Skip to main content


We believe in the promise of a better life no matter where you started – and the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds.

Learn More About Our Funding Strategy
Homepage Header v3

Our Focus Areas

We know learners from low-income backgrounds have the same abilities as high-income learners. Ascendium is working to change postsecondary and workforce training systems so that low-income learners have the same opportunities for academic and career success. To that end, we award exploration, validation and scaling grants in four focus areas that foster upward social mobility.


We hope our work contributes to a future where more learners from low-income backgrounds reach their education and career goals, equity gaps are eliminated and all postsecondary learning is valued and validated.

To assess the progress of our strategy on the changes we seek, we monitor data points related to first-year persistence, degree and credential completion, time to completion and job placement. 

News and Updates

December 15, 2020 Newsletter

New Postsecondary Education in Prison Resources, Welcome Bethany Miller and Our 2020 Support of Our Community

  • Best Practices for Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs Released by Vera Institute of Justice
  • COVID-19 Crisis and Transfer: What Institutions, Systems and States Can Do Today
  • Bethany Miller Joins the Education Grantmaking Team
Read More
November 19, 2020 Newsletter

Training for Online Math Teaching, a New Rural Podcast Series and New Resources

  • College Math Instructors Praise Timely Training for Online Teaching
  • Vera Institute of Justice Works to Develop Guidelines and Supports for Postsecondary Education in Prison
  • Podcasts Raise Up Leaders in Rural Places
Read More
November 18, 2020 News Release

Ascendium Education Group, Employees Step Up Community Support

2020 was an extraordinary year that brought big challenges for the Madison-area community across both racial justice issues and the cornonavirus pandemic. While Ascendium Education Group’s philanthropic mission as a national funder focuses on the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives learners from low-income backgrounds, we recognize the importance of flexibility and responsiveness in times of crisis and needs in the community in which the majority of our employees live and work. This is why we have stepped up to meet these extraordinary needs with more than $440,000 in support for our community.

Read More