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Using evidence from a three-year pilot program, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Delaware State University, a historically Black college and university (HBCU), are developing and scaling a new program. The TMCF-DSU Joint Center for HBCU Non-Traditional Completion will help near college completers and adult learners finish their degrees.
The City University of New York (CUNY) and Ithaka S+R have updated their CUNY Transfer Explorer tool. The tool, which allows learners to see how prior learning experiences will apply in the CUNY system, now provides more upfront information to learners, faculty, and staff so they can better plan educational paths. When learners, especially those from low-income backgrounds, have accurate information about how their previous learning and experience will count, they are more likely to complete their program and reach their education goals.
The TMCF-DSU Joint Center for HBCU Non-Traditional Completion will support adult learners who have some college credits but no degree. In addition, the Joint Center will share best practices with other Historically Black Colleges and Universities on new college completion pathways for non-traditional students.
- Changes in Education Philanthropy Support Evolving Needs of Learners from Low-Income Backgrounds
- New Initiatives Aim to Cut Early Student Dropouts by Increasing Connection
- Why Supporting Financial Aid Administrators Is Key to Unlocking Opportunities for Incarcerated Learners
Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy is adapting our organizational structure to meet the current and future needs of learners from low-income backgrounds. The promotion of two internal leaders to key positions will enhance our grantmaking strategy, tools, and partnerships. We are also hiring a deputy director of education grantmaking to oversee strategic grantmaking pipelines in one or more philanthropic focus areas.
Studies have shown the benefits of connectedness and early momentum are especially strong for learners from low-income backgrounds. For the long-term academic wellbeing of these learners, it's essential for postsecondary education institutions to implement strategies to retain students from pre-enrollment through early course successes. Two new grants aim to help them do just that.
Why Supporting Financial Aid Administrators Is Key to Unlocking Opportunities for Incarcerated Learners
The return of Pell Grants for incarcerated learners has the potential to dramatically expand who has access to postsecondary education. It also poses fresh challenges for financial aid administrators. That’s why Ascendium is supporting the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in providing technical assistance to financial aid officers and directors of prison education programs.
Support for Evidence-Based Workforce Training Models, New Projects to Help English-Language Learners, and More
- Targeted Investments Support Expansion of Evidence-Based Workforce Training Models
- New Projects Examine Barriers for English-Language Learners
- Recent Resources Show the Value of Good Workforce Training Programs
English-language learners are a diverse, rapidly growing subpopulation of learners who disproportionately come from low-income backgrounds. Community college programs dedicated to serving these learners provide a critical onramp to acquiring not only critical language skills but also credentials, which can lead to good-paying jobs. However, these pathways are often hampered by curricular misalignment, operational inefficiency, and ineffective classroom practices. A pair of groundbreaking research initiatives from WestEd and Community College Research Center are studying structural barriers for English-language learners with an eye toward broader reforms.
Short-term training is a streamlined pathway through postsecondary education that can lead to good, in-demand jobs and upward mobility. Ascendium has recently made several grants to workforce training organizations that explore, gather evidence, and support the scaling of high-quality short-term training programs. Our support of evaluation efforts also helps us, and the field, better understand the long-term impacts of these programs, which have the potential to help learners from low-income backgrounds reach their education and career goals.
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