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Ellsworth and Norton correctional facilities hold learning celebration

by Carol Pitts last modified Jun 03, 2022 09:45 AM
Ellsworth Correctional Facility and Norton Correctional Facility residents recently received recognition for completion of education milestones.

The Kansas Department of Corrections partners with colleges and education service centers to provide education programs to residents. Kansas Secretary of Education Jeff Zmuda highlights the importance of education, noting it takes personal courage, commitment and hard work for incarcerated students to pursue educational goals.

"Success upon reentry into the community depends on many things, including obtaining a job that pays a livable wage. KDOC’s strategic plan, Pathway for Success, emphasizes creating opportunities for our residents to be successful," Zmuda said.

KDOC creates these opportunities through the many programs and services provided in each of the agency's facilities.

"The really exciting thing is we continue to expand, particularly in the area of education," Zmuda said. 

Through Barton County Community College, Ellsworth Correctional Facility residents have access to several educational programs, including career-technical education programs and college degree classes.

Most recently,

  • 44 residents earned their welding certification; 
  • 13 completed the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) craft skills program, earning both the NCCER certificate and OSHA 10 safety certification; 
  • 14 completed the Microsoft Office Specialist certification; 
  • 3 residents earned associate of arts degrees in general studies; 
  • 1 resident earned an associate of arts degree in liberal arts; and 
  • 1 resident completed a certification in carpentry. 

Also receiving recognition:

  • 30 residents who completed their high school diploma;
  • 5 residents were recognized for completing 18-hours of credit in a post high school program, and 
  • 12 were recognized for completing 32-hours of credit in a post high school program.

"Completion of high school is the gateway to qualifying for college and career programs," Zmuda said. "It is also a requirement for most jobs. This is a huge first step to a better future, and I want to congratulate each individual who accomplished this milestone."

The celebration at Ellsworth was livestreamed and can be accessed here.

The learning celebration continued at Norton Correctional Facility, where education programs are offered through a partnership with Colby Community College.

Most recently, 

  • 8 residents completed certification in telecommunications; and 
  • 9 residents completed their welding certification.
  • 10 residents earned their GED.

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