Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Anaida Colon-Muniz

Second Advisor

Peter McLaren

Third Advisor

Victoria Carty


There is a gap in the literature with regard to postsecondary opportunities for incarcerated youth. Minimal research and curriculum design are rarely available for the purpose of improving juvenile postsecondary correctional education thereby limiting recidivism rates of students in the juvenile justice system. The pilot program in this study attempted to provide a complete and comprehensive university program for long-term incarcerated juveniles to get them on track to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This dissertation addresses the high school experiences, including the School to Prison Pipeline and the academic experience to provide background information, justifying the importance of creating postsecondary academic opportunities for the incarcerated juveniles. Then, the dissertation analyzes interviews with students of juvenile justice and university interns who participated in the pilot educational program and gives insight into secondary and post-secondary correctional education and analyzes artistic representations of their experience, giving a closer look at secondary and postsecondary educational experiences through the voices of the participants. Themes that emerged during the qualitative analysis include the 1) educational experience, 2) life experiences, 3) relationships, and 4) voice. The findings lead to a potential direction and recommendations on how incarcerated youth can be prepared for life after incarceration. Last, this dissertation attempts to analyze the students’ experience, allowing the reader to understand and improve the educational experience of the incarcerated student.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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