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2021 Education Philanthropy Report


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Newsletter Article January 11, 2022

Ascendium Invests $15.6M in Grants on Degree Completion, Apprenticeship Strategy, Rural Learner Research and More

Ascendium has approved $15.6 million for 18 new grants focused on a range of subjects, including degree completion, apprenticeship strategy, postsecondary education in prison and the unique needs of rural learners. All are focused on our mission of helping more people from low-income backgrounds reach their academic and career goals. Read on for highlights of the promising new efforts we’re supporting.

Newsletter Article January 11, 2022

Open Campus Launches Efforts to Cover Key Topics in Postsecondary Education

The nonprofit news organization Open Campus has hired two dedicated reporters to cover the topics of rural postsecondary education and workforce training and postsecondary education in prison. Funded by a grant from Ascendium, these reporters have created a pair of newsletters that bring awareness to the obstacles facing rural and incarcerated learners and the ongoing efforts to remove them.

Newsletter Article January 05, 2022

Take a Tour of with Rebecca Villarreal

Ascendium awards millions of grant dollars each year to grant partners across the country. These partners share our goal of changing postsecondary education and workforce training systems so that more learners from low-income backgrounds can achieve educational and career success. We’re committed to being open and transparent about our grantmaking strategy and invite you to join Rebecca Villarreal, director – education philanthropy, as she guides readers through helpful areas of to learn more about our grantmaking.

Newsletter December 16, 2021

New Partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education, Our Growing and Evolving Team and More

  • Ascendium Partners with The Chronicle of Higher Education to Prioritize Student Success
  • Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy Team Continues to Grow
News Release December 16, 2021

Ascendium Gifts Foster Better Lives Through Education in 2021

Ascendium employees give back to the communities in which they live and work through our employee giving program, Ascendium Cares.

Newsletter Article December 14, 2021

Ascendium Partners with The Chronicle of Higher Education to Prioritize Student Success

Ascendium is pleased to support The Chronicle of Higher Education’s year-long initiative focused on student success. Through a series of special virtual events, focused reports and a new online resource center, this initiative will explore the challenges colleges face today, as well as raise up the successful and innovative approaches needed to maintain progress in enrolling, retaining and graduating students.

Newsletter Article December 09, 2021

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy Team Continues to Grow

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy extends a warm welcome to two new team members: Erika Foster and Ashley Parker! These new team members will serve in two brand new roles: Program Coordinator and Associate Program Officer. In addition to these new roles, Ascendium has other opportunities available for those interested in making a difference in the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds. Learn more about our growing and evolving team.

Ascendium in the News December 03, 2021

UW System Developing Bachelors Degree Program in WI Prisons

The University of Wisconsin System, in partnership with the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, is preparing to launch their Prison Education Initiative to offer baccalaureate degrees, competency-based degrees, certificate programs and stackable credentials to incarcerated adults across Wisconsin. Ascendium is helping fund the development of the curriculum and infrastructure for the Prison Education Initiative pilot program so incarcerated adults can have equitable access to high-quality postsecondary education and remove barriers to academic and career success.

Ascendium in the News December 01, 2021

The First-Gen 'Gap That Still Exists'

The Chronicle of Higher Education, with support from Ascendium, is launching a yearlong effort on student success to explore common challenges and look at new approaches through a series of virtual forums, written reports and an online resource center. To kick-off this effort, this article gives institutions advice focusing on first-generation students’ success. Topics include: normalizing the use of support services, employing peer leaders and creating a sense of community for first-generation students.

Newsletter November 18, 2021

Ready for Pell Proposal Deadline Nov. 24, New CCRC Report on Guided Pathways and More

  • Ready for Pell Proposal Deadline is Nov. 24
  • New CCRC Report on Guided Pathways One of Several Ascendium-Supported Efforts on the Evidence-Informed Framework
  • Grant from Ascendium's Maintain Momentum Supports Community Colleges of Appalachia in New Rural Educators Academy

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