Mississippi Valley State University will be first HBCU to offer 4-year college program to incarcerated people.

Incarcerated people at two prisons in the Delta will be able to start earning four-year degrees from Mississippi Valley State University this fall for the first time in more than two decades.  

Valley State’s Prison Educational Partnership Program (PEPP) is part of a growing number of colleges providing classes in prison with Second Chance Pell, a federal program that is restoring access to income-based financial aid for incarcerated people. 

Seven colleges and nonprofits currently offer for-credit college classes and vocational courses in prisons in Mississippi, but PEPP will be the first program run by a Historically Black college in the state. 

Provost Kathie Stromile Golden said that’s significant because while people of any race can participate in the program, in Mississippi, incarcerated people are disproportionately Black. PEPP will be a way for them to form a connection with an institution of the Black community on the outside. 

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