• Underground Panthers group shot on stairs
    Underground Panthers Inaugural Cohort Fall 2021
Underground Panthers

» What is Underground Panthers?

Underground Panthers (UP) is a positive pathway for formerly incarcerated and justice impacted individuals to access higher education. The program is focused on creating a corrections-to-college pathway through recruitment, advocacy, and scholarship that will leave a positive impact on all students at Chapman University and add to the scholarly literature of carceral students.

Our purpose is to provide an equitable, high-quality education for all students, both formerly incarcerated and non-justice impacted, and higher education student support that advances responsibility, achievement, scholarship, leadership, and transformation.

Courses and Credits

The inaugural cohort began taking classes at Chapman University in Fall 2021. Cohort 1 is comprised of eight students enrolled in:

  • ENG 103: Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition
  • MATH 203: Introduction to Statistics

The students will complete four semesters at Chapman, with 24 credits applied to their transfer to a degree-seeking program at Chapman or another college or University where they apply.

The trajectory of classes

Fall 2022

  • ENG 103 (Osborn)
  • Math 203 (Lopez)

Spring 2023

  • HUM 310 (Espinoza)
  • SOC 316 (Carty)

Fall 2023

  • ENG 415 (Arellano)
  • HUM 313  (Espinoza)


Want to find out more about UP?

Gabriela Castaneda, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Director for Hispanic/Latinx Achievement 
(714) 744-7812