VADOC ‘students’ come in third

Published 9:25 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) students had a banner year in 2023, with 430 receiving their High School Equivalency (HSE, commonly referred to as a GED) in the calendar year. The number more than triples the previous year’s mark of 125.

“Earning a HSE is one of many great steps a person can take in the re-entry process,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “Providing excellent programs for inmates and supervisees helps the department achieve its goal of long-term public safety.”

In 2023, the VADOC’s educational efforts returned to levels experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic. Educators worked to assess student needs, identify learning gaps, and create personal learning plans for HSE students. Many students enrolled in intensive remediation courses, focused on targeted content areas.

“Students were excited to be in the classroom in 2023, and our staff was excited to teach them,” said Dr. Rodney Berry, VADOC Superintendent of Education. 

The VADOC’s Western Region had the two leading facilities for HSE recipients. Green Rock Correctional Center in Chatham had 37 inmates earn their HSE, while Keen Mountain in Oakwood had 33.

Three facilities tied for third with 25 GED completers: River North Correctional Center in Independence, Lunenburg Correctional Center, and Greensville Correctional Complex.