Resources for Students with Incarceration Experience

Some of the misconceptions pertaining to formerly incarcerated individuals and higher education/careers opportunities. 

Misconception #1: A person with a record cannot pursue higher education: False, universities have populations of students with a record. You are welcome to pursue a degree and education. 

Misconception #2: Formerly incarcerated individuals do not qualify for financial aid: False, Along with FAFSA, formerly incarcerated individuals are welcome to apply for grants and scholarships to provide financial assistance for your education.

Misconception #3: You will be unable to obtain a job with a record: False, aside from specific industries that restrict licensing and certifications to individuals with a record, many companies still provide opportunities for individuals with a record to gain employment.

Take your barriers and see them as opportunities. Although there are barriers that restrict your career outlets, you have access to resources at Pitzer that may guide you through your career journey. Instead of looking at the barriers, see the opportunities available to assist you in breaking through those career barriers. 

Career Related Suggestions:                                                         

  1. Perform your research: Before making a decision on your major, it is important to perform research to see how your record may affect your employment odds. Licensure for various careers is different for each state and it is important to perform research on the laws and regulations of each state.
  2. Utilize O-Net-: The Occupational Information Network (O-Net) is a free database of hundreds of occupational definitions to assist students in performing research on potential careers.
  3. Visit the Career Center: The Career Services Office is here for you as students and once you graduate from Pitzer and become and alum. The Career Services Office will provide you assistance on all your career needs from interviews to resumes.
  4. Joining Clubs and Organizations, Student Life & Leadership: Along with adding experience into your resume, campus involvement can be a great resume booster and allow you to network with others with similar aspirations. Visit the Clubs and Organizations website.

On-Campus Resources

One-on-one career advising session: Meet with a career advisor virtually or in-person. Make an appointment on Handshake.

Off-Campus Resources

Department of Rehab: State Organization that assists people with disabilities and support for opportunities for employment:

Department of Developmental Services:

Homeboy Industries: Located in East Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention, rehab, and re-entry program in the world.

Anti-Recidivism Coalition:

Project Kinship: The mission of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) is to change lives and create safe, healthy communities by providing a support and advocacy network for and by formerly incarcerated men and women.

Corrections to College: A network of California Community Colleges committed to serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students by providing degree-granting programs in correctional facilities and on-campus support for students who have experienced the criminal justice system

Online Resources

8 Resume Tips:

California Fair Chance Toolkit:

Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership Collaborating for Reentry Success:

Jobs that Hire Felons: – How to Earn Your Degree and Get Hired After Incarceration

Los Angeles Reentry Regional Partnership – An organization with resources and opportunities for formerly incarcerated students.

Workforce Development Aging & Community Services – Job Training and Placement Services

We would like to thank our colleagues at CSU Fullerton for sharing many of the above resources.