• This page, Our Academic and Personal Growth Process, is   offered by
  • School of Reentry

Our Academic and Personal Growth Process

Individuals accepted into the school spend their last 12-18 months of incarceration in a small cohort within SOR’s rigorous academic program. During this time, participants commit to rediscovering themselves as learners and successful, contributing members of society.

Table of Contents

Personalized Approach to Learning

Students and professional staff work together to develop a personalized academic plan. Many pursue a High School Equivalency, some begin a vocational track, while others enroll in refresher courses to reactivate the skills needed for post-secondary work. Regardless of developmental stage, students attend six hours of academic classes where instruction deploys interdisciplinary strategies to reach every student and integrate the skills needed to succeed in the “real world.” In order to mirror the learning environment of the classroom, the students live in an attached, but separate housing unit with a day room that has no television, but is instead equipped with one-to-one computers and a SMART board for completion of homework and further learning and instructional opportunities.  Each computer has access to outside learning resources such as Khan Academy, PBS, CNN, and the History Channel, giving students advanced opportunities for skill development.

Employment Skills within the Curriculum

SOR’s curriculum focuses on developing marketable skills for employment – especially in technology. Beginning with Microsoft “Tech Support” training, participants earn Microsoft Office Specialist certification with further opportunities in computer programming (Java, C++, Python and HTML5). Through the Massachusetts Prison Education Consortium and college partnerships, students have the opportunity to enroll in certificate, associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs.

"It's invigorating, it's refreshing, we're doing something different [at the School of Reentry]." - John Christian, Addiction Counselor, Instructor, and Former Federal Inmate

Human Development within a Dedicated Space

The SOR physical environment provides participants with space conducive to deep reflection and internal change. Personal development remains equally important to academic work. From their first day in the program, professional staff lead students through mindfulness training as a therapeutic compliment to education, as well as Moral Reconation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Other mandatory education for students focuses on substance abuse counseling, anger management, criminal thinking and life skills.  SOR staff work closely with each participant as they address and take responsibility for their past and begin a transformation into an individual with new skillsets who are better able to cope with life's situations with reason. Together, these initiatives develop a dynamic growth mindset in participants where they see themselves on a path of lifelong success.

"I'm trying to better myself for [my wife and two kids] so they can see - even though I did wrong in life - everybody can have a second chance." - School of Reentry Participant

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