Southeast Community College (SCC) ( is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to provide access to higher education to individuals incarcerated in five southeast Nebraska facilities/locations. Classes started on Monday, January 22, and will be taught at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, Reception and Treatment Center, Community Corrections Center, Nebraska Correctional Center for Women and at the Center for People for CCCL students.

In July 2023, the Department of Education expanded Federal Pell grants to incarcerated individuals, paving the way for SCC to create a Prison Education Program. SCC worked with the NDCS to identify two programs which could be taught on-site before applying to the Higher Learning Commission and the Department of Education for approval to provide Pell funds to incarcerated students. The Associate of Arts in Academic Transfer and the Associate of Applied Science in Business were selected because of the transferability of the courses once SCC is able to expand PEP in offerings and locations.

Five of the nine correctional facilities in Nebraska are located in SCC’s 15-county service area. Providing access to justice-involved individuals aligns with the College’s Strategic Goal 1.6, which is to “improve access to programs and services among diverse and underserved student populations through proactive community collaboration, recruitment and support services.”

SCC plays a vital role for our communities in southeast Nebraska by bridging the higher education affordability gap and filling a need for a qualified workforce in Nebraska. Learn more at