College Guild upholds the following values in the pursuit of our mission to make education accessible for incarcerated people across the United States.
We are independent.
We are not affiliated with any religious or political group and do not espouse any particular belief or ideology except respect.
We are inclusive.
We strive to provide engaging and non-threatening courses to all, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, prison, crime, or sentence. We are committed to regularly evaluating our program for explicit or implicit biases, and updating our curriculum frequently to ensure that students from all backgrounds feel represented.
We are respectful.
We insist on appropriate boundaries between students and volunteers. Both are expected to be respectful and appropriate in their treatment of racial, sexual, religious, political, and other personal issues.
We are anonymous and secure.
All correspondence between students and volunteers goes through College Guild's central office. By assuring anonymity, we protect our students, volunteer readers, and organization.
We are free to incarcerated people.*
Students can work on units anywhere and anytime — all they need is a pencil, paper, and time; sometimes this is all they have.
We are non-accredited for a purpose.
This allows us to serve people who may be barred from taking accredited courses, including those on death row, in solitary confinement, serving life sentences, or without GEDs. It also allows us to foster a non-judgmental atmosphere between students and readers that differs from the hierarchical dynamics of traditional education.
We are professional.
While volunteering for College Guild can be done remotely and on a flexible schedule, we maintain high standards in regards to response time, respect for interpersonal boundaries, and the quality of our courses, which undergo a multi-step review process involving staff and volunteers with relevant backgrounds.
*The one exception being that students must pay for their outgoing stamps, as we are not allowed to send them. (Stamps are considered contraband at many prisons.)