Miami Dade College Selected for National Second Chance Pell Experiment

North Campus will lead effort

MIAMI, May 26, 2020 – Miami Dade College (MDC) has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Pell Second Chance Experiment site following a rigorous application and selection process. The grant will provide need-based Federal Pell tuition assistance to individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons and help them gain job skills and earn a postsecondary credential.

MDC’s North Campus will join a select group of colleges and universities across the country participating in the newly expanded Second Chance Pell Experiment. It will offer select certificate and degree programs geared towards South Florida’s high-demand industries, such as business services, hospitality, and human services.

One of the featured programs will be a Food and Beverage Specialist certificate that includes both theoretical and practical foundations. The certificate leads to the Associate in Science in Entrepreneurship, which teaches design thinking and decision-making skills and prepares students to start their own businesses or run a family-owned business, startup venture, or social venture.

Another option is the Associate in Arts Pre-Bachelor of Arts pathway, a general degree program that provides the necessary general education credits and electives for students to transition into a bachelor’s degree program. All courses in the associate degree are transferrable within the Florida college system and completion guarantees admission into an MDC baccalaureate program or a Florida state university for continued education.

“We are proud to be the recipients of the Second Chance Pell Experiment award,” said Dr. Malou C. Harrison, president of MDC’s North and Padrón Campuses. “The North Campus’ solid foundations in offering quality educational opportunities to incarcerated students, combined with a curriculum that meets workforce needs, are key ingredients in ensuring the success of our diverse students. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

As democracy’s college, MDC strongly believes that education changes people through opportunity, with a mission to offer high quality instruction to diverse populations and engage underserved individuals in postsecondary education. Since 2013, the North Campus has offered college courses to incarcerated populations through various programs since education has always reduced rates of recidivism. North Campus Professors Samantha Carlo at the School of Justice and Dr. Minca Davis-Brantley in the Social Sciences department were key in securing a $55,000 Laughing Gull Grant in 2019, in support of projects to increase access to high-quality, credit-bearing college courses for incarcerated students. Prior to that, the pioneering 2013 ESUBA program provided students with real-world work experience, while also bringing an anti-abuse curriculum to incarcerated individuals. The curriculum covered abuse, stereotyping, historical/cultural abuse, anger management, stress management, parenting, healthy relationships, and changing perspectives, to name a few.  Building on the success of ESUBA, the Inside-Out program brought traditional college students and incarcerated students together for semester-long learning.

For more information please contact Dr. Michaela Tomova, Dean of Faculty at North Campus, at 305-237-1409, or