Education Portal Offers Fresh Start for Incarcerated Youth in Oregon

Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) offers incarcerated youth the opportunity to receive high school and college education while they serve time through Education Portal, a Mountain View, California based company.
Oregon is the first state in the nation to offer such services to teens involved with the juvenile justice system.
"When at-risk youth arrive at OYA, they are often years behind in high school, have learning disabilities, and have suffered from abuse and neglect,” states OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We are deeply grateful to Education Portal for this partnership that offers kids a chance to make up for lost time and educational opportunities." Education Portal offers free high school and college courses to everyone. Services include:

  • Over 4,000 lessons ranging from college business, history and science courses as well as high school AP biology, math and physics
  • 53 trained and experienced instructors
  • 33 College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams
  • Transferrable credits to almost 3,000 colleges and universities
  • Career help videos on resumes, interviewing and networking

Sarah Inman, Director of PR and Outreach explains that for incarcerated teens, “The three main barriers are a lack of basic college readiness skills, inability to afford college, and they don’t have access to college courses while incarcerated.”

Close to 300 of the more than 800 juvenile offenders in OYA’s facilities are eligible for Education Portal courses and once they leave are allowed to continue learning through the company’s internet-based courses.
Ben Wilson, Education Portal president, commends OYA’s partnership with his company, stating "We are proud to partner with OYA's efforts to bring college education to incarcerated students and reduce recidivism."
The Oregon Youth Authority is the state's juvenile justice agency, reducing victimization by helping at-risk young people lead productive, crime-free lives.
To learn more about Education Portal’s program for incarcerated youth watch the YouTube video below. 

Avery Klein is a digital and social media intern at Prichard Communications. She is from Springfield, Missouri where she attends Missouri State University and is studying public relations, advertising, and promotions and ethical leadership. She loves traveling, discovering new restaurants, social media, and her two darling dogs.

Updated: February 08 2018