Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Glenn Penny


The Virginia Department of Corrections mandates that all offenders without a high

school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED) are required to be enrolled in

GED programs offered in the prison system. However, these programs have shown

varying rates of success. Supported by the constructivist theory, the purpose of this

qualitative case study was to identify how correctional education staff members

perceived the effectiveness of the GED programs. Data from surveys and interviews with

9 educational correctional staff members were collected and analyzed for themes.

Findings indicated that (a) participants use computer software for effective instruction,

(b) offenders who were enrolled in correctional education programs successfully reenter

society after being released from incarceration, and (c) offenders' self-efficacy is related

to GED instruction. Findings may be used to improve GED programs to support

offenders in obtaining a GED and training to promote social justice by returning to their

communities more prepared to obtain jobs and contribute to the global economy.