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Nyack -- A Founding Partner of the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Monday June 13, 2016

Nyack College was one of 15 public and private higher education institutions who were represented at a meeting with U.S. Education Secretary John King and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz at the White House for a Criminal Justice Reform Roundtable.

Nyack College was invited to be a founding partner in the launch of the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge. This initiative, established by the Obama administration, is a commitment to criminal justice system reform in the United States, which includes “removing unnecessary barriers to college access” for previously incarcerated individuals. To date, 25 institutions have taken the pledge including Columbia University, St. John’s University, New York University, North Park University, Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Washington, and others nationwide.

Nyack’s President Michael G. Scales and Provost David F. Turk attended the Reform Roundtable (pictured above l-r: Provost Turk, Sean Pica, and President Scales). Pica, a 2001 Nyack alumnus, is executive director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison and also serves on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. The Council addresses  issues regarding successful re-entry following release from incarceration, including housing, employment, healthcare, education, behavior change, and Veterans services. Click here to read more about Pica's work.

Provost David F. Turk, who is also Vice President for Academic Affairs, commented “Nyack College supports the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge. Nyack’s core values focus on diversity, transformation, and social relevance. As such, we believe that higher education is a solution to racial, economic and educational disparity and all people should be afforded educational access.” He adds, “Education is one of the most effective deterrents to recidivism; it is helps to provide access to employment opportunities and foster economic stability, break the cycle of crime and poverty, and positively impact children and families by creating much-needed role models. We have witnessed the transformative power of education in the lives of formerly incarcerated alumni who have gone on to help positively affect the fabric of this country. As such, we are proud to participate in this Pledge to provide equal opportunities for higher education and thereby fulfill a mandate of the gospel of Jesus.”

Read more about Nyack's involvement here

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