Soft Skills in Corrections – Inmates Teaching Inmates at Folsom State Prison The inmate facilitators of the “Pace Life Skills” courses at Folsom State Prison (Represa, CA), have created a powerful program to promote ongoing education, self-evaluation, and positive thinking among their peers. The inmate-led Life Skills program, a voluntary activity that occurs in the prison yard, boasts a waiting list of over 200 men.

This unique program has clear positive effects on its members. In an effort to replicate their success at other institutions, the facilitators of the program have detailed a manual for teaching soft, “life skills” in a prison setting, from inmate to inmate. They utilize Pace’s Life Skills 25 curriculum, but the power to change lives comes from the facilitators and their teaching process and methods, which reach beyond the program’s weekly class and into its members’ everyday lives.

“Words are inadequate to express our appreciation of how profoundly Pace Life Skills has transformed our lives. We know that saying “Thank You” is not enough, therefore we want to show you gratitude by living what we have learned and dedicating our time to passing this blessing on to others.” ~Folsom State Prison Pace Life Skills Facilitators, Spring 2016

Those who teach know that to teach and develop ‘intangible’ soft skills is a difficult task. This task only becomes more nebulous and more difficult in the social atmosphere of long-term incarceration. Find insights about teaching soft skills to inmates, from the inmate’s perspective:

Download the full text of the newly-released “Facilitator’s Manual.” (Oct. 25, 2017) Future updates, addenda, or new editions of the Folsom Pace Life Skills Facilitator Manual will be posted on this page.

Learn more about the Life Skills 25 curriculum  

If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful program, or would like to connect with this program’s sponsor, please contact Clint Massey directly at ctmassey@pacelearning.com or (205) 535-9759.

Soft Skills in Corrections – Inmates Teaching Inmates at Folsom State Prison The inmate facilitators of the “Pace Life Skills” courses at Folsom State Prison (Represa, CA), have created a powerful program to promote ongoing education, self-evaluation, and positive thinking among their peers. The inmate-led Life Skills program, a voluntary activity that occurs in the prison yard, boasts a waiting list of over 200 men.

This unique program has clear positive effects on its members. In an effort to replicate their success at other institutions, the facilitators of the program have detailed a manual for teaching soft, “life skills” in a prison setting, from inmate to inmate. They utilize Pace’s Life Skills 25 curriculum, but the power to change lives comes from the facilitators and their teaching process and methods, which reach beyond the program’s weekly class and into its members’ everyday lives.

“Words are inadequate to express our appreciation of how profoundly Pace Life Skills has transformed our lives. We know that saying “Thank You” is not enough, therefore we want to show you gratitude by living what we have learned and dedicating our time to passing this blessing on to others.” ~Folsom State Prison Pace Life Skills Facilitators, Spring 2016

Those who teach know that to teach and develop ‘intangible’ soft skills is a difficult task. This task only becomes more nebulous and more difficult in the social atmosphere of long-term incarceration. Find insights about teaching soft skills to inmates, from the inmate’s perspective:

Download the full text of the newly-released “Facilitator’s Manual.” (Oct. 25, 2017) Future updates, addenda, or new editions of the Folsom Pace Life Skills Facilitator Manual will be posted on this page.

Learn more about Life Skills 25

If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful program, or would like to connect with this program’s sponsor, please contact Clint Massey directly at ctmassey@pacelearning.com or (205) 535-9759.

Soft Skills for the future A recent study (2017) shows a rapidly-growing need for soft skills in jobs of the future. According to Deloitte Access Economics, “soft skills intensive jobs are growing 2.5x faster than other jobs.” Click here to learn more about this research from DAE.

Why Teach Soft Skills? Recent research and publications from government and industry indicate a growing soft skills gap in entry-level worker populations. Click here to learn more about what research suggests and what employers are asking for from basic education services.

Letters for Literacy ProLiteracy has recently announced a nationwide campaign, Letters for Literacy, aimed at saying “no” to the proposed cuts to education funding that will affect adult education programs and their learners. ProLiteracy offers a step-by-step guide to get involved in the Letters for Literacy campaign, as well as an abundance of research on adult education effectiveness and return on investment, statistics, and other useful information.

The Challenge of Individualized Instruction in Corrections, McKee & Clements The roots of Pace Learning Systems are embedded in a unique research project in education and rehabilitation that dates back to the 1960s and 1970s.  Dr. John McKee conducted the project at Draper Correctional Center in Alabama. Based on his significant background in rehabilitation and psychology, Dr. McKee felt that older adolescents and adults who lacked basic skills required a different approach from what they had experienced in their previous education. Pace Learning Systems’ programs are designed specifically for older youth and adult learners in basic education programs, taking into consideration the unique needs of these students. “Whenever you have students who have failed, you do not give them more of the same, as traditional education frequently does. You must instead vary your instructional methods so that they will succeed. In short, you individualize instruction. (J. McKee) Read the research document

Correctional Education History, A to Z, Kim Rigg John M. McKee, Ph.D. received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Tennessee. In 1961, he began what was to be a long and illustrious career at the Draper Correctional Center in Elmore, Alabama, conducting the “Draper Project” through a special  Federal Manpower Training Agency that would influence the integration of Alabama prisons.  Dr. McKee continued his work through the Rehabilitation Research Foundation, with support from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare, and these efforts provided the basis of much of his research in correctional education, on individualized learning systems, and on predictors of school drop-outs and prison recidivism. Read more

Tutoring Using the PACE Learning Systems to Remediate Students who Fail High School Basic Skills Exams, Lull, Pate, Gibson, & Freeman Many states mandate that students pass a standardized test with a minimum score for either promotion or  graduation. This study looked at students who were not successful in passing the standardized test on the initial attempt and the effect of remediation on their subsequent attempts. Variables used in this study included race and gender. Although the study was comprised of a limited sample, the results indicated a positive link between the remediation treatment and success on subsequent attempts to pass the standardized test.  Read the research document

Training and Supporting Ex-Offenders as Entrepreneurs, Oklahoma Department of Corrections The Oklahoma Entrepreneurial Training project (EEOTS) was initiated on the belief that employment and related reentry barriers for ex-offenders may be overcome, in part, through an intensive curriculum focusing on life skills and problem solving, workforce-employability skills, small business training, and community support. These components formed the backbone of a four-year project which saw over 400 offenders complete a 100+ hour integrated curriculum. An additional 125 offenders completed at least 50 hours of this curriculum. The project featured never-before-combined elements based on successful curricula developed by Design for Progress and Pace Learning Systems. The program also featured community contacts with supporting agencies and ongoing staff contacts with released offenders. Read the research document

Unlocking the Ability to Learn, Kay Gore One size does not fit all, at least when it comes to unlocking the ability to learn for underprepared adolescents and adults. Pace Learning knows this. For over twenty-five years Pace Learning has not wavered in its dedication to developing and implementing the most effective mathematics, reading, language arts, writing, science, and employability skills programs for the adolescent or adult who has not experienced academic success in traditional educational environments. Read the research document

The Effectiveness of Remedial Education—Using Pace Learning Systems for Students who Previously Failed the Alabama High School Exit Exam A synopsis of a doctoral dissertation, Timothy Lull, College of Education, The University of Alabama. This study assessed the performance on the Alabama High School Exit Exam of students who previously failed one or more exam sections (Reading, Math, Language). Of 280 eligible students, 139 volunteered to participate in a remedial program using Pace Learning Systems. Participation in this program was for one period a day for which students received elective course credit. The Pace Learning program includes a series of instructional modules designed to teach basic academic competencies. The remaining students (141) continued to attend regular classes, and both groups continued to take regular core courses prescribed for the academic diploma. On average, the students who volunteered for the remedial program had previously scored 3% higher on the failed exam sections than had the comparison group (57% vs. 54%).  Read the research document

Training lays groundwork for the success of Anel Corp., Gillette Grenada — Anel Corporation located in Carroll County was a struggling metal fabricator before being purchased by Charles Holder, owner of Hol-Mac in Bay Springs. A strong emphasis on workforce training has allowed Anel Corporation to thrive, thereby preserving jobs and the local economic impact of the manufacturing operation located in a rural area.  Read the press article

Principles of Programmed Learning, Evans Pace Learning Systems incorporates a method for instructional design adapted from behavior science principles referred to as programmed instruction.  This instructional design framework involves 5 core principles which support the model of individualized instruction and the motto that “Nothing Teaches Like Success®.”  Learn the principles of programmed learning through a “programmed” self-instructional lesson.  Access the lesson