90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

UCF’s Florida Prison Education Project is Expanding, Students Will be Able to Get a Degree Online

Play Audio

Students will graduate with bachelor's degrees in technical communication, criminal justice or hospitality. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A UCF program that offers face-to-face continuing education classes to incarcerated students in Orlando is expanding to include online classes. Students will be eligible to receive college credits for the classes.  

Florida Prison Education Project Director Keri Watson says students will need to go through an admissions process to take the online classes.

Watson says once a student is accepted they’ll use a secure online system to work toward a bachelor’s degree in technical communication, criminal justice or hospitality. 

“We want to also look at the needs-the employment needs of Central Florida-we have a large tourism obviously. We feel like those are all areas that could be helpful for our incarcerated students to help with re-entry when they’re released.”

Watson says virtual classes will allow faculty to reach incarcerated students at five additional prisons in Central Florida-including the first female incarcerated students at Lowell Correctional Institution.

The program currently offers incarcerated men continuing education classes at the Central Florida Reception Center in Orlando. 

“Florida has the third largest prison system-number of people incarcerated in the country-and if we don’t expand access to higher education we’re not doing anything to help people when they’re released. It’s proven over and over again that education reduces recidivism.”

Watson says the expansion is possible through a $60,000 dollar grant from the Laughing Gull Foundation

Since 2017, the program has offered 14 courses to 180 male students at the Central Florida Reception Center.

If you’d like to listen to this story, please click on the clip above.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »