Division of Special Programs and Populations
The Special Programs and Populations Division consists of Counseling, Testing, and Records; Library Services departments and Title I, Special Education, and ESL programs. The Special Programs and Populations Division is dedicated to supporting quality instruction in our District. Counseling, Testing, and Records is responsible for the district’s testing program, management of educational assessments and maintaining educational records. Library Services provides offenders with a wide variety of books and materials to support the district’s educational program. Title I is a supplemental program provided for underachieving students who are 21 years of age or younger. Special Education is provided for students with learning disabilities. ESL, English as a Second Language, is a program for students with limited English proficiency. All these programs and services work to enhance our instructional division.
The Counseling, Testing and Records Department is responsible for the district’s testing program, including one of the largest GED testing programs in the nation. The department is also responsible for the management of educational assessments as offenders enter the correctional system and for maintaining educational records. Staff respond to legal and offender requests for educational records and process high school diploma, GED and college claim verifications.
The Counseling, Testing and Records Department provides administrative support and supervision to unit education staff. WSD employs certified counselors to provide a comprehensive guidance program at the unit level. The counselors provide program information to potential students and enroll eligible students in appropriate educational programs. Counselors maintain career information centers, provide career guidance activities, and assist offenders with the development of career path plans to enable them to make informed educational and occupational choices. In addition, counselors coordinate the administration of standardized educational achievement tests, coordinate and administer the GED tests. They also assist students in developing problem solving skills, communication skills, self-awareness, and stress coping abilities.
WSD Counselors are an integral part of the district’s testing program. Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) are administered to all incoming TDCJ offenders to determine each offender’s educational level. In addition, offenders enrolled in WSD academic programs are tested periodically throughout the school year to monitor student progress. Offenders also participate in an assessment of vocational aptitude and interest prior to enrollment in Career and Technical Education programs.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions and more information on how to Request Educational Records (GED, Transcripts, NCCER Industry certificates).
Library Services offer offenders a wide variety of books, reference collections, and materials in support of educational programs, as well as recreational reading. Librarians and clerks operate unit libraries and maintain library inventories. Librarians promote the use of libraries with library orientations, poetry contests, book reports, art contests and essay contests. They also maintain newspaper and magazine subscriptions at each library.
People helping people is the essence of volunteering in correctional education. Volunteers are active on advisory boards and committees, in education, vocational and life skills training. Correctional volunteers:
1. Provide assistance with specific activities and programs.
2. Promote personal growth and development.
3. Help facilitate an offender's reentry into the community.