Education of inmates is a big part of CDCR’s rehabilitative mission. Two facility education programs recently attained accreditation and graduation successes.
VSPW completes another successful audit
By Lt. Gregory Bergersen / PIO VSPW

Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) successfully completed another audit by the Western Association Schools and Colleges (WASC). 

The prison’s educational and vocational programs have proven to be academically successful.

Valley State Adult School (VSAS) at VSPW was established in 1995 with the opening of the institution. From its inception, the mission of VSAS has been to serve the incarcerated population with appropriate academic and vocational course and to aid in the rehabilitative process.

In 2000, VSAS went through the accreditation process for the first time and received its first six-year accreditation with a mid-term review. The six-year accreditation is symbolic of a very successful and well-developed program.

WASC is an organization supported by the professional education community, and is charged with verifying that schools and colleges within a region adhere to the highest educational standards. Areas evaluated include curricular breadth and sequence, responsiveness to students’ needs, community involvement, access to technology, professional qualifications and site suitability.

In 2006, VSAS received its second six-year accreditation without any mid-term follow-up. In June, VSAS received its third consecutive six-year accreditation. This accreditation will have a midterm review due to the possible conversion to low- to medium-level male inmates.

“Our success is due mainly to the hard work, dedication and professionalism of a cadre of correctional instructors,” said Adult School Principal Zack Patrick. “Our instructor’s total focus is on student learning.

“This accomplishment is shared by our administration, our instructors and the inmate students that we work with on a daily basis.”

The six-year accreditation term is the longest offered by WASC, and three consecutive six-year accreditations is an indicator of the quality inherent in VSAS.
California Men’s Colony graduates more than 200 inmates
By Lt. Jack Spears / CMC PIO

California Men’s Colony’s East Facility celebrated the achievements of 212 GED and vocational graduates and 2 college program graduates on August 1. 

After a welcoming address by Principal Robert Green, Warden Elvin Valenzuela congratulated the Central Coast Adult School graduates on their success and challenged them to strive for even more personal growth and success.

The mission of the Central Coast Adult School is to reduce recidivism by providing incarcerated students with the vocational, academic, and life skills needed to successfully re-enter society.

Teacher Dean Diederich and VEP Coordinators Basil DuBois, Wayne Edmiston, Annie Graves, and John McGill directed the GED program that graduated 104 students.

The vocational program, whose instructors include Don Dutcher, Judy Foss, Don Marriott, and Milan Vrajich, graduated 108 students.

Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) teacher Lynne Marriott presented two liberal arts associates degrees and one business management certificate as part of the college program.

The entire education staff and administration are due a special note of recognition for collaborating to prepare and present a self-appraisal and report of Central Coast Adult School.  Their collective effort led to the highest Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) rating of a six-year accreditation with a three-year review.

The CMC East educational staff offers rehabilitative programs including Adult Basic Education, Developmentally Disabled Program, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Voluntary Education Program, General Education Development, Office Services and Related Technology, vocational welding, automotive maintenance, and machine shop.