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Ascendium's Maintain Momentum for Student Success Initiative was launched in July 2020 to support postsecondary education membership organizations and networks through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 health crisis. These organizations and networks play a key role in advancing the systems change work that our philanthropy supports. This month, Maintain Momentum is announcing a new grant to Community Colleges of Appalachia supporting the design and testing of a new Rural Educators Academy. This new partner will be joining several other Maintain Momentum grant partners working on student success, including the Yes We Must Coalition and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Two new episodes in what Rural Matters podcast host Michelle Ramthan called “a landmark series” are now available for listening online. Episodes V and VI explore rural research and rural postsecondary partnerships, both of interest to Ascendium as they connect to investment priorities in our Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training focus area. Ascendium is the sponsor of this eight-part series, with the final two episodes slated to debut before the end of the year.
New CCRC Report on Guided Pathways One of Several Ascendium-Supported Efforts on the Evidence-Informed Framework
Too many learners from low-income backgrounds start community college and drop out, never completing a degree or credential. To reverse this pattern, institutions nationwide are adopting guided pathways reforms, which aim to improve student outcomes by redesigning programs and providing students with clearer pathways to a credential with labor market value. Ascendium continues to support guided pathways efforts, which are showing early promise in improving completion rates for learners from low-income backgrounds. Recent guided pathways efforts include a new report by Community College Research Center, informed by its six years of research and work with more than 100 institutions.
The Aspen Institute has announced that 150 community colleges are eligible to compete for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Ascendium’s support for the Aspen Prize aligns with our mission to elevate opportunity for learners from low-income backgrounds and acknowledges the critical role community and technical colleges play in providing pathways to academic and career success.
With Ascendium’s support, Complete College America will work with three regions across the alliance to implement student success reforms. The goal is to close gaps in higher education outcomes between learners with differing racial and economic backgrounds.
- New $4.7M Ready for Pell Initiative Seeks to Strengthen Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs
- $18.5 Million in Newly Approved Grants to Support Student Success, Workforce Mobility, Rural Guided Pathways
- Vera Institute of Justice Helps Guide Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs on a Path to Pell for All
Ascendium looks to our partners in the field to help inform our grantmaking. It’s why we funded three Society of Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Fellows this summer as they explored various topics and presented their research findings. Read more about our relationship with SREE and how Ascendium plans to utilize research completed by the Fellows.
Ascendium Announces Ready for Pell, a $4.7M Strategic Initiative for Postsecondary Education in Prison
Ascendium Education Group is announcing Ready for Pell, a two-year, $4.7 million strategic initiative to strengthen postsecondary education in prison programs ahead of the restoration of Pell Grants in 2023-24 for learners who are incarcerated.
Ascendium is announcing Ready for Pell, a two-year, $4.7 million strategic initiative to strengthen emerging postsecondary education in prison programs ahead of the restoration of Pell Grants in the 2023-24 academic year for learners who are incarcerated. Through Ready for Pell, Ascendium will provide grants of up to $125,000 to newly established postsecondary education in prison programs, or systems representing multiple institutions, in states that are actively coordinating at a systems level across multiple institutional and agency partners. We’ve named JFF as intermediary grant partner in this effort.
Ascendium's investment priority to scale proven, high-quality postsecondary education in prison models led us to support the Vera Institute of Justice in a two-year initiative, Unlocking the Promise of Pell for Students in Prison. We spoke to Vera’s Margaret diZerega to get her thoughts on the expansion of Second Chance Pell, the permanent lifting of the Pell Grant ban for incarcerated learners in the 2023-24 school year, quality in prison education programs and more.
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