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Press Release

Press Release

Virginia Prisoners To Be Eligible For College Credit Classes: VADOC Is Nation’s Only Correctional Entity To Hold ACE CREDIT Recommendations

March 17, 2016

RICHMOND — Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that offenders in Virginia’s prisons will now be eligible for college credit for five career and technical education courses recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) that are offered behind bars, making Virginia the only state in the nation holding ACE CREDIT recommendation.

ACE CREDIT recommendations enable learners to submit an ACE transcript for completed courses to higher education institutions for evaluation as potential transfer credit in a degree program, much as they would from a traditional institution of higher learning. Decisions about acceptance of credit are made by individual colleges and universities.

“Virginia is a national leader in corrections,” said Gov. McAuliffe. “Virginia has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the nation, and this comes from its emphasis on reentry, including education.”

“This is a significant step forward as Virginia’s reentry efforts progress, one that promises a brighter, safer Commonwealth for all of us,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Offenders who take these classes are working hard while they’re behind bars to ensure their success when they get out.”

“Our teachers and principals in the prison system have worked very hard to make this happen,” said Harold Clarke, VADOC Director. “Many of Virginia’s offenders are learning to make better choices through education.”

VADOC students may receive ACE CREDIT for the following courses: Introduction to Business, Business and Software Applications, Commercial Arts & Design, Computer-Aided Drafting, and Digital Print Production. 

For more than 30 years, colleges and universities have trusted ACE CREDIT to provide reliable course equivalency information to facilitate their decisions to award academic credit. For more information, visit the ACE CREDIT website at

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and more than 200 related associations nationwide.

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