Miramar College received a $382,500 Rising Scholars Network Grant from the Educational Services and Support Division of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students attain their educational goals. Serving this underrepresented demographic is core to the California Community Colleges' mission, critical to the CCCCO's DEIA Call to Action, and closely aligns with the Vision for Success goal to reduce equity gaps among traditionally underrepresented student groups.
The focus of the Rising Scholars Network Grant is to establish and support programs serving formerly incarcerated students enrolled in community college or to provide face-to-face instruction to community college students in prison or jail.
“The grant will focus on students’ reentry into their communities with the goal of seeing this underrepresented group succeed,” said Dr. Wes Lundburg, president of Miramar College. “A major aspect of our efforts will be to offer an Associate of Science in Entrepreneurship degree program for students incarcerated at the Miramar Naval Consolidated Brig (MNCB).” The MNCB is a military prison and is unique in that it is one of only three naval consolidated brigs in the United States.
Another major aspect to Rising Scholars at Miramar College, in addition to academic instruction, will be to offer incarcerated students dedicated student support services by College staff and mentorship by industry experts. The second aspect of the program will be to support formerly incarcerated students on campus. For these students, Miramar College will offer application and financial aid assistance, a summer orientation program, one-on-one academic and counseling support, direct student aid, and access to a student club to promote community-building and networking. The program's wrap around services will be provided in a space that promotes collaboration, creativity, and supports mental health.
Associate Professor of Sociology Laura Pecenco has be selected to serve as the Faculty Coordinator for the Rising Scholars program. Laura will begin serving in this role at the start of the Spring ‘23 semester and will continue through Spring ‘25.
The terms of this agreement run from January 1, 2023 through July 31, 2025.