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Ascendium is pleased to announce the promotions of three internal team members. In their new roles, Deputy Director of Learning and Impact Jessa Valentine, Senior Program Officer of Strategic Engagement Amy Kuether, and Program Officer Ashley Parker will propel new and ongoing initiatives. These organizational changes signal Ascendium’s commitment to the evolving needs of learners from low-income backgrounds.
Around 19,000 individuals in New York's prisons are eligible for college, but only 7% of them can access publicly funded postsecondary education. A recent grant aims to help the State University of New York (SUNY) enhance educational opportunities and equity for incarcerated learners in New York.
In order to address barriers facing incarcerated learners, it’s imperative that we put our support behind state-level actors such as departments of corrections, which wield control over both access to and the allocation of resources for education in prison. Collaboration between these state-level actors and public universities and university systems is vital to creating high-quality postsecondary education in prison programs that set learners up for success upon release.
- Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training Trends We’re Watching in 2024
- Ascendium Welcomes Three Members to Education Philanthropy Team
- Grants to Community-Based Organizations Aim to Strengthen Workforce-Aligned Training Pathways for Rural Learners
Part of being a reflective funder is listening to our grant partners and tracking the evolving needs of learners from year to year. With 2024 underway, we’re seeing notable trends across postsecondary education, including statewide efforts to align postsecondary education and the workforce and continued concerns about the return on investment of college necessitating more flexible models of delivery. Remaining aware of these trends allows us to tailor our grantmaking for meaningful impact.
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.
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 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.
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
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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