Ancilla College is joining President Obama’s administration in making it easier for those with a criminal record to get a college degree. Ancilla was one of fifteen colleges and universities at the White House Friday for the launch of the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge.
It aims to give those who’ve been incarcerated opportunities for higher education, through grants and fair reentry processes. According to an Ancilla College press release, more than 600,000 inmates are released each year, and nearly one in three Americans of working age have some kind of criminal record.
Ancilla College President Ken Zirkle says that creating opportunities for people starting over after incarceration is part of the college’s mission to serve the entire community, and that too often, a criminal record prevents people from fully participating in society.
By signing the pledge, colleges promise to review the use of criminal justice-related questions in their applications and consider whether they should be moved to a later part of the admission process. The pledge also compels colleges to support professors and students who want to teach in correctional facilities.