Correctional Education - Second Chance Pell Grant

Serving Incarcerated Individuals - Second Chance Pell Grant

To meet the needs of all students, MATC was the first Wisconsin college to issue “Second Chance Pell Pilot Funding.” The program allows eligible incarcerated students, within five years of release, to receive Pell Grants to fund education that will prepare them for in-demand careers. Successful graduates become eligible for skilled jobs and a family-supporting wage.

Through Second Chance Pell and previous MATC-Wisconsin Department of Corrections partnerships, more than 100 formerly incarcerated individuals have earned MATC Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training certificates and 18 are in the process of earning a welding credential; 292 have participated in a newer two-year associate degree program through technology-based, distance learning with 11 Wisconsin DOC adult institutions. The first six students graduated from this distance learning program – all with academic honors – in Spring 2020. The college also works with the Milwaukee County House of Corrections in Franklin directly and through a contract with the nonprofit agency UMOS. MATC provides GED, CNC, office technician and OSHA safety training to inmates and recently released individuals. More than two dozen students have completed these programs.

Some students have participated in multiple programs, and many returned to MATC to continue their education after their release. MATC’s experience shows success.

  • The average course completion rate for courses within the associate degree distance-learning program stands above 80% 
  • More than 90% of the inmates who finished CNC training between April 2015 and December 2017 and were released found employment.
  • The first students to participate in the welding certificate opportunity, in Fall 2018, earned an average GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) and 86% of the students who continued on to earn a technical diploma were already working before their release
  • All students in the first group of CNC trainees at the Milwaukee County House of Corrections are working in the field.