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2020 Education Philanthropy Report, Empowering Possibilities


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Newsletter Article January 20, 2021

Clearinghouse Report: Pandemic Hits Black, Hispanic Transfer Students Harder

The COVID-19 pandemic caused student transfers to drop sharply this fall, the largest drop being for Black and Hispanic students, according to the COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility, and Progress Fall 2020 Final Report released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Newsletter Article January 20, 2021

Ascendium Invests $16.2 Million in Degree Persistence, Health Pathways, Sustainable Digital Careers and More

Ascendium’s Board of Directors has approved funding for 19 new grants totaling more than $16.2 million. This includes a wide range of efforts aimed at improving education and career outcomes for postsecondary learners from low-income backgrounds, especially first-generation learners, veterans, incarcerated learners, rural community members and learners of color.

Ascendium in the News December 30, 2020

Their Stories Helped Lift a 26-Year Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners

In December 2020, Congress lifted a 26-year ban on federal Pell Grants for incarcerated learners. The benefits of postsecondary education in prison extend far beyond recidivism, with positive ripple effects on families and communities, as well as individual learners. These are some of the stories that helped lift the ban.

Ascendium in the News December 21, 2020

Colleges See Steep Decline In Student Transfers During Pandemic

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s second COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility, and Progress Report reveals a steep decline in student transfer and mobility this fall.

Newsletter December 15, 2020

New Postsecondary Education in Prison Resources, Welcome Bethany Miller and Our 2020 Support of Our Community

  • Best Practices for Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs Released by Vera Institute of Justice
  • COVID-19 Crisis and Transfer: What Institutions, Systems and States Can Do Today
  • Bethany Miller Joins the Education Grantmaking Team
Newsletter Article December 11, 2020

Giving Support to Our Local Community Throughout 2020

The extraordinary events of 2020 brought many challenges to all our communities. While our national philanthropy is focused on the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds, Ascendium recognized the need to be flexible and responsive in this time of crisis. As a result, we stepped up our local giving to help address this year’s challenges. Learn more about how we supported several local community organizations this year.

Newsletter Article December 11, 2020

Bethany Miller Joins the Education Philanthropy Team

Join us in welcoming Bethany Miller to Ascendium’s Education Grantmaking team as deputy director - learning & impact. In this newly established role, Bethany will provide opportunities for the team to purposefully strengthen our strategy and operations, as well as inform the field in support of greater impact for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter Article December 11, 2020

COVID-19 Crisis and Transfer: What Institutions, Systems and States Can Do Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased attention given to transfer students and further exposed weaknesses within the college transfer system. With the current crisis, we support the need to build urgency around stronger and better transfer pathways and issue a call to action to institutions, systems and states for accelerating the development of these pathways. Ascendium-funded briefs recently produced by the Aspen Institute provide recommendations that can be implemented today to improve outcomes for transfer students, both in the short- and long-term.

Newsletter Article December 11, 2020

Best Practices for Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs Released by Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) has released a new Ascendium-funded report outlining common issues and best practices in setting up postsecondary education in prison programs across 10 key areas. Learn how Vera is providing resources to college and corrections agency administrators on how to improve these programs.

Ascendium in the News November 30, 2020

Kentucky College System Mounts Effort to Close Gap Between Education and Work

With support from Ascendium, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Foundation is launching a yearlong planning project to research what it would take to implement a competency-based education platform at scale within its general education, career, technical and workforce training programs.

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