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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

Newsletter Article August 11, 2021

New Media Partnerships Spotlight Topics in Postsecondary Education

Ascendium is pleased to support two national nonprofit news organizations in their coverage of postsecondary education and workforce training topics over the next two years.

A $220,000 grant from Ascendium to the award-winning nonprofit news outlet The Hechinger Report will support a new initiative called The College Completion Crisis Project. Over the coming two years, reporters at the organization will contribute to a series that brings awareness to the obstacles that learners from low-income backgrounds face and the widespread efforts underway to remove college and career obstacles for these learners.

Topics to be explored by The Hechinger Report include college completion, re-skilling of adults and nontraditional students, community college transfer rates, what makes community colleges successful and employer shortages, among other topics. These are important topics to analyze as our philanthropy focuses on reducing or eliminating institutional and systemic barriers so more learners can achieve their academic and career goals.

A $550,000 grant from Ascendium to nonprofit news organization Open Campus will support the hiring of two journalists dedicated to reporting on postsecondary education and workforce training in prisons and in rural communities. These populations of learners and the postsecondary institutions that serve them are often left out of education reform efforts, which is why Ascendium is interested in sharing their stories through reporting.

Open Campus reporters will shine a light on critical issues related to these focus areas, elevating the voices of learners and leaders, and seeding and supporting coverage of these issues in newsrooms across the country.

“Ascendium sees value in supporting our media partners in exploring the many topics that tie closely with our grantmaking focus areas,” said Brett Lindquist, vice president - strategic communications at Ascendium. “We look forward to reading and sharing with others the in-depth stories that reporters will tell at both The Hechinger Report and Open Campus over the next two years.”

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