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Newsletter Article March 14, 2023

Q&A: AHEP's Ved Price on the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs

Executive Director Ved Price from the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison speaks with Ascendium Senior Program Officer Molly Lasagna about pressing issues around postsecondary education in prison programs. That includes how the field can prepare incarcerated learners for meaningful employment upon their release.

Ascendium in the News March 09, 2023

Community College Transfers to Four-Year Colleges Tumbled Almost 8% Last Fall

A National Student Clearinghouse Research Center analysis reveals that upward transfer, or transfer from a two-year to a four-year postsecondary institution, continues to drop in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health crisis. Upward transfers, an important way that many learners from low-income backgrounds pursue their education goals, decreased 7.5% between fall 2021 and 2022.

Newsletter Article March 07, 2023

From Research to Practice: Holistic Credit Mobility Ensures Learning Counts

Learners today are mobile — they acquire knowledge and skills in many different forms and settings. Still, institutions are often unprepared to evaluate or award credit from prior learning. Gaps in how learning gets captured and applied to a credential result in a loss of time and money for learners who can't afford to lose either. To address this, Ithaka S+R developed a holistic credit mobility framework that that outlines a related set of policy and practice levers critical to a more efficient and equitable system. Ithaka is also expanding the Transfer Explorer, a web-based tool to support credit transfer between two-year and four-year institutions. The expansion will further help institutions and learners capture and count other forms of prior learning.

Ascendium in the News March 07, 2023

Ready for Pell Initiative Brings Opportunities and Second Chances to Inmates

JFF and Ascendium’s Ready for Pell initiative is helping some postsecondary institutions, including ones in Wisconsin, prepare for the reinstatement of Pell grant eligibility for incarcerated learners on July 1.

Newsletter February 16, 2023

Over $69 Million in New Grants, the Learning and Impact Team Welcomes Jessa Valentine and More

  • $69 Million+ in New Grants Highlighted by Investments in Job Pathways, Partnerships and More
  • Jessa Valentine Joins Learning and Impact Team
  • CORI Research on Digital Skilling is Put into Practice
Ascendium in the News February 16, 2023

Coalition of 15 Research Universities Awarded Grant to Boost Student Success in Key Courses

At most campuses, large, introductory courses typically have the highest DFW rates – ­the percentage of students who receive grades of D or F, or withdraw from a course. The University Innovation Alliance is engaging over 1,000 students in a study to address significant pandemic-driven increases in these rates.

Newsletter Article February 07, 2023

CORI Research on Digital Skilling is Put into Practice

Recent research from the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) showed that there is both a desire from rural residents and a need from local employers for tech skilling programs specific to a rural context. With a grant from Ascendium, CORI will build off that prior research and demonstrate how tech training programs centered around the needs of rural learners, employers and communities can foster upward mobility.

Newsletter Article February 06, 2023

Jessa Valentine Joins Learning and Impact Team

Ascendium’s Learning and Impact team is excited to kick off 2023 with the hire of Dr. Jessa Valentine. Jessa is an experienced researcher and evaluator and joins the team as a senior learning and impact officer. In her new role, Jessa will be overseeing our investments in validation grants focused on determining the effectiveness of postsecondary education and workforce training reforms, along with identifying the conditions that contribute to success.

Newsletter Article February 02, 2023

The Power of Media to Advance Change for Learners

Achieving our philanthropic mission requires building awareness and urgency around persistent barriers and promising solutions to postsecondary education and workforce training. Media plays an important role by bringing issues and successes to light through storytelling. Ascendium partners with highly experienced media sources like The Hechinger Report and Open Campus to advance the stories important to making system-level changes to help more learners from low-income backgrounds succeed. Whether it’s providing resources for learners in prison or changing policies that prevent students from receiving credit for work done, the stories they’re telling make a difference.

Newsletter Article January 31, 2023

$69 Million+ in New Grants Highlighted by Investments in Job Pathways, Partnerships and More

Ascendium’s philanthropy is off to a fast start in 2023 with the recent approval of 34 grants totaling over $69 million. Included in these grants is support for initiatives to connect learners from low-income backgrounds with good jobs, strengthen conditions for partnerships to emerge between colleges and employers, invest in high-quality postsecondary education in prison systems and more.

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