Michael Pierce is a member of IHEP’s Higher Education in Prison (HEP) Advisory Council, a select group of HEP practitioners, researchers, and advocates committed to developing a common set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess the quality and impact of postsecondary education in prison, promote robust standards of practice, and improve student outcomes.
Michael oversees educational programming for the Connecticut Department of Corrections at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. He began his work in corrections in 2006 as a Corrections Officer with CT DOC. In 2008 Michael was promoted to Correctional Counselor, and in that capacity worked in five facilities with security levels ranging from minimum to maximum.
Michael has served in a variety of additional roles within the CT DOC including assignments as a lead for Special Management Programming at several maximum-security prisons, and Coordinator of Reintegration Programming at the Cybulski Community Reintegration Center, a minimum-security, pre-release facility. Michael accepted the position of Correctional Counselor Supervisor in 2017. Both in that role and in his role overseeing educational programming, he has worked with the higher education program Second Chance Education Alliance (SCEA) since its founding within the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution. He also was instrumental in helping SCEA expand and serve students at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility. He also helps coordinate space and logistics for the Yale Prison Education Initiative, a Bard Consortium program.
Michael served for several years in a specialized housing unit where he coordinated programs focusing on life skills, addiction, job readiness, and education. Michael also assisted with the Second Chance Pell education program run by Asnuntuck Community College and was named counselor of the year in 2016 while working at the Cybulski Community Reintegration Center.