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Walls to Bridges

About Walls to Bridges

Walls to Bridges brings incarcerated students and campus-enrolled students together as classmates in semester-long college or university courses. Classes are held in correctional facilities, and are taught using a circle pedagogy and collaborative dialogue aimed to foster egalitarian and collective learning. All students who successfully complete the course receive a postsecondary credit.

Instructors of Walls to Bridges classes take a five-day training to learn the pedagogy and related correctional and criminal justice issues. Students who wish to take a Walls to Bridges course must apply to the instructor and take part in an interview process to assure their readiness for this type of class. The classes are not taught in the conventional, hierarchical style, but rather employ a circle pedagogy designed to facilitate egalitarian dialogue and learning with the whole self.

An important principle of Walls to Bridges courses is that students from outside the correctional system are not ‘mentoring’ or ‘helping’ or ‘working with’ incarcerated/criminalized students; all participants in the class are peers, learning the class content together through innovative, experiential and dialogical processes.

Thanks to the generous support of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, the Walls to Bridges program is based at Laurier's Faculty of Social Work.

Walls to Bridges Course Offerings

Students will receive an email in late spring or early summer (even those entering their first year) announcing which Walls to Bridges courses will be available. The name of the course and the instructor information will also be provided. Students must email the instructor a copy of their CV and a letter of interest. The instructor will contact you to set up a brief interview. Unfortunately, due to limited space, not all applicants will be able to take the course. Upon acceptance into a class, email fswassist@wlu.ca in order to get help with registering through the LORIS system.