The Moreau College Initiative is an academic collaboration between Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Correction. MCI is jointly guided and overseen by faculty and administration from both institutions. College students incarcerated at Westville Correctional Facility earn credits towards a Holy Cross College Associate of Arts (AA) degree, and have the opportunity to transition into a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program at Westville. Classes are taught by Holy Cross and University of Notre Dame faculty, and students carry Holy Cross College credit.
The AA is the basis for many future academic and professional endeavors and is essential for anyone with the ambition to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Holy Cross College or any other academic institution in the future. Students who complete the AA degree requirements have the option to seek admission to a Holy Cross BA program either at Westville Correctional Facility or, upon release, at the Holy Cross College main campus.
Begun in 2013 with just two classes and a handful of students, MCI has grown to include almost 100 students and currently offers 40 liberal arts classes annually. Holy Cross College was selected as one of 67 educational institutions across the country to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Program. The Second Chance Pell Program permits incarcerated students at Westville to be eligible for federal student aid while enrolled in a college degree program. Learn more at www.hcc-nd.edu/second-chance.
MCI photographs courtesy of Peter Ringenberg, University of Notre Dame
Alesha Seroczynski, Ph.D.
Director of College Operations
I moved into the position of WEI Director of College Operations after almost ten years of research and practice in juvenile justice. My background in both academic administration and community corrections make me uniquely suited to lead this young program. I am a voracious and expansive reader, and I enjoy promoting the liberal arts advantage among new and potential students at Westville Correctional Facility.
Notre Dame Faculty
Gabriel Said Reynolds
Read the University of Notre Dame College of Arts & Letters story about MCI.
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.”