Inside/Outside at The College of Wooster

Uploaded by woosteredu on 20.04.2011

Anne: Well I was hired at the College of Wooster in 1999, in part to teach the Criminology
and Deviance course for the department. So I taught it in a regular college format here
on campus for a number of years, and then I got an announcement from Temple University
about a training session for what they were calling “Inside/Outside” classes, and
the idea was half of the students in the class would be from an instructor’s home institution,
and they are called the “outside” students. The other half of the students are from a
correctional institution, and they’re called the “inside” students. So the College
found funding for me to go to that training, and I converted my Criminology and Deviance
class to an Inside/Outside format six years ago, and I’ve been teaching it that way
ever since. Deja: I was really nervous about where I’d
be sitting, like am I sitting next to the “inside” students? Am I going to be able
to walk around freely, throughout the facility? Would I always have someone with me?
Brendan: You sign up, and it’s a nice class but you’re like ‘oh, it’s with criminals
and maybe murderers, maybe thieves,’ but it couldn’t have been different than that.
We got in right away and, first of all, the other students, the “inside students”,
were just as nervous as us. Marcel: I was very nervous coming into the
class, you know, “outside” students, being involved with “outside” students and “inside”
students at the same time. Joshua: I was a little nervous, I didn’t
know what to expect, but I kinda got the hang of it, it wasn’t easy but it was easy to
catch on because of all the help we was getting. Brendan: Since the beginning, it’s really
kind of turned into a normal class, almost. It doesn’t really feel like a prison class
anymore, the “inside” students, you know, we obviously recognize that they’re the
“inside” students, but they’re just as engaged in the class as we are.
Marcel: It struck me as odd, because I didn’t expect them to be so outwards with their opinions
about the system. I expected them to be a little more closed off.
Anne: Really, when I’m in the classroom it’s very hard to distinguish who’s an
“inside” student and who’s an “outside” student. And I think that is something valuable
that the “outside” students get out of it.
Deja: That’s what I can say I enjoy the most, is getting to know the guys and helping
them understand that it’s not necessarily their fault for the life that society has
dealt them, but it is definitely a way by which we can all make it better for them.
Marcel: I want to work with the juvenile system, as well as the public education system. I’m
seeing that, the “inside” students realize that the position they’re in is not a position
they have to be in for the rest of their lives, and is something that they can correct.
Brian: I will pursue a lot more classes; I want to go to Malone University and major
in Zoology and Animal Biology, a double major. Joshua: I would like to get a Bachelor’s
in Music Performance, probably a minor in Communication. I like to write lyrics and
I want to be a producer, so I want to learn different genres of music.
Anne: Having this course says a lot about the College of Wooster. That’s one of the
hallmarks of the College, is we’ve got some really innovative and exciting things going
on; it’s the reason that I like teaching here. And I think the other part of the class
is that it shows the strengths of College of Wooster students: they jump right in to
an experience that might at first seem really scary.