By D. Manley
Personal Learning (PL) is another new program the ICIO School has unveiled to benefit interested inmates. ICIO learners can now receive individualized mapping for study tracks as well as participate in monthly accountability meetings (complete with complimentary coffee!) documenting progress. The program is uniquely designed for ICIO inmates, who are often curious about developing vocational skills or personal life enrichments.
The program was launched a couple months ago, but it initially encountered some turbulence with procedures and departmental requirements. Deputy Warden Shriver, however, has clarified his desire to make the program strictly voluntary and designed to be a service for learners who want a bit of positive scaffolding. Now, participants are invited to join a meeting with other learners and school staff, who will facilitate so PL students can congregate together to discuss their projects and progress.
The environment will be collaborative and rich with encouragement and resourceful direction, but inmates should not feel threatened with any negative consequence if they choose not to attend.
There is a tide of enthusiasm building in ICIO inmates who participate in School programs. When a new inmate arrives at ICIO and goes through Orientation, he learns he can come to the School and begin with two, certificated classes (Digital Literacy and IC3), which enable him to navigate computers and the digital, outside world better.
Once these “gateway” classes are completed, he can select from an array of personal study options, including: music production, graphic animation studies, Microsoft Office certification (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, or Outlook), an Administrative Services certification (from ISU), instruction in computer coding and web design, CDL studies, CAD technology, Accounting & Financial Literacy, journalism, foreign language studies, and more.
There are also open opportunities for volunteering in the School…to help others make gains.
Inmates find a welcoming atmosphere and are assisted by staff or helpful school clerks in their navigation through the intranet and study options.
The school library is open to McKelway inmates for browsing at times specific to the different tiers, and inmates with questions can send the school a Concern Form. Get your Personal Learning on!