Student receiving their diploma at commencement

Prison Education Programs

The Prison Education Programs are designed to break down the barriers that prevent incarcerated individuals from accessing higher education. In partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), Regis University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Strategic Programs is proud to offer incarcerated students the chance to attend classes alongside their peers who are not incarcerated, providing both groups with a unique opportunity for growth and connection. We believe that all people, regardless of their past, have the capacity to learn and grow, and we are committed to supporting them on their journey toward positive change.

How It Works

Inside students from three rural correctional facilities across Colorado gather in a classroom within the prison, while outside students meet in an on-campus classroom with the professor, and the two groups learn together via synchronous video link. While in the yearlong program, inside students take six liberal arts courses in consecutive, accelerated, seven-week terms, earning up to 18 credits that can be applied to the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree program at Regis, or transferred to any post-secondary institution, after the students’ release from prison.

People who are incarcerated in a CDOC facility must apply through their facility for admission. Regis cannot consider applications sent directly to the university. Questions? Contact Erin Trumble, Director of Prison Education, at

Inside students at the program commencement ceremony
Support the Programs

Help us expand access to higher education and create a more just and humane world.

build a future toward positive goals.
gain tools to re-enter communities.
serve as contributors to the common good.
experience reduced recidivism.

build empathy.
broaden minds.
learn from diverse perspectives.
stand with those who are marginalized.

A Brighter Future

of general prison population is rearrested within 5 years*
recidivism rate for those with a bachelor's degree*
recidivism rate for those with a master's degree*

*Northwestern University, n.d.; Bureau of Justice Statistics, n.d.

In Their Own Words

“I found community with like-minded individuals and support from people who understood that I could be more than a prisoner ... At the risk of sounding cliché I will say: Regis saved me, and it made me who I am today.”

-Tanner Valdez
Paroled Former Inside Student, 2022

"I think I still have a huge responsibility to the community, to the people I have harmed specifically, to conduct myself in here in a way that contributes to the community in a positive way."

-Jason Bondurant
Life without Parole Inside Student, 2022

"I feel that education gives the adult offenders an opportunity to reflect on themselves and to gain accountability and the reward of achievement in the hard work and dedication."

-Chloe Castagna
State Teacher I, CDOC

“I can honestly say that it has been one of the most rewarding teaching experiences of my academic career. While it is certainly an opportunity for students to further their education, often creating accessibility to a wider array of possible future trajectories, the [Prison Education Program] is transformative to students and faculty alike. It is transformative because of the insights we gain about what it means to be human and the profound understanding that we collaboratively develop about the privileges of intellectual discourse, deep reflection, and personal freedoms, regardless of our lot in life. ”

-Roberta Mancuso, Ph.D.
Professor, Social Sciences and Chair
School for Professional Advancement

Roberta Mancuso

Help Us Fulfill Our Mission

By donating, you're helping expand access to education and build bridges to federal, state and foundation funding sources. Donations of any amount are humbly appreciated.