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News Release October 13, 2021

Ascendium Announces Ready for Pell, a $4.7M Strategic Initiative for Postsecondary Education in Prison

Ascendium Education Group is announcing Ready for Pell, a two-year, $4.7 million strategic initiative to strengthen postsecondary education in prison programs ahead of the restoration of Pell Grants in 2023-24 for learners who are incarcerated.

Newsletter Article October 13, 2021

New $4.7M Ready for Pell Initiative Seeks to Strengthen Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs

Ascendium is announcing Ready for Pell, a two-year, $4.7 million strategic initiative to strengthen emerging postsecondary education in prison programs ahead of the restoration of Pell Grants in the 2023-24 academic year for learners who are incarcerated. Through Ready for Pell, Ascendium will provide grants of up to $125,000 to newly established postsecondary education in prison programs, or systems representing multiple institutions, in states that are actively coordinating at a systems level across multiple institutional and agency partners. We’ve named JFF as intermediary grant partner in this effort.

Newsletter Article October 05, 2021

Vera Helps Guide Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs on a Path to Pell for All

Ascendium's investment priority to scale proven, high-quality postsecondary education in prison models led us to support the Vera Institute of Justice in a two-year initiative, Unlocking the Promise of Pell for Students in Prison. We spoke to Vera’s Margaret diZerega to get her thoughts on the expansion of Second Chance Pell, the permanent lifting of the Pell Grant ban for incarcerated learners in the 2023-24 school year, quality in prison education programs and more.

Newsletter Article September 30, 2021

$18.5 Million in Newly Approved Grants to Support Student Success, Workforce Mobility, Rural Guided Pathways

Ascendium’s Board of Directors recently approved 18 new grants totaling $18.5 million, including efforts with the Urban Institute, the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce and six other new grant partners. Among the new grants are initiatives that support campus finance leaders in advancing student success reforms, help postsecondary institutions identify successful workforce-relevant strategies for low-income learners and build the capacity of rural institutions to adopt guided pathways reforms.

Newsletter September 23, 2021

Ascendium Looking to Hire Passionate People Wanting to Make Impactful Change, Q&A with Program Officers Shares Insight into Supporting Adult Learners

  • Ascendium’s Grantmaking Team Strives for Impactful Change and Is Looking for Individuals Who Share this Passion
  • Investing in Projects that Support Adult Learners
  • Grant Explores Meaningful Workforce Partnerships
Newsletter Article September 16, 2021

Ascendium’s Grantmaking Team Strives for Impactful Change and Is Looking for Individuals Who Share this Passion

Keith Witham, Ascendium’s new deputy director - education grantmaking, shares his thoughts about education philanthropy in a time of unprecedented challenge and his hopes for meeting those challenges by filling key positions on a growing team.

Ascendium in the News September 09, 2021

The Turning Point

Educational offerings within correctional institutions not only impact incarcerated learners, but also workforce systems and communities. With grant funding from Ascendium, the Iowa Department of Education continues to study barriers and pathways to postsecondary education for incarcerated learners.

Newsletter August 19, 2021

New National Rural Postsecondary Research Agenda available, Washington Consortium One Year After Maintain Momentum Grant and More

  • National Rural Postsecondary Research Agenda Now Available
  • At One-Year Mark, Washington Consortium is Maintaining Momentum
  • New Media Partnerships Spotlight Topics in Postsecondary Education
Newsletter July 22, 2021

Rural community colleges respond to health crisis, a look at non-traditional models for students transitioning from training to the workforce and more

  • Resources Help Rural Community Colleges in Aftermath of COVID-19 Health Crisis
  • An Interest in Innovation: New Grants Explore Non-Traditional Models
  • Keith Witham Named Ascendium’s New Deputy Director - Education Grantmaking
Newsletter Article July 21, 2021

Keith Witham Named Ascendium’s New Deputy Director - Education Grantmaking

Ascendium welcomes Keith Witham as our new Deputy Director - Education Grantmaking. He will provide day-to-day supervision and support to program officers across Ascendium’s four focus areas to maximize the impact of investments that support learners from low-income backgrounds.

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