With support from the ECMC Foundation and the Laughing Gull Foundation, THEI is spearheading the launch of the Tennessee Prison College Coalition (TPCC). TPCC  is  a space for higher education partners, corrections partners, re-entry partners and community partners to share best practices, identify programming challenges, create standard operating policies and procedures, and discuss an agenda of next steps for implementation of prison higher education across the state.

In its first year of work (Fall 2019-Fall 2020), TPCC embarked on a planning year with the objective of designing and implementing a systems approach to higher education in prison in Tennessee. During this planning year, TPCC, led by THEI, hosted a listening tour of initial interest meetings with partners, surveyed participants of higher education in prison program in Tennessee, spoke with alumni of these programs, and conducted a meta-analysis of emerging and promising practices among prison higher education systems, coalitions, and consortia including current statewide prison higher-education systems in other parts of the country to learn how these systems utilize partnerships to achieve outcomes.

The planning year will culminate in a report to be released in late-2020 providing insight and offering suggestions and recommendations on priority areas identified by TPCC partners. The report will include impact areas and strategic priority areas identified by TPCC participants, along with input from currently incarcerated students and formerly incarcerated students via focus groups and surveys.