VANCOUVER, Wash. – Integrated Strategic Communication students at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University Vancouver are partnering with Clark College at Larch Corrections Center to launch a campaign aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding formerly incarcerated populations.
“We are excited about this partnership with WSU Vancouver and the possible opportunities that will come for justice-impacted individuals,” said Hanan Al-Zubaidy, director of education at Clark College at Larch Corrections Center.
Larch Corrections Center is home to one of the only programs of its kind that provides incarcerated populations with the opportunity to earn their GED or earn credits through Clark College. “Raising awareness among our local community regarding the social and economic advantages created by educating the incarcerated is one goal of this campaign driven by WSU Vancouver students,” Al-Zubaidy said.
The Journal of Experimental Criminology last year found that incarcerated people who participated in correctional education programs were 28% less likely to commit new crimes compared to those who did not. This campaign is a chance to reconnect the formerly incarcerated with those in their communities and to re-enter the workforce, while changing the stigmatized narrative about formerly incarcerated populations.
“WSU Vancouver’s strategic plan includes five key principles that really drive our mission as a university: to advance knowledge through research, extend knowledge through innovation, apply knowledge through local engagement, address the need for social justice in our society and to collaborate with partners that strengthen the community,” said WSU Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer. “The partnership between our Integrated Strategic Communication students and Larch Corrections Center exemplifies those principles. I’m proud of our student’s work, and I look forward to seeing the community impact of their efforts.”
WSU Vancouver has established a long-standing partnership with Clark College and is home to one of Clark College’s campuses. Clark College is the current academic facility for Larch Corrections Center, providing incarcerated residents with materials and basic educational programs like GED, additional high school courses and supervisory management courses.
About WSU Vancouver
As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people, communities and economy of Southwest Washington. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations.
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication provides students with inspiration, experience and real-world education. It supports WSU’s Drive to 25 and is dedicated to expanding faculty to provide the highest-quality experiences for its students and reinforcing its commitment to producing nationally recognized scholarly research.
About Clark College
Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving approximately 8,000 students per quarter, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers bachelor’s degree programs, career technical education training and transfer degree programs. Clark College offers Running Start dual-credit programs to high school students as well as non-credit customized training for businesses and continuing education for the community.
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Brenda Alling – Office of Marketing and Communication at WSU Vancouver, 360-546-9601
Hanan Al-Zubaidy - Director of Education at Clark College