CRC Warden Tampkins and Pitzer College Interim President Thomas Poon.

CRC Warden Tampkins and Pitzer College Interim President Thomas Poon.

By Delinia Lewis, Community Resource Manager
and Lamar Robinson, Office Technician
California Rehabilitation Center

Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins and the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) recently hosted Pitzer College Administration officials for an institution tour and to finalize plans to establish a program in which inmates who are enrolled in college can acquire college credits toward a bachelor’s degree.

Upon arriving, Pitzer College Interim President Thomas Poon, Pitzer College Board of Trustees and Chair of Education Policy Committee Alissa Roston and a group of the college’s top colleagues and professors met with Warden Tampkins and members of her executive staff and confirmed the implementation of the college for credit program.

Pitzer College and CRC have developed a partnership over the last few years, first with Pitzer students and faculty volunteering to teach at CRC through Professor Renford Reese’s Prison Education Project, and more recently through Pitzer faculty teaching Inside-Out courses at CRC.

This fall semester, tenured Professor Adrian Pantoja offered a political studies course and Assistant Vice President and Assistant Professor Tessa Hicks Peterson offered a liberal studies.

Starting Spring 2016, courses will be taught at CRC. A maximum of 10 CRC students may register for each class and, upon successfully completing the class, they will be given Pitzer College credit with the appropriate official transcript.

This pilot initiative will be evaluated by Pitzer College and CRC to determine if further courses including credit can be offered in future academic years.

“We are excited to present this groundbreaking opportunity to CRC and potentially more prisons in the future,” said Nigel Boyle, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Pitzer College.