What are the origins of the Inside Out Learning Network?

What are the origins of the Inside Out Learning Network?

In 2012, distance education in Alaska stopped offering paper-based correspondence courses in favor of dynamic and interactive online

courses. While this move improved the learning experiences of distance education students across our state, it ended access to higher education for incarcerated students statewide.

In 2015, two collaborators from the University began volunteering at the local correctional center by offering a 

weekly writing workshop on Monday afternoons. Once our relationship was formed, an intergenerational network of women writers started to grow, and we all began to explore options for creating more access, growing more connections, and always finding a way to keep writing on Mondays at 2:30.

In late 2017, Jody Hassel from Blossom House Yoga, with invitations and support from the Department of Corrections staff, began to offer trauma-centered yoga inside both FCC and the Youth Facility, across the street.

In January of 2018, eLearning and UAF English partnered together to offer a hybrid 111X. We faced some challenges. Could we establish a limited internet connection? Develop a hybrid model for course delivery?

In April, we connected to Sol Neely and the Flying University. We decided to submit an application for Faculty Initiative Funds to increase access to Higher Education for people in Alaska’s prisons, halfway houses, and jails.

In May, our first student finished Area 111X and submitted his portfolio showcasing what he learned and offering an example for those who will follow.

In June, we heard that our application for FIF funds was selected. We began to invite people to become a part of growing access, and we thank you for reading this.

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