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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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Newsletter Article December 08, 2023

Answering Questions About Learners and Employment Starts with Good Data

Despite investments in postsecondary education and workforce training by state and federal government, and from the learners themselves, we don’t today have adequate data to answer simple questions about the return on those investments in terms of employment outcomes. The Coleridge Initiative’s efforts to link postsecondary education and workforce training data, boost state data analysis capacity, and ultimately address knowledge gaps, can inform evidence-based policies and practices that lead to upward mobility and successful outcomes for learners.

Newsletter November 27, 2023

Introducing our New Deputy Director of Education Grantmaking, Ascendium Acts on Grant Partner Feedback, and More

  • Introducing our New Deputy Director of Education Grantmaking, Dr. Janice Hicks
  • Ascendium Acts on Grant Partner Feedback to Refine Philanthropic Practices
  • New Resources Aim to Increase Understanding of CBE Program Designs
Ascendium in the News November 09, 2023

Preventing Second-Year Stop-Outs

The Gardner Institute launched its Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience program to reduce equity gaps and help boost student success during the first two years of college.

Newsletter Article November 09, 2023

Ascendium Acts on Grant Partners’ Feedback to Refine Philanthropic Practices

Director of Learning and Impact Bethany Miller reflects on the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s recent survey of Ascendium’s 2022 grant partners. Overall, respondents reported positive perceptions of Ascendium’s performance as a funder. They also identified areas for improvement that we are committed to acting on, including convening our grant partners more and better communicating our strategies and goals.

Newsletter Article November 08, 2023

New Resources Aim to Increase Understanding of CBE Program Designs

A new framework and accompanying research brief from American Institutes for Research and the Competency-Based Education Network aims to improve understanding of competency-based education (CBE) program design at colleges and universities in the U.S. These new resources also explore an intentional approach to CBE program design by practitioners, with goals of facilitating rigorous research on the efficacy of key design elements and supporting stronger program design that leads to positive learner outcomes.

Newsletter Article October 30, 2023

Introducing our New Deputy Director of Education Grantmaking, Dr. Janice Hicks

Ascendium is pleased to welcome Dr. Janice Hicks to our Education Philanthropy team as our new deputy director of education grantmaking. Janice will support grantmaking across portfolios focused on strategies to transform postsecondary education institutions and systems to better serve learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter October 19, 2023

Keith Witham Reflects on the Past Six Months, Ascendium Discusses the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison, and More

  • Keith Witham Reflects on His First Six Months as Vice President of Education Philanthropy
  • Ascendium’s Molly Lasagna and Others Discuss the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison
  • Strategic Media Partnerships Amplify Solutions to Rural Learners’ Challenges
Newsletter Article October 13, 2023

Aligning Postsecondary Education Programs and Workforce Demands to Help Learners Access Good Jobs

Research from the Urban Institute has led to the development of a framework and dedicated resources that explore how the alignment of training and credential programs with good jobs improves outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds. These resources specifically outline approaches for learners in short-term career and technical education programs.

Newsletter Article October 05, 2023

Strategic Media Partnerships Amplify Solutions to Rural Learners’ Challenges

Three recent Ascendium grants support media organizations whose work makes a national impact in rural postsecondary education and workforce training systems. These organizations' reporting is critical to increase public understanding of issues affecting rural learners from low-income backgrounds, amplify rural learners’ voices, and share promising solutions through national media outlets and networks.

Newsletter Article September 27, 2023

Keith Witham Reflects on His First Six Months as Vice President of Education Philanthropy

Halfway through his first year as Vice President of Education Philanthropy, Keith Witham provides an overview of the past six months of Ascendium’s grantmaking. He also looks ahead, reaffirming Ascendium’s commitment to transforming the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds through postsecondary education and workforce training.

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