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Offenders Begin Work Toward Higher Education Goals

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
Contact Email:
September 28, 2018

Offenders Begin Work Toward Higher Education Goals

GDC Partners with Ashland University

FORSYTH, Ga. – In June 2018, The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) entered a partnership with Ashland University, to offer an associate’s degree in General Studies to qualified offenders through the Second Chance Pell Grant Program. There are currently 150 students enrolled in the associate’s program, which was implemented at Whitworth Women’s Facility, Dooly State Prison and Smith State Prison on September 17, 2018. 

“The key to successful re-entry is to provide our offenders with the knowledge, support and partnerships that will allow them to flourish upon release,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “Our partnership with Ashland University will give offenders an opportunity to transform their lives in order to become successful returning citizens.”

The Ashland program allows students to utilize the Lantern Application through their Georgia Offender Alternative Learning (GOAL) Device to access course content. The first semester courses will focus on evidence-based re-entry skills, where students work at their own pace and are required to meet with a site director weekly to monitor progress. Upon completion of one semester, students who are released prior to graduating, will be afforded the opportunity to continue their education, and are permitted to use the Pell Grant to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The GDC offers educational opportunities to offenders in General Equivalency Diploma (GED), High School Diploma, On-the Job (OTJ) Training Certificates and Vocational Programming. 

For more information about Ashland University, please visit


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit


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