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Newsletter Article April 12, 2023

Perspectives from the Field: What it Takes to Translate Postsecondary Credentials to Upward Mobility

Institutions across the U.S., particularly community colleges, continue to experience enrollment declines, pointing to shaky public confidence about the value of a postsecondary education credential. Compounding the issue, learners from low-income backgrounds who complete credentials are often not experiencing upward mobility. The Urban Institute and the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program are doing important work to identify not only high-value credentials — those that lead to good jobs or transfer pathways — but also how community colleges can move more learners into these pathways. They believe that as learners experience upward mobility and communities thrive, a reputation for delivering value will increase community college enrollments.

News Release April 11, 2023

$1.5 Million in Tools of the Trade Scholarships Given to Wisconsin Apprentices This Year

Ascendium is celebrating its 10th year of the Tools of the Trade Scholarship Program with a record breaking 771 apprentices receiving scholarships for a total of $1,542,000. Since 2013, Ascendium has awarded scholarships to eligible construction and industrial trade apprentices in the Wisconsin Technical College System to assist with expenses related to their apprenticeship including the purchase of tools, equipment and clothing, curriculum costs and more.

Newsletter Article April 10, 2023

Three Takeaways from RAND Corporation’s Report: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Prison Education

Beginning in late 2020, RAND Corporation undertook a comprehensive assessment of the impact that the COVID-19 health crisis had, and continues to have, on postsecondary education in prison programs. The goal of this project was to collect critical information that can help inform educators, colleges, corrections officials and policymakers about the overall impact of the health crisis and its effects on access to postsecondary education in prison programs, along with options to mitigate the short- and long-term adverse consequences.

Newsletter Article April 10, 2023

Partnerships in Action: NJCU and HCCC Team Up to Improve Transfer Outcomes

Over the past two years, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, convened 31 institutional teams with an interest in improving transfer outcomes. These teams were comprised of presidents, provosts and other institutional leaders, as well as program faculty and student-facing staff. Read about how one team from New Jersey used this opportunity to transform students’ experiences during and after transfer.

Ascendium in the News April 06, 2023

Michigan Paves New Pathways for Transfer Students

States can learn from investments made in Michigan that improve transfer pathways for learners. Three initiatives, including Ascendium-supported Strengthening MiWorkforce Pathways, highlight how stakeholders can work together to ensure transfer is efficient and equitable.

Newsletter March 23, 2023

Keith Witham Named New Vice President - Education Philanthropy, Q&A with AHEP’s Ved Price and More

  • A Message from Our New Vice President - Education Philanthropy, Keith Witham
  • Q&A: AHEP’s Ved Price on the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs
  • Grant Partners Selected for Building Evidence to Increase Rural Learner Success
News Release March 23, 2023

Keith Witham Named Ascendium’s Vice President of Education Philanthropy

Ascendium is pleased to announce Keith Witham has been selected to serve as our new vice president of education philanthropy. A national search for this highly impactful position brought forward many good and interested candidates. After a comprehensive search and review process, Keith’s extensive knowledge of the field and hands-on grantmaking experience made him the ideal person to lead our education philanthropy efforts.

Newsletter Article March 23, 2023

A Message from Our New Vice President - Education Philanthropy, Keith Witham

Keith Witham has been named Ascendium’s new vice president of education philanthropy. Here’s Keith’s thoughts on his new role and ongoing commitment to improving postsecondary learning and training systems so that more learners from low-income backgrounds secure good jobs.

News Release March 23, 2023

Ascendium Announces Grant Partners for Building Evidence to Increase Rural Learner Success

Ascendium is pleased to announce the grant partners selected to receive funding through our Building Evidence to Increase Rural Learner Success initiative.

Newsletter Article March 15, 2023

Grants to MDRC, CCRC Aim to Drive Change by Building Evidence

Ascendium’s grantmaking supports the next generation of pivotal evidence building as one important contributor to systemic change. Recent grants made to MDRC and the Community College Research Center aim to generate knowledge useful to practitioners, policymakers, funders and other researchers. With the best evidence in hand, these stakeholders can then improve policy and practice to better serve learners from low-income backgrounds.

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