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In September, members of Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team visited Sing Sing Correctional Facility, where they had the opportunity to meet directly with the facility’s students. We’ve gathered some reflections on that visit, as well as a trio of nationally distributed resources that uplift the voices of incarcerated learners and the work being done to help this population succeed.
Partnerships Help Offer Rural Learners In-Demand Career Credentials, Promising Caring Campus Results and More
- Local and Online Postsecondary Education Providers Partner to Offer In-Demand Career Credentials in Rural Areas
- Caring Campus Makes Student Success Everyone’s Business, With Promising Results
A two-year initiative supported by Jobs for the Future, WES Mariam Assefa Fund and Ascendium will help connect immigrants, migrants and refugees in rural communities to workforce training opportunities that lead to good jobs. A cohort of selected organizations will design, implement and/or expand postsecondary education opportunities for this population of rural learners from low-income backgrounds.
Although bachelor's degrees are traditionally earned at four-year institutions, 25 states have authorized community colleges to offer affordable bachelor's degrees. This expands opportunities for learners from low-income backgrounds to achieve their career goals. In California, MiraCosta College has launched the nation’s first biomanufacturing bachelor’s degree. It’s partnerships with the industry ensure graduates are prepared to meet the workforce needs of Fortune 500 companies in biotechnology.
Local and Online Postsecondary Education Providers Partner to Offer In-Demand Career Credentials in Rural Areas
Rural postsecondary institutions often lack the resources to offer bachelor’s degree programs in locally in-demand fields that lead to well-paying jobs. One solution is to supplement local postsecondary courses and training with online offerings that can be completed from any location. Ascendium’s recent awards to the Wakiya Foundation and to Reach University support postsecondary education credentials resulting from partnerships between local and online postsecondary providers. These partnerships lead to options for learners from low-income backgrounds to pursue family-sustaining careers where they live.
Families and Workers Fund Joins the White House and Partners to Announce More Than $70 Million in Infrastructure Workforce Funding Aligned with the Talent Pipeline Challenge
The White House Talent Pipeline Challenge resulted in grants totaling $70 million to support equitable development of the infrastructure workforce, especially in rural areas and for underrepresented groups. Ascendium and peer organizations contributed to these funds.
Despite mounting evidence pointing to the crucial role nonacademic staff play in removing cultural barriers to success, large-scale efforts to improve retention at community colleges and elsewhere typically focus little direct attention on interpersonal interactions between students and staff. That’s where Caring Campus comes in. Developed and administered by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), the program engages faculty and nonacademic staff in building a culture of belonging, with promising results.
New Investments Total $17 Million+ for Dev Ed Reform, Rural Workforce Training, Skills Training Programs and More
- Investments in Dev Ed Reform, Rural Workforce Training Among $17 Million+ in Recently Approved Grants
- Merit America Skills Training Programs Generate Upward Socioeconomic Mobility
Postsecondary education and workforce training is not one-size-fits-all. Nearly two-thirds of American workers don’t have a degree, work full time and need a route to better jobs. Diverse education and training pathways help meet the needs of these historically underserved students. Merit America, a national nonprofit that prepares individuals without four-year degrees for family-sustaining careers in tech, offers a promising way forward. Ascendium will support Merit America in scaling its skills training and career placement programs in IT support, data analytics and Java web development.
Investments in Dev Ed Reform, Rural Workforce Training Among $17 Million+ in Recently Approved Grants
Ascendium recently approved nine new grants totaling over $17 million. These grants support a range of initiatives designed to help learners from low-income backgrounds, including developmental education reform, expanding pathways to upwardly mobile careers in information technology and the scaling of proven strategies to improve transfer outcomes.
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