Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Exploring Educational Pathways: Reintegration of the Formerly Incarcerated through the Academy

Grant Tietjen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The overarching research issue addressed in this study is: what are the pathways and experiences formerly incarcerated people face when trying to acquire and/or use higher educational credentials (for example, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees)? Another important question this study will examine is how ex-convicts successfully access academically focused higher education. There are many compelling reasons why this topic should be studied. While much research has been produced in regards to convicts and education, very little research has examined ex-inmates' access to and utilization of academia. This study defines academia as attainment of graduate degrees or professional credentials with a focus on the expectations of working within academia, either in a teaching or research capacity. A common theme presented by participants in this study was: academia as a door to opportunity that had been left open to the formerly incarcerated. Another driving concept presented in the qualitative responses collected in this study is that access to social capital creates access to academic human capital. While research supports that formerly incarcerated people tend to possess and have access to very little human capital due to structural issues of social inequality, this research presents a societal frame in which this group successfully gains human capital. Focusing on the interaction of social and human capital within this study provides valuable insight into the scholarship of how such concepts can provide educational benefit the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated.

Subject Area

Adult education|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Tietjen, Grant, "Exploring Educational Pathways: Reintegration of the Formerly Incarcerated through the Academy" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3558631.