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Newsletter Article October 05, 2021

Vera Helps Guide Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs on a Path to Pell for All

Ascendium's investment priority to scale proven, high-quality postsecondary education in prison models led us to support the Vera Institute of Justice in a two-year initiative, Unlocking the Promise of Pell for Students in Prison. We spoke to Vera’s Margaret diZerega to get her thoughts on the expansion of Second Chance Pell, the permanent lifting of the Pell Grant ban for incarcerated learners in the 2023-24 school year, quality in prison education programs and more.

Ascendium in the News October 05, 2021

CivicLab Receives $750,000 Grant

A recent grant from Ascendium to CivicLab is making a new education and workforce initiative possible. Through the initiative, several rural community collaboratives will receive funding and technical assistance to strengthen postsecondary education and workforce development systems.

Newsletter Article September 30, 2021

$18.5 Million in Newly Approved Grants to Support Student Success, Workforce Mobility, Rural Guided Pathways

Ascendium’s Board of Directors recently approved 18 new grants totaling $18.5 million, including efforts with the Urban Institute, the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce and six other new grant partners. Among the new grants are initiatives that support campus finance leaders in advancing student success reforms, help postsecondary institutions identify successful workforce-relevant strategies for low-income learners and build the capacity of rural institutions to adopt guided pathways reforms.

Newsletter September 23, 2021

Ascendium Looking to Hire Passionate People Wanting to Make Impactful Change, Q&A with Program Officers Shares Insight into Supporting Adult Learners

  • Ascendium’s Grantmaking Team Strives for Impactful Change and Is Looking for Individuals Who Share this Passion
  • Investing in Projects that Support Adult Learners
  • Grant Explores Meaningful Workforce Partnerships
Ascendium in the News September 20, 2021

New Report: College Transfers Plunged Last Year, But Highly Selective Institutions Saw Gains

Ascendium and ECMC Foundation funded the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility and Progress Report series to provide institutions and researchers with near real-time data on how the COVID-19 health crisis is impacting transfer students. This is the year-end report and analysis for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Newsletter Article September 16, 2021

Ascendium’s Grantmaking Team Strives for Impactful Change and Is Looking for Individuals Who Share this Passion

Keith Witham, Ascendium’s new deputy director - education grantmaking, shares his thoughts about education philanthropy in a time of unprecedented challenge and his hopes for meeting those challenges by filling key positions on a growing team.

Newsletter Article September 15, 2021

Improving Transfer Outcomes One Project at a Time

Over 2 million learners transferred between institutions during the 2020-2021 academic year, a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center details. Ascendium remains committed to supporting projects and initiatives that ease transitions for those transferring between, and returning to, postsecondary education providers. This year, Ascendium has funded projects that study transfer data, produce compelling resources and provide opportunities for leaders to connect so they can work toward improving transfer outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter Article September 14, 2021

Grant Explores Meaningful Workforce Partnerships

Greater outcomes can be achieved when workforce and postsecondary education systems align in rural communities. That is exactly what Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has proven through an Ascendium-funded project in its first year. Read more about the Rural Works initiative, which utilizes a framework that focuses on the alignment of those systems to better engage community-wide partnerships between organizations, postsecondary education providers, employers and workforce investment boards in rural regions of the U.S. 

Newsletter Article September 14, 2021

Maintain Momentum Enhances UIA’s Black Student Success Initiative, ATD’s Learning Tools

Ascendium’s Maintain Momentum for Student Success Initiative was launched last summer to support postsecondary education membership organizations and networks through financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis. This month, we’re checking in with the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) and Achieving the Dream (ATD). With Ascendium’s support, UIA enhanced its Black Student Success Initiative and added a new member institution. ATD improved its virtual learning technology, added to a teaching skills seminar and supported members with coaching tailored to their unique needs.

Newsletter Article September 14, 2021

Investing in Projects that Support Adult Learners

According to The Graduate! Network, 45 million adults 25 years or older in the U.S. have earned some college credit, but no degree. This specific population of learners represents 20% of the adult population. With the COVID-19 health crisis impacting employment opportunities, many of these adults are returning to postsecondary education. Learn more from members of our grantmaking team about how and why Ascendium is supporting projects that aim to improve the transition to and through postsecondary education for these returning adult learners at a critical time in their academic journey.

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