YACOLT — Posted on the walls in the Larch Corrections Center’s education building are photos of inmates, beaming in blue caps and gowns.
These are men who have earned their General Educational Development certificates, or GEDs. These are the men who came first.
In a nearby classroom, other men in beige and burgundy uniforms huddle over textbooks and worksheets. These are the men who hope to come next.
Clark College’s GED program at Larch Corrections Center is a cornerstone of the educational offerings at the 480-inmate prison. For many, it means more than passing the four-part test, earning the equivalent of a high school diploma. It means becoming a better partner, a better father, a better man. It means opening job opportunities, earning degrees — and never winding up back here again.
Clark College recently received international recognition for its GED tutoring program at Larch, which pairs inmates preparing to take their tests with trained peer tutors. The program is now certified by the College Reading and Learning Association, which recognizes tutor-training programs across the globe.
It may be the only prison-based program to have received the certification.
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