Academic Program

“We provide help — not just one-time help from a counselor, but from the entire staff, community of students, alumnae, partners and donors.”
–Maria Santangelo

Learn about the core of CCF, our academic program.  This page provides an overview of the program; for more information, please download the Student Handbook or contact us.

Academic Counseling

The academic counselor has two main functions:

    • To help students with questions regarding their academic endeavors and to guide students through the application, admission and registration process
    • Make sure all student academic documents are on file.

The academic counselor will assist with such needs as college and financial aid applications, help students identify their social support needs for referral to the on-staff social worker, assist students with goal setting for their academic careers and more.

CCF Academic Support Program Scholarship ($1,200)

CCF awards Academic Support Scholarships to CCF Fellows who are in good standing with CCF, are currently matriculated in a progressive degree-seeking program and have completed twelve college credits. This scholarship provides financial assistance to offset costs associated with the student’s academic program.

Other Scholarships

In addition to the Academic Support Program Scholarship, CCF offers annual scholarships, which are awarded during the graduation ceremony in June. To see full details on all scholarships and award programs, and how to apply, please review our Student Handbook.

Community Meetings

CCF fosters community through all of its efforts. Our monthly Community Meetings are planned around themes that focus on connecting students to resources, overcoming barriers, finding scholarship opportunities, relationship management, and other issues related to students’ academic achievement, employment, and economic self-sufficiency. These meetings primarily provide an opportunity for our clients, fellows and alumnae to get to know one another and find ways to support each other.

CCF holds four community meetings each fall and spring semester.. Community meetings are an opportunity to network with peers and tap into the vast resources they represent. We often invite guest speakers who will help students to connect with each other, be inspired and empowered.

Career Education Enhancement Program (CEEP)

CCF’s  Academic Support Program has a new component called the Career Education Enhancement Program (C.E.E.P). CCF will now support students seeking accredited certificates in business and health-related studies as a conduit to  career advancement, or as a stepping stone to their college degree. C.E.E.P is the response to the increased number of students with entrepreneurial and those seeking degrees in the science, business and technology fields that need certifications to support those degrees. C.E.E.P is open to current CCF students and Alumnae, and even non-CCF members. Must be a woman with previous criminal justice involvement to apply.

To students who are interested in applying to C.E.E.P we are no longer accepting applications at this time. However, we will announce when the application will be live again.

Community Sisters

We are excited to announce the newest addition to our Academic Support Program.  Community Sisters is open to women who are close to earning their High School Equivalency or who just need time to take care of immediate family or personal needs before applying to college. Community Sisters offers a community for networking, as well as resources and support to help women move forward on their path to college. Are you a woman with a criminal justice history?  Do you see college in your future?  Are you close to earning your high school diploma/equivalency, and need guidance and next steps on applying and/or enrolling in college? Then Community Sisters is for you! Give our Recruitment/ Intake & Support Coordinator: Jacqueline Thompson- 646-380-7770 a call to discuss how you can become a member of this informative and uplifting community. We promise an enlightening, motivating, focused and fun program that will keep you inspired and excited on your educational journey to success.

Career Development

At CCF we are dedicated to the educational and economic success of all students. Since the road to success and self-sufficiency does not end with a college degree, CCF recognizes the need to help students achieve their goals beyond their educational experience. Career development workshops are one way that CCF addresses these needs, with a special focus on the unique challenges that face people who are motivated to grow and succeed despite a criminal record. Workshops also address finding a career path that matches education levels and lines up with short and long term personal goals.

    • Creating a resume
    • Where and how to look for desirable work
    • Developing compelling interviewing skills
    • Workplace literacy
    • Identifying job stress

Financial Development

CCF has always recognized the importance of increasing our students’ financial literacy to empower them to make more informed financial decisions.

We are aware that formerly incarcerated individuals face institutional and social barriers to making informed financial decisions. Through a grant from the Financial Clinic, we have been able to formalize our work in financial development work with students – which include financial literacy, but goes beyond it to include individualized support for students to achieve financial stability.

Leadership Development

At CCF, we seek to cultivate leadership among all our students. Leadership development takes shape through several opportunities. Students are invited to participate in speaking and media engagements, research and advocacy. Our workshops, training seminars, coaching and other services seek to improve participants’ analytical skills, self-confidence and personal efficacy.

Theater for Social Change

CCF’s Theater for Social Change is made up of a cooperative group of CCF students and staff who write and perform a joint theater piece each year based on their experiences during and after incarceration. The Theater for Social Change group performed a new dramatic presentation “Policies of Exclusion” at the 2009 graduation. This theater piece and others are performed at the yearly CCF graduation ceremony and at different venues in the New York City and across the country. Read more about TSC and performances here

Resources and Referral Services

CCF utilizes excellent likeminded external community organizations to provide services that might affect its students, such as job development, HIV/AIDS services, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence, etc. Students are encouraged to advocate for support in these areas from their Academic Counselor and fellow students.

Referral Services include:

    • Disability
    • Employment
    • Faith-Based
    • Family/Children
    • Financial Development
    • Food Bank
    • Healthcare
    • Housing
    • IPV, Family Violence, Sexual Violence
    • Legal
    • Mental/Emotional Health
    • Resources on Ways to Get Involved
    • Substance Abuse

Networking & Opportunities

CCF provides students with a wide range of networking opportunities through an electronic listserv and our events calendar. We encourage students to stay active in the program and to engage with other fellows through these activities and events.

    • Newsletter – A biweekly newsletter highlights goings on at CCF, as well as job postings, scholarship and internship opportunities, and community events.
    • Community Meetings – Monthly networking and information sharing sessions.
    • Yearly special events: Holiday Celebration, Family Day, Graduation.

Tutoring and Mentoring

Academic counselors work with students to explore all of the tutoring resource available at their colleges to support students with their academic coursework. In some instances, CCF can arrange tutoring for students if a request is submitted. At this time, this is a very limited service and so a request does not guarantee that you will be paired with a tutor. CCF students, who successfully become Fellows, serve as mentors to future fellows.