The Rising Hope curriculum studies Judeo-Christian tradition from a purely academic perspective.  Students of any or no faith tradition are welcome and there is no proselytizing.

Rising Hope embarked on an ambitious project to obtain recognition for the quality of the courses which we offer.  To that end fifteen of our courses have been evaluated by National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), an agency which is part of the New York State Board of Regents. Teams of three professors reviewed syllabi, learning objectives and samples of written work and examinations for each of our courses.  Each course was recommended for 3 credits of college level work.  More information and descriptions of each course can be found at
Read more about Transfer Credits below

Our students have two semesters of school, with each semester having courses meeting five evenings per week for fifteen weeks.  Two of our facilities offer the College Writing I course during the summer preceding the first full semester in the fall.

The courses which are offered are dependent on the availability of a qualified volunteer teacher for that particular facility.

The following courses have received unconditional NCCRS recommendation:

College Writing I 

Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues

Family Counseling 

History of Christianity I 

History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Present


Introduction to Counseling 

Introduction to Human Services 

Introduction to Sociology 

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible 

Introduction to the New Testament

Introduction to the World Religions 

Sociology of Religion


Writing for Literature 


Student Admission Requirements

The program accepts applications from incarcerated individuals who posses a high school diploma or its equivalent. Students are required to commit themselves to the entire program  The application process requires:

  • an application
  • a written essay
  • a personal interview

Transfer Credits

Rising Hope is not a college and cannot offer college credit.  This means that Rising Hope courses would not apply to the Limited Credit Time Allowance. However, many colleges and universities have expressed a willingness to consider Rising Hope courses which a student has successfully completed and which have met NCCRS standards.  There are no guarantees.  Every school makes admissions and academic decisions on a case-by-case basis.  In addition to SUNY Empire State College and Nyack College, Granite State College, Thomas Edison State University, Excelsior College and Charter Oak College have been particularly open to our former students.

Rising Hope courses which have received NCCRS  credit recommendations are more likely to be accepted in some programs than in others. A college may grant  college credit for a course completed or waive a required  prerequisite or required course. When looking at a college, it is important to contact the Admissions Office or Registrar’s Office to learn what the policies are of that particular institution and how they might apply to the courses which you have taken with Rising Hope. Although a description of each course which has been evaluated by NCCRS is listed on the NCCRS website, NCCRS suggests that students keep a copy of the syllabus for each course they have taken should more detail be needed in the admission process.

When it comes time to apply, the Rising Hope academic record can be obtained by a request in writing sent to:

Rising Hope, Inc.
260 King’s Mall Ct.  #124
Kingston, NY 12401.
The record will be sent directly to the college or university listed in the request.
There is no charge for this.

Nyack College
In September of 2012, Nyack College signed an agreement with Rising Hope.  Rising Hope alumni who apply to Nyack College’s Organizational Management degree program and are accepted will be granted transfer credit for up to 30 credit hours of Rising Hope courses.

SUNY Empire State College

In 2018 a partnership agreement with SUNY Empire State College was finalized.  One benefit of this partnership is that the application fee for admission is waived.

The possibilities open to our students for continuing their education with SUNY ESC are extensive and exciting.  There are Empire State College sites located throughout New York State and online courses are offered as well.