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Newsletter Article August 09, 2022

Q&A: Molly Lasagna on the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison Ahead of Pell Restoration

There’s less than a year to go before the restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated learners. Ahead of this historic moment, our new senior program officer focused on expanding postsecondary education in prison shares what is being done to prepare providers, what goes into creating high-quality programs and how Pell restoration is informing Ascendium’s philanthropy.

Newsletter Article August 08, 2022

Hold Up: What We Do and Don’t Know About the Impact of Holds on Postsecondary Student Success

Policy changes at institutions, systems and states are curtailing the use of transcript holds, which can be detrimental to student success. However, there are other types of administrative holds that colleges can impose on students who are still enrolled (e.g., a registration block for an incomplete immunization record, an unpaid library fine or poor academic standing). The impact of these varied holds, especially on learners from low-income backgrounds, requires further examination to be understood.

Newsletter July 21, 2022

Ascendium Grows its Team to Further Our Grantmaking, Bringing Together Rural College Leaders and More

  • Education Philanthropy Positions Will Enhance Evidence Based Grantmaking, Translate Evidence to Insights and Enrich Strategic Connections
  • Learning Communities Bring Together Rural College Leaders
  • Proposals Still Being Accepted for Fund for Workforce Equity
Newsletter Article July 18, 2022

Education Philanthropy Positions Will Enhance Evidence Based Grantmaking, Translate Evidence to Insights and Enrich Strategic Connections

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy is hiring for three mission-critical positions. These roles underscore our commitment to evidence-based grantmaking and will deepen our capacity to tell essential stories that amplify partners’ important work. This growth will also advance Ascendium’s thought leadership in the fields in which we operate and bolster our ability to share insights with those best positioned to improve outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter Article July 07, 2022

Learning Communities Bring Together Rural College Leaders

Since early 2020, leaders at rural community colleges have been meeting virtually to discuss ways their institutions could be better prepared to meet the challenges of learners and communities as they emerge from the COVID-19 health crisis. Convened through National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (NCII) and with grant funding from Ascendium, briefs created through the Rural Leader Learning Community remain helpful resources and tools for rural community colleges as they navigate pandemic challenges. Additionally, conversations from the initial learning community have laid the foundation for NCII to convene a new cohort of colleges focused on rural guided pathways implementation.

Newsletter June 23, 2022

Read About Our New Team Supporting Incarcerated Learners, Help Us Shape Our Future Communications and More

  • Introducing Our New Expand Postsecondary Education in Prison Team
  • Help Us Evolve Our Communications
  • Informed Self-Placement Engages Students in the College Placement Process, With Encouraging Results
Ascendium in the News June 23, 2022

Eight HBCUs Receive Funding to Explore Innovative Partnerships on Improving Mental Health among College Students of Color

The Transformational Partnerships Fund (TPF) awarded $50,000 to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities to pursue collaborative efforts to improve mental health support for their students. The TPF provides colleges and universities support to explore student-centric partnerships that foster reliable, high-quality educational opportunities for diverse learners.

Newsletter Article June 16, 2022

Informed Self-Placement Engages Students in the College Placement Process, With Encouraging Results

A new report from the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) suggests that Informed Self-Placement (ISP) has the potential to increase the number of students enrolling in and completing college-level math and English courses during their first year. This in turn increases students’ chances of completing their degree.

Newsletter Article June 10, 2022

New Guide Supports Efforts to Better Recognize and Map Military Training to Civilian Credentials

Servicemembers entering postsecondary education or the workforce bring with them considerable knowledge and skills gained from their military experiences. Improving their postsecondary education and training outcomes requires the consistent awarding of prior learning to servicemembers. Read more about our recent support of a project that aims to increase credit mobility for learners from low-income backgrounds, particularly servicemembers and veterans.

Newsletter Article June 09, 2022

Introducing the New Expand Postsecondary Education in Prison Team

Ahead of a vital period for the postsecondary education in prison space, Ascendium has added veteran leadership to support its Expand Postsecondary Education in Prison portfolio. Molly Lasagna joins as senior program officer, and Maryann Rainey is transitioning from our Streamline Key Learner Transitions focus area. The pair will oversee a portfolio that includes Ready for Pell, our two-year initiative designed to support and strengthen postsecondary education in prison programs in advance of the restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated adults, coming in the 2023-24 academic year.

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