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2020 Education Philanthropy Report, Empowering Possibilities


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Newsletter November 19, 2020

Training for Online Math Teaching, a New Rural Podcast Series and New Resources

  • College Math Instructors Praise Timely Training for Online Teaching
  • Vera Institute of Justice Works to Develop Guidelines and Supports for Postsecondary Education in Prison
  • Podcasts Raise Up Leaders in Rural Places
News Release November 18, 2020

Ascendium Education Group, Employees Step Up Community Support

2020 was an extraordinary year that brought big challenges for the Madison-area community across both racial justice issues and the cornonavirus pandemic. While Ascendium Education Group’s philanthropic mission as a national funder focuses on the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives learners from low-income backgrounds, we recognize the importance of flexibility and responsiveness in times of crisis and needs in the community in which the majority of our employees live and work. This is why we have stepped up to meet these extraordinary needs with more than $440,000 in support for our community.

Newsletter Article November 13, 2020

College Math Instructors Praise Timely Training for Online Teaching

Reacting to the sudden shift to online instruction driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 300 faculty teaching entry-level math courses learned ways this summer to adapt their teaching to online delivery, thanks to grants from Ascendium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grants supported the Charles A. Dana Center’s ongoing work designing and piloting the National Virtual Professional Learning Series.

Newsletter Article November 13, 2020

Vera Institute of Justice Works to Develop Guidelines and Supports for Postsecondary Education in Prison

Learn more about how one Vera Institute of Justice grant is laying the groundwork for system-wide change with FAFSA and Second Chance Pell support.

Newsletter Article November 13, 2020

Podcasts Raise Up Leaders in Rural Places

Ascendium’s philanthropy supports work that helps build collaboration and partnership to support rural learners from enrollment to workforce entry. A series of Rural Matters podcasts explores how several leaders are working to advance college and career goals of learners in rural communities.

Spotlight November 13, 2020

Grant Explores How to Take Competency-Based Education to a System Level

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Foundation is launching a yearlong planning project to research what it would take to implement a competency-based education platform at scale within its general education, career, technical and workforce training programs. Ascendium’s investment of $614,000 supports the project under our grantmaking focus area Streamline Key Learner Transitions.

Newsletter Article November 13, 2020

“First Look” NSC Report Shows COVID-19 Impact on Student Transfer Muted

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s “First Look” report on the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on transfer students shows transfers from two to four-year colleges are up slightly, but an expected transfer pattern from four-year to two-year institutions has not materialized. The pandemic’s greater impact appears to be first-time and returning students deciding not to enroll this fall.

Ascendium in the News November 11, 2020

The Edge: The Election Results Spell Bad News for Higher-Ed Innovation When It’s Needed Most

Senior writer Goldie Blumenstyk from The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews thought leaders in the postsecondary education space to ask what the 2020 presidential elections might mean for innovation in the higher education space, and what changes are now more vital or likely. Ascendium VP-Education Philanthropy Amy Kerwin weighs in.

Ascendium in the News November 08, 2020

Why Equity in Transfer and Why Now?

Data clearly show equity gaps in student transfer rates. This fact, coupled with the national spotlight on systemic racism, has prompted the launch of the Equity Transfer Initiative, a two-year project funded by Ascendium Education Group and ECMC Foundation. The overall goal of the project is to ensure total alignment of at least five programs between two- and four-year institutions that lead to employment.

Ascendium in the News October 27, 2020

How the Pandemic is Affecting College Student Transfers

Ascendium and the ECMC Foundation are supporting a new research series steered by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Nine reports will be created and will provide up-to-date information about how the pandemic is affecting student success and completion rates.

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