Northeastern Illinois University / University Without Walls

With the support of a generous private foundation, we are working with Northeastern Illinois University’s University Without Walls (UWW) Program to restart the first bachelor’s degree-earning program in an Illinois state prison in decades. The UWW Program is a competency-based degree-completion program that serves adult students who have professional, community, political, and life experiences that have resulted in significant college-level learning. NEIU (which does not ask about criminal records on its admissions application) has been incredibly supportive of this initiative. The program started in the fall of 2017 with a cohort of eight to students. Tim Barnett, the Faculty Advisor for the UWW Program, and Erica Meiners, NEIU Faculty in the College of Education initiated the program with a UWW class at Stateville where students established an advisory team and developed portfolios of prior learning, learning goals, and a learning contract. Students are expected to graduate in May 2019.