Program History

The Bob Barker Company Foundation (BBCF) became interested in developing a program in North Carolina based on the higher education model at Hudson Link, in New York, that had been proven effective in reducing the rate of recidivism for prisoners. Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison provides college education, life skills, and reentry support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women.   
Bob Barker (’65) of the BBCF reached out to representatives of Campbell University and the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections (NCACD) to gauge interest in becoming partners in this effort and found both willing to provide higher education opportunities to currently incarcerated offenders. Campbell’s Second Chance Initiative launched within our Adult and Online Education department and a public/private partnership between the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections, Campbell University, and funding partners was formed.  
NCDAC selected Sampson Correctional Institution, an adult male medium and minimum custody facility, as the first site for our degree program. The institution, located in Clinton, North Carolina, is approximately 40 miles from Campbell University. Many offenders aspire to “helping careers” upon release. They desire to help young people avoid the mistakes and bad choices that ultimately led to their own incarcerations. Given the offenders’ ambitions, NCDAC and Campbell University partnered to offer the Associate of Science in Behavioral Sciences (ASBS) beginning in the fall of 2019. The ASBS is a natural springboard into bachelor’s degrees leading to helping professions such as peer counseling. 

In August of 2019, 15 students at Sampson Correctional Institution began the fall semester as Campbell University students in the Associate of Science in Behavioral Sciences program.   

In fall 2021, Campbell expanded the program to include a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies (and a minor in Addiction Studies) to the cohort who started in August 2019. We also welcomed a new cohort of 14 students to begin working on their Associate’s degree. The next step in growing this program is to expand our offerings to female offenders within the State of North Carolina.  

NCDAC has identified Anson Correctional Institution (ACI) as the next site for Campbell to offer both the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. We anticipate launching this program in January, 2023 and offer the Associates in Behavioral Sciences to up to 40 incarcerated women. Following their successful graduation, we hope to continue their Campbell experience with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.