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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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2021 Education Philanthropy Report

All Grants

Focus Area
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Grant Type
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Pathways to Success for Adults with Some College but No Degree

Validation
Tennessee Board of Regents-The College System of Tennessee |$1,900,200|6/2022 - 5/2026
This grant supports the Tennessee Board of Regents in using insights from prior Ascendium-funded research to redesign the experience of adults with some college but no degree who reconnect with college. Designed as a randomized control trial, the project will evaluate how the redesign of the reconnecting semester for adults returning to community college impacts persistence, completion and time to degree.

Advancing Community College Students’ Post-Graduation Success

Exploration
The Aspen Institute Inc|$2,000,000|6/2022 - 11/2025
This grant supports The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program in supporting a cohort of 10 community colleges to implement policy and practice reforms that will increase the postgraduation success of their students, namely students of color and learners from low-income backgrounds.

Bringing Value-Based Bachelor's Degrees to Rural Community College Students

Scaling
New America Foundation|$1,100,000|5/2022 - 5/2025
This grant supports New America Foundation in building capacity at community colleges to create high-quality, affordable and workforce-driven baccalaureate programs. Community college baccalaureate programs provide new or expanded access to in-demand sectors, particularly for underserved populations such as adult learners and learners from low-income backgrounds in rural areas.

Modern Math Pathways for All Students

Scaling
University of Texas at Austin|$1,100,000|5/2022 - 4/2025
This grant supports the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin in building capacity for large-scale mathematics reform in states that have not yet undertaken significant transformation.

Rural Research Support Partner

Exploration
American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences|$391,117|4/2022 - 2/2025
This grant supports American Institutes for Research in managing Ascendium’s multi-year research initiative to support action-oriented research aimed at addressing critical gaps in the evidence available to inform scaled and sustained improvements in the postsecondary and workforce outcomes of low-income learners in rural geographies.

Education Justice Tracker

Exploration
Cornell University|$600,000|10/2021 - 12/2024
This grant supports the Cornell Prison Education Program in evolving its incarcerated learner database into a sharable digital tool, while developing models for using this open-source software to improve learner outcomes.

Paving the Way to Equitable, Adequate, and Effective Community College Funding

Validation
Teachers College, Columbia University|$742,100|12/2021 - 12/2024
This grant supports the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University in executing a project designed to understand the costs of implementing evidence-based practices to support postsecondary success for learners from low-income backgrounds and students of color at two-year institutions. CCRC will use insights from the study to provide guidance to institutional leaders and state and system policymakers for advancing adequate and equitable funding strategies.

Strengthen and Scale Multiple Measures Assessment Implementation

Scaling
MDRC|$2,300,000|12/2020 - 12/2024
This grant supports MDRC, in partnership with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, to expand the adoption of multiple measures assessment systems for student placement in math and English.

Minnesota Math Pathways

Scaling
Minnesota State Colleges & Universities|$2,371,200|7/2021 - 12/2024
This grant supports Minnesota State Colleges & Universities in replacing pre-requisite remediation with co-requisite options and ensuring all students enter a mathematics pathway relevant to their program of study. These reforms are designed to facilitate transfer and reduce disparities in low-income and minoritized student completion outcomes.

Academic Planning Tool Pilot

Exploration
Partnership for Education Advancement|$1,417,900|12/2021 - 12/2024
This grant supports Partnership for Education Advancement in bolstering college capacity to plan for, successfully implement and evaluate the use of academic planning technology to help students map a clear path to courses needed for degree completion. In addition to decreasing excess credit accumulation and speeding time to degree for students, the project will help institutions calculate the return on their investment in this type of technology.