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Higher Education Pathway in the Prison

Working closely with Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), UPEP aims to provide a four-year degree pathway inside Draper and Timpanogos prisons, similar to its mission in non-incarcerated settings. Establishing an accredited degree-granting pathway inside Utah State prisons is a strategic goal of our Project. Our aim is to work with prison partners to establish the following pathway for students:

flow chart

On-Site Programming:


UPEP runs yearlong and courses are offered on a two-semester schedule: Fall and Spring. Each semester is 16 weeks and classes meet one day a week for 2.5 hours from 5:10-7:45pm. At minimum, one course per semester is offered. Summer semester is an option for coursework and non-credit activities, such as book clubs, film series, and related academic engagements to enhance for-credit courses.

*At this time, UPEP is a non-credit program. We are actively fundraising to cover costs associated with enrollment. Incarcerated students are not asked to financially pay for participation in UPEP. All costs associated with attendance are covered by the Project.

Teaching & Learning Lab

Each week, students attend a 2.5 hour session geared toward tutoring, writing support, and general academic enrichment. We hope to expand the Teaching & Learning Lab to two times per week as the program grows. It is imperative that students have adequate time to process and intellectually engage with one another and UPEP tutors outside of the classroom, as well as secure time for writing and reflection.

UPEP Book Club

UPEP sponsors a book club in the Lone Peak facility. The goal of this reading group is to facilitate critical thought and discussion while building community. Each 8-week long session is organized around a theme, such as "Classic Models, Contemporary Novels," "Rereading the Past," and "Political Science Fiction."  All books are provided to participants free of charge.

UPEP Creative Writing Workshop

UPEP offers a 6-week creative writing workshop, designed to help students create their own creative writing projects, or continue working on something they've already begun. These workshops include learning techniques from great authors, allowing in-class time to work on writing projects, and setting writing goals for the upcoming week. Genres range from novels and short stories, to poems, essays, autobiographies, family histories, and everything in between. The objectives are to learn specific techniques in the student's chosen genre for creative writing success, and to produce a final project that energizes the students' creative selves and makes them proud.

Summiting new heights lecture series

The UPEP Lectures Series at the prison is an opportunity for all UPEP staff and volunteers, UDC Staff, and UPEP and SLCC students to intellectually engage and learn from a researcher at the University of Utah. UPEP will offer additional engagement activities in the future.

UPEP Course Offerings:

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Semester Timpanogos Wasatch
Fall 2017 ECS 3180: Introduction to Gender, Education and Culture


Silvia Solis

ELP 3950: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives on Education


Erin L. Castro

Spring 2018 ENGL 3520: Creative Writing


Susana Levinson

BUS 2600: Survey Accounting


JB Henriksen

Summer 2018 PATH 1010: Introduction to Microbiology


Dustin Williams

ENGL 2500: Creative Writing


Adam Weinstein

Fall 2018 BIOL 2325: Human Anatomy & Physiology


Ali Wolpern

ANTH 1010: Anthropology


Blanca Yagüe

Spring 2019 ECS 4111: Schools & Society


Erin L. Castro & Cindy Fierros


ENGL 3780: Global/Transnational Literature


Kenny Kruse

Fall 2019 BIO 3960: Introduction to Neuroscience


Marta Iversen

GNDR 1100: Gender and Social Change


Cindy Fierros

Spring 2020 HONOR 3100: Law and Literature


Kate Conyers, J.D.; Freyja Johnson, J.D.; Judge Clemens Landau, J.D.

GNDR 4900: Masculinities


Katherine Pagano

Support a Student

We are actively fundraising to cover costs associated with enrollment. Students are not asked to financially pay for participation in UPEP. Support a UPEP student by donating today. Your donations help fund books, supplies, and faculty instruction costs.

In preparation for the upcoming semester, we're stocking up on supplies for students, including legal pads, pens, notebooks, etc. Please consider supporting our on-site programming by purchasing an item from our Amazon Wishlist.  

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Last Updated: 11/6/23