayers, and long-term contributions to the safety and well-being of the communities to which formerly incarcerated people return. ”

Prison Studies Project

Learning to Reduce Recidivism: A 50-State Analysis of post secondary correctional education policy. Institute for Higher Education 2005 written by Wendy Erisman and Jeanne Bayer Contardo

Prison Education Reduces Recidivism by Over 40 Percent. Why Aren’t We Funding More of It?
By Michelle Chen The Nation August 17, 2015