Higher Education in Prison Program

Contact Prison Education & Apprenticeship Program Director Deb Conrad, office phone: 775-445-3302 and mobile: 775-990-5067

Contact Via Email

Western Nevada College (WNC) and its Higher Education in Prison Program (HEPP) are committed to providing equitable access to higher education, workforce education and continuing education for the under-served population of incarcerated people at Nevada Department of Corrections' facilities in our region to increase the probability the students will earn a living wage and contribute positively to their families and communities upon release; provide opportunities for enrichment, professional development, or skill development regardless of age sentence length or conviction. WNC’s HEPP mirrors the vision, values, and mission of the college. As of  Fall 2023, WNC serves approximately 100 incarcerated students.

WNC is currently participating in Jobs for the Future's Center for Justice and Economic Advancement PEP CTE Accelerator Network two-year project to help refine, expand and launch new CTE programs in the prison.  

Programs and Sites Served

WNC offers the following Degrees, Certificates of Achievement, and Skills Certificates:

All programs offered are equal in rigor and staffing to any other program the college offers. All programs can be completed while the students are still incarcerated. Students can also continue their education with us or the other NSHE institutions after their release.


WNC would not be able to offer these courses without the dedicated support of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) administration at all levels, including those working on the ground at each correctional center. Staff at  NNCC and SCC have gone above and beyond to ensure our instructors have access to classrooms and administrators have the ability to meet with students for advising, enrollment, and graduation ceremonies.

WNC and Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) are partnering to develop a seamless transition for students taking classes with WNC on the inside to working with TMCC reentry staff as students near their release date. TMCC helps formerly incarcerated students connect to organizations and services they need, to information about continuing their education, and to potential employers. Education on the inside and reintegration on the outside go hand-in-hand.



HEPP was reinstated at WSCC in the 2015-2016 academic year with a small cohort of incarcerated veterans who were supported by funds from a private donor and fundraisers organized by students inside. The program had been dormant since 2008 due to the Great Recession and the elimination of Pell grant eligibility for incarcerated people. By the spring of 2018, HEPP was reinstated at NNCC as well with a small cohort of students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Welding. In the spring of 2023 WNC brought the Manufacturing Technician Skills Certificate pathway to Stewart Conservation Camp. The first group of students to pursue the Automotive Mechanics Certificate of Achievement while incarcerated began in the fall of 2023.

In the News



ELM 110ELM 131 ELM 198

Cedar Building, Room 302a

2201 West College Parkway, Carson City, NV 89703