Clark Educates Behind Bars

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Douglas Helmer teaches Small Business Basics  at Larch Corrections Center. Clark professors  teach inmates skills that will help them find a  job after their release.  (Photos Courtesy of Douglas Helmer)

Douglas Helmer teaches Small Business Basics at Larch Corrections Center. Clark professors teach inmates skills that will help them find a job after their release. Photo by Douglas Helmer

by Liepa Bračiulytė, The Independent

Most Clark students visit campus at least once a week for their classes. However, about 150 graduates last year never came to campus—not because they took online classes, but because they were inmates at Larch Corrections Center in Yacolt, Wash.

Washington State Department of Corrections pays Clark to educate inmates at the Larch Corrections Center. According to the Washington State DOC website, Larch Corrections Center is a minimum-security prison, which houses around 480 offenders that will be released within four years.

All offenders at the correction facilities without a high school diploma are required to complete their GED, which is taught by a Clark instructor, said Genevieve Howard, dean of Workforce, Career & Technical Education. Inmates may later choose to continue their education by completing the Automotive Basics or Small Business Basics program.

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