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Montgomery College and Montgomery County Corrections Partnership Honored with National Association of Counties Achievement Award

Since 2012, Montgomery College has partnered with the Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF) to bring College programs to the residents of correctional facilities within the County. Known as the Model Learning Center, the program was honored December 17 by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett with a National Association of Counties (NaCo) Achievement Award.

At a ceremony held at the Executive Office Building in Rockville, four Montgomery College leaders were recognized for their work on the partnership. They included Ed Palaszynski, senior program director for Montgomery College’s Information Technology Institute; Joel Levine, professor of business and information sciences; David Sears, senior vice president for advancement and community engagement; and Clarice Somersall, associate senior vice president for academic affairs.

“The partnership with the Montgomery County Correctional Facility continues to warm my heart. As a result of our strong partnership with the administrative leaders at MCCF, we are forging an alliance that benefits the students,” said Somersall.

Serving as a bridge to educational opportunities in the community, inmates are provided academic support and counseling and may even begin the application process to Montgomery College. Classes are offered in building trades and digital literacy. For many residents, this is their first opportunity to engage with technology.

“Offering a class in digital literacy to residents of MCCF is very significant because technology impacts every aspect of our lives today,” said Ed Palaszynski.

In 2013, 400 inmates received computer instruction. More than 500 residents benefited from technology-assisted instruction in 2014. The recent introduction of tablet computers will allow the program to grow even further as inmates can engage in independent learning.

“We’re thrilled that the leadership of MCCF has supported and led the way with using tablet technology. Montgomery College is very proud to be part of this effort as we literally are bringing the College to the residents as an avenue of hope and learning,” Palaszynski added.

The program is made possible by the Montgomery College Foundation which provides scholarships for the classes.

Also honored at the December 17 event were: Javid Aslani, IT specialist, Montgomery County; Barbara James, chief education administrator, MCCF; Brenda Sims, information technology officer, MCCF; and Juan Villao, adult education teacher.

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