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Iowa Consortium for Higher Education in Prisons (ICHEP)


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Mission Statement

The Iowa Consortium for Higher Education in Prison (ICHEP) is dedicated to providing high quality and accessible educational opportunities, successful reentry of returning citizens and the restoration of personal dignity for incarcerated individuals.


The ICHEP recognizes and supports the rehabilitative power of postsecondary instruction for incarcerated students. As such, the Consortium, and its respective members, strive to provide high quality programs and services to this student population. The Consortium is dedicated to providing high quality and accessible higher education options, successful reentry of returning citizens in Iowa and the restoration of personal dignity and opportunity for incarcerated students. We also recognize the talent and contributions of incarcerated students to institutions of higher learning.

If your organization would like to join us in this work, please fill out the community partnership form.

Definition & Purpose

The ICHEP is a collaborative organization of institutions of higher education, the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC), Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Board of Regents. All colleges and universities offering postsecondary credit and non-credit career and technical education (CTE) and academic programs in Iowa correctional facilities will be approved by the Iowa Department of Corrections based on recommendations of the active members in the ICHEP. The ICHEP is designed to:

  • establish the process through which postsecondary programs are considered and approved;
  • develop governance processes for the Consortium;
  • provide high quality educational opportunities;
  • share information between member colleges;
  • increase articulation of students among the member colleges and universities and correctional institutions;
  • urge legislators to continue state and federal financial support;
  • identify and/or develop funding sources;
  • cultivate constituency relations, and
  • work to develop effective DOC policies and procedures for serving incarcerated students.

Participating institutions will maintain the integrity of their separate programs and governance structures. All institutions in the Consortium must maintain accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and be appropriately authorized to operate postsecondary educational programs in the State of Iowa.

DOC/ICHEP Program/Course Application & Rubric

ICHEP Program/Course Approval Application

ICHEP Application Rubric


  • May, 17, 2023 - Quarterly ICHEP Conference - Hosted by Des Moines Area Community College

Working Groups

Funding and Partnerships - Security and Technology - Student Success - Professional Development - Data and Performance


Formerly incarcerated individuals who participated in educational opportunities during their time served. Since getting out, they have received an opportunity to partake in community involvement in working with higher education in prison with Iowa partners to continue their positive engagement/work to a successful and better life.

The ICHEP Ambassador Application is currently closed. We are not currently accepting applications at this time.


Executive Members

  • Kelsey Casey, secretary/treasurer, Iowa Central Community College
  • Emily Guenther, vice chair, Grinnell College
  • Janet Shepherd, chair, Southeastern Community College

Steering Committee Members

  • Andrew Beckett, University of Iowa (voting)
  • Laura Book, Office of the Governor (non-voting)
  • Rachel Boon, Iowa Board of Regents (non-voting)
  • Kelsey Casey, Iowa Central Community College (voting)
  • Emily Guenther, Grinnell College (voting)
  • Amanda Humphrey, Kirkwood Community College (voting)
  • Peggy Long, Iowa Department of Education (non-voting)
  • Matt Mancuso, Iowa Western Community College (Voting)
  • Rohey Sallah, Iowa Department of Corrections (non-voting)
  • Janet Shepherd, Southeastern Community College (voting)
  • Christina Sibaouih, Iowa College Student Aid Commission (non-voting)
  • Abby Zegers, Des Moines Area Community College (voting)

Community Partners

  • Richelle Seitz, Iowa Workforce Development