Date of Conferral





Human Services


Nathan R. Moran


The research problem addressed in this study is postsecondary education in prisons, ex-offenders, and the issues surrounding their reintegration into society. The primary focus is on ex-offenders who had received postsecondary education in prison, their experience obtaining a credential, and their ability to cease criminalistic behavior. After time served and education acquired, lack of inclusion within society perpetuated the problems ex-offenders faced when reentry occurred. This study includes an exploration of the experiences of ex-offenders who had received postsecondary education while in prison. The theoretical frameworks for this study were Leibrich’s desistance theory and Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. The generic qualitative approach was used to obtain the experiences of eight educated male ex-offenders in society and their views about education in prisons through semi-structured interviews. The ex-offenders’ statements were assessed through an iterative approach and evaluated through systematic analysis for analyzing data. The study results revealed that self-efficacy and desistance are primary factors for assessing the effectiveness of postsecondary education and reentry in the life of an ex-offender. Postsecondary education in prisons is important because it provides ex-offenders with an opportunity for rehabilitation and serves as a preventative measure after reentry. Ex-offenders’ insights are meaningful in pushing policies that support their need for equal employment. This study fills the gap in knowledge about postsecondary education and reentry and attempts to amplify the voice of educated ex-offenders to professionals in education, human services, and criminal justice fields.