Putting students on a path to succeed is the mission of higher education. The COVID-19 health crisis has driven home the urgency of that mission — and the need for innovative, aggressive steps to fulfill it. But the pandemic has also exposed obstacles to success and created new ones, as colleges struggle to meet students' needs during a period of unprecedented upheaval.
To help colleges at this time, Ascendium is pleased to support The Chronicle of Higher Education’s year-long initiative focused on student success. Over the next year, this project will produce special virtual events, focused reports and a new online resource center, where institutions can search for and find creative solutions and useful content from The Chronicle’s extensive archives of best practices.
A $645,000 grant from Ascendium will support the initiative, which promises a comprehensive look at new and innovative approaches to helping students achieve success. By collecting voices and perspectives from across higher education, The Chronicle’s expert journalists can guide colleges to the resources necessary to make actionable changes that will help close achievement gaps and fulfill the promise of socioeconomic mobility for all students.
Ascendium supports initiatives that seek to create large-scale change so more learners from low-income backgrounds can achieve their educational and career goals. Through projects like this one, we aim to inform and empower higher education trustees, leaders, administrators and faculty members about the pressing issues facing students today. That includes shining a light on first-generation college students, transfer students and other student groups often overlooked by colleges, such as incarcerated people.
The initiative kicked off this fall with a virtual forum on prioritizing first-generation students. The Chronicle’s Sarah Brown and Harvard University’s Anthony Jack met with leaders in student affairs and academic services to discuss efforts to best serve first-generation students — and how those experiences have influenced approaches to working with the student population at large. The next event in this series, The COVID Crisis: Helping First-Gen Men, will take place in late January.
“Ascendium and The Chronicle share a belief in the power of education and training beyond high school to transform lives — especially those of students from low-income backgrounds,” says Amy Kerwin, Ascendium’s vice president - education philanthropy. “We’re grateful for The Chronicle’s work on this initiative, which helps colleges meet students’ needs during a time of unprecedented upheaval.”
Visit The Chronicle’s website and watch this newsletter for upcoming case studies, virtual events and announcements related to this initiative.