Yale Prison Education Initiative Fellow – Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI) at Dwight Hall
Mentor: Zelda Roland, Director, Yale Prison Education Initiative
The Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI) at Dwight Hall offers a Graduate Professional Experience Fellow the opportunity to work with a program that brings access to rigorous liberal arts classes to incarcerated students in Connecticut. To date, YPEI has offered incarcerated students credited Yale College courses in English, Art, Latin, Sociology, and Philosophy through a unique partnership with Yale Summer Session, in addition to a range of year-round not-for-credit programming and workshops offered by faculty from across the university, including recent seminars in Ethnicity Race & Migration and Physics.
In the 2021-2022 academic year, YPEI will be working to expand into a year-round credit-bearing program through a new partnership with University of New Haven through which we begin offering Associate’s degrees to students in prison. The graduate fellow will have the option of choosing from a variety of projects of interest, including but not limited to: helping with in-prison program (tbd remote/face-to-face) and class coordination; recruiting and coordinating guest visits to prison from faculty; facilitating materials/research requests and academic resources for incarcerated students in coordination with our on-campus partners; coordinating undergraduate/graduate student assistance; assisting with academic administration for the degree program; assisting with on-campus events; grant-writing and development; and working on program assessment.
This is a unique opportunity to learn about the growing field of higher education in prison and our own program at Yale. There is an excellent opportunity for mentorship with our director and assistant director. YPEI has served as a fellowship host site previously to graduate students who have gone on to careers in teaching or administration in other college-in-prison programs, criminal justice and social justice work, and work related to expanding higher education access. The graduate fellow will also be exposed to our larger network of college-in-prison programming and related organizations in education and criminal justice, building a vocabulary and understanding of this sector. Our program is a part of the Bard Prison Initiative’s Consortium for Liberal Arts in Prison, and we also frequently interface with colleagues through the Consortium as well as with local and regional programs, including through participation in a new regional working group about teaching STEM courses in prison. This is also an opportunity to learn about higher education administration as we negotiate our new degree, as well as to learn basic office skills and software.
The ideal candidate will have some teaching experience on campus, be passionate about expanding higher education access, and interested in working with (and on behalf) of an unconventional but dedicated and ambitious group of excellent students in a carceral setting. This opportunity is well-suited to those with an interest in growing national conversations around higher education access and criminal justice reform. No experience teaching in prisons or working on issues around criminal justice is necessary.
The fellow will select projects in coordination with the supervisor; if possible and if the fellow desires to work on a project based inside the prison, a driver’s license is highly recommended, as we work in a high/maximum security state prison in Suffield, CT, about a 50-minute drive from campus. The Fellow would also be required to undergo a background check and volunteer orientation at the prison, as well as a brief orientation with YPEI, prior to being cleared for regular entry.
- September 6, 2021- September 24, 2021: Weekly GPE Info Sessions
- September 26, 2021: Applications deadline (11:59pm ET). Please submit a resume and a cover letter customized to this fellowship
- November 19, 2021: Interview and award notification to selected fellows
- December 13, 2021 – January 14, 2022: New fellows onboarding
- January 18, 2022: Suggested fellowship start date
Note- Positions with limited applicants may have deadlines extended by 3 weeks to October 17, 2021.
- Eligibility: Fellows must be currently matriculated, Yale doctoral students in years 1-6* of their studies during the fellowship.
- Term: Fellows work at a Yale host organization under the guidance of the host mentor for 5-7 hours per week over the course of 13-15 weeks during the 2022 Spring Term
- Stipend: Fellows will receive $1,500 for Spring 2022 fellowships.
- Please note: The GPE Fellowship does not count towards the fulfillment of your teaching requirement. For more information on teaching requirements, please see the GSAS website.
* 7th-year students with COVID-related funding extensions from GSAS are eligible to apply.