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UCI LIFTED, a Spark Grantee, Extending Bachelor’s Degrees to Incarcerated Students

Oct 21, 2020 | 20 Million Minds


Image by Megan Burks for KPBS

Image by Megan Burks for KPBS

 

The University of California, Irvine’s new Leveraging Inspiring Futures Through Educational Degrees (LIFTED) program extends the opportunity to earn a UC bachelor’s degree to a new demographic of students: currently incarcerated individuals. 

Funded in part by a Michelson Spark Grant, UCI LIFTED will partner with Southwest College, which currently offers associate degrees in Sociology to students at Richard J. Donovan Prison. In 2022, approximately 20-25 students who have obtained their associate’s degrees can apply for UCI LIFTED’s program. Ultimately UCI and Michelson 20MM hope this program serves as a model for community colleges, universities, and prisons to replicate.

“Investing in UCI to establish the first UC bachelor’s degree program will help unlock the brilliance and genius of individuals behind bars,” says Dr. Gary K. Michelson, Founder of Michelson 20MM. “These  investments embody the ethos of our work; innovative, catalytic, and transformational. We hope it will spark additional systemwide programs to ensure students in our prisons achieve their highest academic potential.”
Read more about the UCI LIFTED.