Ashland University offers the longest, continuously operating, post-secondary correctional education program in the United States. Established in 1964 at the Ohio State Reformatory, the AU offerings now serve over 3,000 incarcerated students each semester with college curriculum. The programs are offered to both male and female adult offenders in ten states and the District of Columbia.
A recent emphasis has been placed on the development and delivery of “online” courses for the correctional programs which do not require live internet access – something prohibited in the correctional environment - and Ashland University is the pioneering leader in tablet-based distance education delivery of post-secondary education in corrections. In addition to offering face-to-face courses to offenders at several instittutions across Ohio, AU has more post-secondary students using tablets for distance education than any other institution in the United States. These students take courses that are designed and taught under the same robust, accredited academic standards required for on-campus courses. Likewise, incarcerated students submit work and are evaluated with the same levels of academic rigor experienced on campus.
AU staff also serve as Editor of the Journal of Correctional Education, the only peer-reviewed academic journal in the field. Further, AU staff currently serve as board members and president of the Correctional Education Association, Steering Committee member of the RAND Corporation national study on correctional education funded by the US Department of Justice Second Chance grant and two other Second Chance grants currently under operation by AU.