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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 earn degrees and credentials in postsecondary education and workforce training. We envision this leading to improved labor market success and socioeconomic mobility for these learners.

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

January 19, 2023 Newsletter

Trends We’re Watching in 2023, Promising IT Career Training Pathways for Learners and More

  • Postsecondary Education Trends We’re Watching in 2023
  • Investing in IT Career Training Pathways Shows Promise for Adult Learners
  • Partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education Elevates Learner Voices
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December 15, 2022 Newsletter

A Farewell Message from Amy Kerwin

  • A Personal Message from Amy Kerwin
  • Reflections on Visiting Sing Sing, Plus Resources That Center Incarcerated Learners
  • Fund for Workforce Equity Organizations Selected
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December 08, 2022 News Release

Ascendium and Its Employees Increase Community Support in 2022

While 2022 saw much of the country finally turn a corner on the challenges posed by the COVID-19 health crisis, for many nonprofit organizations, there is little time to relax. These organizations require sustained funding and resources to meet the needs of community members even in the best of times. During times of hardship, those needs are exacerbated. That's why Ascendium stepped up its support this year with over $6.6 million in giving to nonprofits where its employees live and work.

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