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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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2021 Education Philanthropy Report

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Newsletter Article February 16, 2022

RAND Report Shines a Light on Career Navigators Role in the Carceral Setting

Career navigators help postsecondary learners bridge the gap between their education and career goals. Career navigators who serve incarcerated learners must learn to address the unique challenges facing this population. Ascendium supported the RAND Corporation in evaluating a pilot career navigators program in the Minnesota Department of Corrections. The effort yielded a report that shines a light on the importance of career navigators and documents some valuable lessons for the field, which should be of interest to educators of incarcerated adults, subject matter experts and corrections officials and policymakers.

Newsletter Article February 15, 2022

Ready for Pell Announces 22 New Grant Partners, Representing Diverse Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs

Ascendium and Jobs for the Future are pleased to announce 22 new grant partners for Ascendium’s $4.7 million Ready for Pell postsecondary education in prison initiative. RTI International has been named evaluator and The Council of State Governments (CSG) will provide technical assistance. The diverse cohort of grant partners will incorporate evidence-based best practices as they build out and refine their postsecondary education in prison programs. Results and learnings will be shared widely with the field as incarcerated learners’ access to Pell Grants is restored in the 2023-24 school year.

Newsletter Article February 11, 2022

Competency-Based Education Field Guide Launches

With grant funding from Ascendium, the Competency-Based Education Network and Kentucky Community and Technical College System explored what it would take to reimagine a systemwide approach to competency-based education (CBE). To advance what was learned through their process, a team documented their activities and developed a comprehensive field guide. Now available, the field guide provides colleges, higher education systems and state education agencies with insight into one system’s planning process to guide their own CBE efforts.

Newsletter Article February 07, 2022

New Study Presents Compelling Evidence on the Benefits of Multiple Measures Assessments

A rigorous new study by MDRC and Community College Research Center makes a strong case for more widespread adoption of multiple measures, an approach that more accurately places incoming college students in introductory English and math classes. Better placement in these courses can lead to more timely progress to a degree, a key goal of Ascendium’s philanthropy.

Newsletter Article February 01, 2022

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy Looks Forward in 2022

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy is excited to begin another year where we explore new ideas and approaches in support of our mission. We’ll continue funding important work that aims to change postsecondary education and workforce training systems so that more learners from low-income backgrounds can achieve academic and career success. Read more about our aspirations for 2022 across our four focus areas as shared by our Grantmaking team.

Ascendium in the News February 01, 2022

Why a Rural-Serving College May Look Different Than You Think

There’s a lot of complexity around the term ‘rural,’ particularly when classifying postsecondary institutions as such. Using a new metric and definition, the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges has identified over 1,000 rural-serving institutions.

Ascendium in the News February 01, 2022

Shining a Light on Rural Colleges

Two mapping tools, supported by Ascendium, aim to expand the field’s understanding of rural colleges. Complementary to each other, one tool explores where rural colleges are located while the other focuses on colleges that serve rural learners.

Ascendium in the News January 31, 2022

New Group Looks to Redefine Rural Higher Education Policy

The Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC) unveiled a new mapping tool that identifies rural-serving postsecondary institutions. ARRC researchers believe policymakers can use this resource to better understand rural postsecondary education.

Newsletter January 20, 2022

$15.6M in New Grants Approved, Where to Find Information about Our Grants, Ascendium’s New Address and More

  • Ascendium Invests $15.6M in Grants on Degree Completion, Apprenticeship Strategy, Rural Learner Research and More
  • Take a Tour of Ascendiumphilanthropy.org with Rebecca Villarreal
  • Ascendium Gifts Foster Better Lives Through Education in 2021
Newsletter Article January 12, 2022

Insights about Rural Institutions, Learners and Communities Uncovered by Digging Through the Data

When data from multiple sources are stored in multiple places, it can be hard to gain any insights from their analysis. This is especially true for data about rural institutions and learners as the data that does exist are often scattered in different places. With funding from Ascendium, Dr. Nick Hillman and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab poured through several publicly available federal data sources and then merged them. The end result — two new resources that aim to help education leaders and policymakers better understand the geography of rural-located institutions and learners.

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