Contact Us & FAQ
If you have questions about College Guild or how to support our mission, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (below) or reach out via the contact information provided.
General Contact Info:
Have questions or suggestions?
P.O. Box 696
Brunswick, ME 04011
Phone: (207) 729-0043
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Frequently Asked Questions
Where are College Guild students located?
College Guild serves incarcerated people in state and federal prisons in all 50 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico. Check out our interactive map to see where students are located.
How can someone in prison sign up for courses?
If you know of an incarcerated person interested in enrolling in College Guild, please have them send their name, ID number, and mailing address with a request to be put on the waiting list. Family members and friends may also submit information for their loved one who is incarcerated. More information can be found here about enrolling.
When the student's turn comes up, they will receive a brief form to fill out and a list of available courses to choose from. Please note that the amount of active students we can support is limited by the number of current volunteers.
Students should alert us if their address changes after they have first contacted us.
Why does College Guild not offer a diploma or degree?
We learned early on that by not charging fees and not being an accredited program, our courses would be accessible to a greater number of incarcerated people, including those not able to enroll in accredited programs, those without the money to pay for traditional education, and those not allowed to take regular education while in prison.
College Guild, as a correspondence course, flies under the radar and can reach those on death row, serving life sentences, in solitary confinement, or without GEDs – many of whom are often denied prison education services.
How is College Guild unique?
College Guild is unique in several ways.
1. We are not affiliated with any religion or religious organization. Though some churches donate to support our work, we do not promote any specific faith in our courses.
2. College Guild correspondence courses reach into the cells of people not allowed access to traditional prison education programs. For example, those on death row, those in solitary confinement, and those serving life sentences.
3. Ours is not a pen pal program, and we do not focus on developing personal friendships with incarcerated people. We believe that professional, respectful relationships between students and volunteer readers lead to the most effective education experience. There are other great organizations that focus on pen pals, which can be found on our Resources page.
4. College Guild does not go into prisons to meet with students – everything happens by mail. We found early on that our mail-based students had much higher rates of completion of courses than those we met one-on-one; we can also serve more students in more locations with this model.
Check out our Guiding Principles to further understand how College Guild goes about supporting our mission of providing free prison education.
Who writes College Guild's courses?
Our courses are all written by volunteers or interns who have a love of a subject area and want to share it with our students. Volunteers might be teachers or librarians or just someone with a love of gardening or dogs.
Volunteers work with our Dean of Students to ensure the course is developed according to College Guild guidelines and principles. It’s a fun and interesting process that produces a real change in the world as the course goes live and our students enroll! If you’d like to learn more about developing a course, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you protect my identity as a volunteer?
Confidentiality is a very important part of our process at College Guild. Only first names are ever exchanged between readers and students and locations are never shared.
All correspondence goes through our office mail room and is reviewed by staff to ensure that students and readers never have access to each other's personal information.
How much do students pay to participate?
We are free to students, with the one exception that they pay for their outgoing stamps. Students can work on units anywhere and anytime — all they need is a pencil, paper, and time.
Due to prison restrictions, we are unable to mail students stamps.
What do volunteer readers do?
Our volunteer readers, who review and provide feedback on student work, are a crucial part of our program.
Readers receive student work by email once or twice a month (depending on reader's schedule). The reader then views unit materials on College Guild's website, providing feedback on student work in a Word document.
All you need to volunteer is a computer, internet, and a couple of hours. Typically, you have 7 days to review, provide feedback, and email back your feedback. Volunteering for College Guild can be done remotely and on hours flexible to your existing schedule.
Learn more about volunteering for College Guild here.