Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Killacky, Jim

Second Advisor

Bedford-Whatley, April

Third Advisor

Johnson, Barbara

Fourth Advisor

DelFavero, Marietta


Approximately two million men and women are currently incarcerated in the nation's penitentiaries. Ninety percent of these inmates will eventually be released from prison. There is a need for prisons to provide services that will prepare these men and women for successful reentry into society. These services include education and vocational training. To determine the effectiveness of education/training, the perspective of the prisoner student is key to the field of correctional education. The voice of the prisoner student, however, is absent from the literature on prisoner education. This qualitative study examined the thoughts, feelings, experiences, and plans/goals of prisoner students at Southern State Penitentiary (pseudonym used). Oneon- one interviews with prisoner students were used, as well as brief observations of the classroom setting and operation. Surveys were completed by two corrections administrators to gain the perspective of the administrator in relation to the correctional education experience. Three emergent themes indicated a need to further study the prisoner student from this intimate perspective: student perceptions of success, regret of prior decisions, and rethinking the correctional education experience. The findings of this study have implications for the fields of elementary and secondary education, higher education, and correctional education.


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