The Moreau College Initiative (MCI) is an academic collaboration between Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Correction. College students incarcerated at Westville Correctional Facility earn credits towards a Holy Cross College Associate of Arts (AA) degree. Students who complete the AA degree have the option to seek admission to a Holy Cross Bachelor of Arts degree program either at WCF or, upon release, at the Holy Cross College main campus. Classes are taught by Holy Cross and University of Notre Dame faculty. MCI is a member of the Bard Prison Initiative’s Consortium for the Liberal Arts.
Since 2013, MCI has grown from two classes and a handful of students into almost 100 students participating in 40 liberal arts classes annually. Like Holy Cross students on the main campus, MCI students grow as scholars, citizens, leaders, and disciples in and outside the classroom. MCI students are also eligible to receive financial aid through Holy Cross’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Program. Learn more here.
Miles Folsom ’22, majoring in Liberal Studies, was the valedictorian for the Holy Cross College class of 2022. For most of his semesters, he was a Holy Cross student in the Moreau College Initiative on our campus at Westville Correctional Facility. Click here for a link about his valedictory address.
In this video, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at out how the Moreau College Initiative is giving students hope for a better future.
The following announcement was made at the Fourth Annual Commencement Ceremony of the Westville Education Initiative. Many thanks to founding members of the MCI Faculty Steering Committee Jay Caponigro and Steve Fallon for their reflections.
The Congregation of Holy Cross, the founding religious order of both the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College, draws its spirituality and charism from its founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC. In all the Order’s many ministries across the world, these religious brothers, sisters, and priests seek to educate in the faith by developing the mind, cultivating the heart, enkindling a zeal for service, encouraging hope, and uniting with others as family.
It is this charism that underlies a unique partnership between the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College, which has offered rigorous college education at the Westville Correctional Facility since January, 2013. Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts degrees earned by incarcerated students are a manifestation of the commitment of Notre Dame and Holy Cross faculty, whose excellence in teaching fulfills the mission of each of these institutions founded by the Holy Cross Congregation. The faculty view their teaching beyond the walls of Notre Dame and Holy Cross and inside the walls at Westville as resonating both with their institutions’ missions and with the Church’s preferential option for the poor.
To honor the seminal role of Blessed Basil Moreau, and to reflect the Congregation’s enduring educational commitment and message of hope to those at the margins of society, the faculty steering committee and administrations of each partner institution join to officially rename the college “the Moreau College Initiative.”