Advocating for Our Students and Incarcerated People During COVID-19

Like all academic institutions, our concern for our students extends far beyond the classroom. COVID-19 has created a profound crisis for our community on multiple levels. All non-essential programs including college classes have been suspended. Medically the prison population is extremely vulnerable, and the prison environment makes containment extremely difficult. The updates below detail how we are working to protect the health and safety of our students, and the larger prison community, during this unprecedented time. While we are not currently running programs, we still encourage interested prospective faculty to submit materials to be in our faculty pool. You will be placed on our mailing list and contacted when programming resumes.

COVID-19 NEWS
THE LATEST NEWS  

We've recently heard from many of the people who were transferred to #SanQuentin from CIM just a few weeks ago, as part of CDCR's ill-fated attempt to protect ... them from the current outbreak there.

https://prisonuniversityproject.org/news/voices-from-inside-transfers-from-cim/

This is long overdue, @GavinNewsom.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Newsom-to-announce-8-000-new-prison-releases-15399956.php?t=d4d90dc37b

Next week 🗓️: Amend Research Director @dh_cloud will join an incredible panel of experts to discuss the #publichealth hazards of solitary confinement. ... https://bit.ly/325vbS4

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Prison University Project founds Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison

This February, we were granted Candidacy for Accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. We hope to complete our name change in the summer of 2020. As Mount Tamalpais College, we will be the first-ever independent liberal arts institution dedicated specifically to serving incarcerated students. This significant achievement reflects nearly 25 years of work building an on-site Associate of Arts degree program at San Quentin State Prison. We are grateful to our entire community for making this extraordinary milestone possible. 

MOUNT TAMALPAIS COLLEGE
OUR NEW NAME

A 25-year Commitment to Education

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  • 1994

    The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is passed. As a result, the number of prison higher ed programs nationally drops from over 300 to fewer than ten.

    The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is passed. As a result, the number of prison higher ed programs nationally drops from over 300 to fewer than ten.

    January 1, 1994
  • 1996

    Oakland’s Patten University helps launch the College Program—together with an education administrator at San Quentin, a volunteer coordinator from University of California, Davis, and no budget. For 20 years, it remains the only on-site degree-granting program in a California prison.

    Oakland’s Patten University helps launch the College Program—together with an education administrator at San Quentin, a volunteer coordinator from University of California, Davis, and no budget. For 20 years, it remains the only on-site degree-granting program in a California prison.

    January 1, 1996
  • 1999

    The first student from the College Program is awarded the Associate of Arts degree.

    The first student from the College Program is awarded the Associate of Arts degree.

    February 14, 1999
  • 2000

    After serving four years as a volunteer, Jody Lewen takes over as Director of the College Program.

    After serving four years as a volunteer, Jody Lewen takes over as Director of the College Program.

    February 14, 2000
  • 2003

    The Prison University Project is founded as a fiscally-sponsored project of the Tides Center.

    The Prison University Project is founded as a fiscally-sponsored project of the Tides Center.

    February 14, 2003
  • 2006

    The Prison University Project receives a major grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation and is incorporated as an independent 501(c)3.

    The Prison University Project receives a major grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation and is incorporated as an independent 501(c)3.

    January 1, 2006
  • 2014

    Prison University Project staff begins to explore other college partners, as well as the feasibility of pursuing independence, after Patten University is acquired by UniversityNow.

    Prison University Project staff begins to explore other college partners, as well as the feasibility of pursuing independence, after Patten University is acquired by UniversityNow.

    January 1, 2014
  • 2015

    President Obama awards the Prison University Project the National Humanities Medal.

    President Obama awards the Prison University Project the National Humanities Medal.

    January 1, 2015
  • 2015

    The Prison University Project continues to explore the pros and cons of independence vs. establishing a new partnership; discussions with two potential college partners stall due to financial instability and leadership transitions at the institutions.

    The Prison University Project continues to explore the pros and cons of independence vs. establishing a new partnership; discussions with two potential college partners stall due to financial instability and leadership transitions at the institutions.

    February 1, 2015
  • 2015

    The Prison University Project discusses the prospect of seeking accreditation with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for the first time.

    The Prison University Project discusses the prospect of seeking accreditation with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for the first time.

    March 1, 2015
  • 2018

    Patten/UniversityNow announces that they have sold their online platform to JFK University (part of the National University system) and will be closing Patten in 2019.

    Patten/UniversityNow announces that they have sold their online platform to JFK University (part of the National University system) and will be closing Patten in 2019.

    January 1, 2018
  • 2018

    The process of applying for accreditation from ACCJC begins in earnest. Mary Ellen Petrisko, former president of the WASC Senior College Commission, is hired as a key advisor.

    The process of applying for accreditation from ACCJC begins in earnest. Mary Ellen Petrisko, former president of the WASC Senior College Commission, is hired as a key advisor.

    June 1, 2018
  • 2019

    In February, the Prison University Project is awarded Eligibility status by ACCJC, signaling that the organization may move forward with its formal application for accreditation.

    In February, the Prison University Project is awarded Eligibility status by ACCJC, signaling that the organization may move forward with its formal application for accreditation.

    February 1, 2019
  • 2019

    From March to July, the staff and board conduct an institutional self-evaluation process focused on the degree to which the Prison University Project meets the Standards of Accreditation.

    From March to July, the staff and board conduct an institutional self-evaluation process focused on the degree to which the Prison University Project meets the Standards of Accreditation.

    March 1, 2019
  • 2019

    The 229-page Institutional Self-Evaluation Report is submitted to ACCJC in August.

    The 229-page Institutional Self-Evaluation Report is submitted to ACCJC in August.

    August 1, 2019
  • 2019

    In October, the Prison University Project hosts a four-day site visit with a 10-member peer review team to determine the organization’s readiness for accreditation.

    In October, the Prison University Project hosts a four-day site visit with a 10-member peer review team to determine the organization’s readiness for accreditation.

    October 1, 2019
  • 2020

    The Prison University Project was awarded Candidate status with ACCJC on January 27.

    The Prison University Project was awarded Candidate status with ACCJC on January 27.

    January 1, 2020