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Expanded Programming from Operation Fresh Start Prepares Dane County Youth for Careers in Construction and Conservation
Operation Fresh Start is creating a new Conservation Graduate Crew pathway, providing pre-apprentice training for young adults just starting careers in conservation work. A $250,000 grant from Ascendium will support the new pathway, as well as the existing Construction Graduate Crew pathway.
Ascendium supported the University of Wisconsin System with a grant to help students increase completion of math gateway courses. This article is the first in a two-part series that details the University of Wisconsin System Math Initiative’s development of instructional strategies to remove remote learning barriers to student success in gateway mathematics courses.
As part of the Caring Campus Initiative, supported by Ascendium, coaches from the Institute for Evidence-Based Change helped staff at several community colleges introduce small changes in their behavior to foster better connections with students. Supporters of the initiative believe that human connection between faculty, staff and students is the ultimate retention tool.
A Biden Administration proposal includes $62 billion to invest in evidence-based strategies that increase retention and completion rates at institutions serving students from communities most underrepresented in postsecondary education. This focus on proven strategies targeting underrepresented learners closely parallels Ascendium’s strategy and mission to improve education and career outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.
To make the most effective investments in rural postsecondary education and workforce training, it’s important that Ascendium and others in the field understand rural residents’ perceptions. There are insights to be gleaned from their perceptions of the value of education, barriers to entry or completion, connections to work and general satisfaction with prior education and training experiences. A new Education Commission of the States report, in partnership with Strada Education Network and Gallup and funded by Ascendium, provides a greater awareness and deeper understanding of how rural residents perceive postsecondary education and training, particularly in light of the COVID-19 health crisis.
Rural Matters has a new eight-part podcast series focused on postsecondary education and workforce training in rural communities. The series kicked off with a compelling first episode featuring the voices of four rural community college leaders from across the U.S. Ascendium is supporting this series with the aim of informing more listeners about the viewpoints of both learners and institutions in rural areas, as well as highlighting the voices of our grant partners and the work they are doing.
Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy is now on social media — find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Now you’ll be able to connect, share and converse with us on social media channels we’ve established just for our education philanthropy. These channels will be focused exclusively on initiatives we’re backing, the work of our amazing grant partners and other topics of interest to the field.
Ascendium and other co-funders are supporting Maine’s seven community colleges to provide free training for up to 700 rural learners to prepare them for remote work jobs.
In 2020, Bethany Miller joined Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team as deputy director - learning & impact. Her role: to strengthen our strategy and operations to deliver a greater impact for learners from low-income backgrounds. Learn more about Bethany and the vision for the Learning and Impact team and how they hope to increase our philanthropy’s effectiveness and contribute to better outcomes for these learners.
Ascendium is supporting the implementation and evaluation of Caring Campus, an initiative of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change that works with college staff and faculty to build a culture of connectedness to increase learner success.
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