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Newsletter Article May 12, 2022

Over $11 Million Invested in Grants to Support Community College Student Success, Postsecondary Completion and More

Ascendium is pleased to share the recent approval of over $11 million in new grants. These grants support a range of work, but all connect back to our mission of helping more learners from low-income backgrounds reach their education and career goals. Our grant partners are a mix of new and returning partners, and we’re excited to begin engaging with them around their important work in postsecondary education and workforce training.

Here are a few highlights from this most recent round of new grants.

  • A grant to the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program continues our investment in the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. It also supports the development of a set of data tools, benchmarks and resources to expand the adoption of core student success practices related to community college excellence. Aspen recently announced 25 semifinalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize; we look forward to learning from these exceptional community colleges as they engage in the Prize process.
  • A grant to the New England Board of Higher Education supports the organization of key postsecondary education leaders, corrections decisionmakers and elected officials in New England to address challenges and opportunities of postsecondary education delivered within the region’s prisons. This is a multi-state project focused on strengthening cross-sector partnerships to enable scaled reform. Resources produced from this grant should yield stronger and more aligned state- and region-level policy and practices to improve offerings and outcomes for incarcerated learners.
  • A grant to WestEd supports rural community colleges by providing assistance as they prepare competitive applications for a special grant program through the U.S Department of Labor. Up to $45 million in federal grant dollars are available through the Strengthening Community College Training Grants Program. Our investment will ensure rural community colleges with strong visions for advancing economic opportunities for learners from low-income backgrounds have the technical assistance they may need to apply for that federal funding opportunity.

“We continue to support projects that help move the needle for change, always keeping in mind how our funding can support learners from low-income backgrounds as they pursue their education and career goals,” said Vice President – Education Philanthropy Amy Kerwin. “We’re excited about the opportunities these efforts create in supporting systemic change that will lead to better outcomes for this population of learners.”

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