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First Prison Program Students to Receive Associate of Arts Degree from SLU

ST LOUIS, MO – Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Missouri Department of Corrections recently announced the graduation of the first students in the innovative Associate of Arts degree program offered by the university's Prison Program.

The SLU Prison Program is the only onsite degree granting program in the United States that serves both the incarcerated as well as those who work in the facility. The program is operated out of the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre, MO, in coordination with the Missouri Department of Corrections.

The program began in 2008 when a small group of SLU faculty — inspired by SLU's Jesuit mission — began holding theological studies classes with 15 incarcerated men at the ERDCC. The effort expanded to include prison staff with the creation of the Associate of Arts degree program in 2010. Since then, more than 20 professors have taught courses there ranging from philosophy to mathematics.

Department of Corrections staff students will participate in the mid-year commencement ceremony at the Chaifetz Arena on Friday, December 11, 2015.

On Monday, November 23, 2015, SLU will host a special graduation ceremony at the ERDCC for incarcerated students. SLU President Fred Pestello will deliver the commencement address.

About the Saint Louis University Prison Program
The SLU Prison Program is a Jesuit-inspired initiative that provides education to prison staff and people incarcerated in Missouri, promotes service and conducts research on education and incarceration.