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Newsletter Article May 26, 2023

Recent Resources Show the Value of Good Workforce Training Programs

A college education can be transformative, but it’s not the only route to career success. We’ve rounded up three resources highlighting promising approaches to workforce training that are already working to improve the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter May 18, 2023

Meet Our New Program Officer for Strategic Engagement, Learn How Rural Community Colleges Are Helping Learners, and More

  • Introducing Our New Program Officer for Strategic Engagement, Amy Kuether
  • Rural Community Colleges Utilize Strengths and Assets to Improve Learner Success
  • Perspectives from the Field: Community Colleges Connect Learners to Credentials that Meet Local Workforce Needs
Newsletter Article May 04, 2023

Perspectives from the Field: Community Colleges Connect Learners to Credentials that Meet Local Workforce Needs

As postsecondary education costs continue to rise, today’s community colleges are vital to delivering high-value, affordable credentials that result in upward mobility and meet regional labor market needs. To develop these paths and guide learners through them, these institutions need strong data, advising and partnerships. We talked to leaders from three colleges, Valencia College, Lorain County Community College and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. They share how their work with the Aspen Institute Unlocking Opportunity Program will shift learners into identified high-value credentials, serving as a model for others to follow. 

Newsletter April 20, 2023

Lifting Up Postsecondary Education in Prison During Second Chance Month and More

  • It’s Time to Change the Way We Think About Incarcerated Learners
  • Three Takeaways from RAND Corporation’s Report: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Prison Education
  • Record Number of Wisconsin Apprentices Receive Tools of the Trade Scholarships
Newsletter Article April 12, 2023

Perspectives from the Field: What it Takes to Translate Postsecondary Credentials to Upward Mobility

Institutions across the U.S., particularly community colleges, continue to experience enrollment declines, pointing to shaky public confidence about the value of a postsecondary education credential. Compounding the issue, learners from low-income backgrounds who complete credentials are often not experiencing upward mobility. The Urban Institute and the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program are doing important work to identify not only high-value credentials — those that lead to good jobs or transfer pathways — but also how community colleges can move more learners into these pathways. They believe that as learners experience upward mobility and communities thrive, a reputation for delivering value will increase community college enrollments.

Newsletter Article April 10, 2023

Partnerships in Action: NJCU and HCCC Team Up to Improve Transfer Outcomes

Over the past two years, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, convened 31 institutional teams with an interest in improving transfer outcomes. These teams were comprised of presidents, provosts and other institutional leaders, as well as program faculty and student-facing staff. Read about how one team from New Jersey used this opportunity to transform students’ experiences during and after transfer.

Ascendium in the News April 06, 2023

Michigan Paves New Pathways for Transfer Students

States can learn from investments made in Michigan that improve transfer pathways for learners. Three initiatives, including Ascendium-supported Strengthening MiWorkforce Pathways, highlight how stakeholders can work together to ensure transfer is efficient and equitable.

Newsletter March 23, 2023

Keith Witham Named New Vice President - Education Philanthropy, Q&A with AHEP’s Ved Price and More

  • A Message from Our New Vice President - Education Philanthropy, Keith Witham
  • Q&A: AHEP’s Ved Price on the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs
  • Grant Partners Selected for Building Evidence to Increase Rural Learner Success
Ascendium in the News March 09, 2023

Community College Transfers to Four-Year Colleges Tumbled Almost 8% Last Fall

A National Student Clearinghouse Research Center analysis reveals that upward transfer, or transfer from a two-year to a four-year postsecondary institution, continues to drop in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health crisis. Upward transfers, an important way that many learners from low-income backgrounds pursue their education goals, decreased 7.5% between fall 2021 and 2022.

Newsletter Article March 07, 2023

From Research to Practice: Holistic Credit Mobility Ensures Learning Counts

Learners today are mobile — they acquire knowledge and skills in many different forms and settings. Still, institutions are often unprepared to evaluate or award credit from prior learning. Gaps in how learning gets captured and applied to a credential result in a loss of time and money for learners who can't afford to lose either. To address this, Ithaka S+R developed a holistic credit mobility framework that that outlines a related set of policy and practice levers critical to a more efficient and equitable system. Ithaka is also expanding the Transfer Explorer, a web-based tool to support credit transfer between two-year and four-year institutions. The expansion will further help institutions and learners capture and count other forms of prior learning.

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