Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Gilbert Louis


Mass incarceration and repeated offenses are major issues in New York State. The Institute for Higher Education Policy (2011) reported that nearly 7 in 10 formerly incarcerated individuals committed new crimes, and half ended up back in prison within three years. One reason for this high rate of recidivism was the low level of education among this group and the lack of opportunities for them to enhance their level of education (Pew Center on the States, 2011). The Pew research showed evidence that post-secondary higher education attainment was a key factor in increasing chances of employability and helping formerly incarcerated individuals adapt constructive lifestyle changes that helped them become contributing members of families, communities, and the society at-large. The purpose of this qualitative study which implemented an advocacy/ participatory worldview, was to highlight the stories of 10 formerly incarcerated male students from New York State in order to identify the implications that post-secondary higher education had on life experiences related to their employability upon release, and constructive lifestyle changes that helped keep them out of prison. Using an online survey tool, helped explore how post-secondary higher education (PSHE) positively impacted their lives.

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