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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

All Grants

Focus Area
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Grant Type
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Equity Action Intensive

Exploration
The National Association of System Heads|$200,000|12/2022 - 6/2024
This grant supports the National Association of System Heads in partnering with four to six state postsecondary systems to develop robust plans for improving equity in postsecondary outcomes for learners of color and learners from low-income backgrounds. Selected systems will conduct self-assessments, set concrete equity goals, receive expert technical assistance and initiate reforms.

Assessing Quality and Equitable Access and Outcomes of Distance Postsecondary Courses for the Incarcerated

Validation
American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences|$700,000|7/2021 - 6/2024
This grant supports the American Institutes for Research in conducting a study to identify and examine high quality and equitable distance education practices among a select group of postsecondary education in prison providers offering courses that lead to a credential or degree. By producing evidence on the strengths and weaknesses of different distance education options, this study hopes to determine a connection between characteristics of program quality and student success outcomes.

AA-to-BA Transfer Apprenticeship Pathway for Rural Talent

Exploration
Reach Institute for School Leadership|$600,000|11/2022 - 5/2024
This grant supports Reach University in building career pathways between rural community colleges and school districts in four states, providing rural learners from low-income backgrounds with job-embedded training that leads to a bachelor’s degree and employment in high-quality, high-demand jobs in the education sector.

Community College Doctoral Program Redesign

Exploration
University of Maryland Global Campus|$825,825|6/2020 - 5/2024
This grant supports the University of Maryland Global Campus in developing a new doctoral program in community college leadership. The program curriculum will be comprehensive and innovative, designed in collaboration with influential community college stakeholders and thought leaders.

Advancing Equitable Outcomes through Leadership

Exploration
North Carolina State University|$1,803,200|6/2021 - 5/2024
This grant supports North Carolina State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership in building capacity for presidents, senior teams and trustees of the state’s 58 community colleges. Learner-centered leadership development is needed to address structural barriers to student success and implement solutions that will achieve equitable outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Actualizing Community Vibrancy Metrics

Exploration
Achieving the Dream Inc|$1,244,600|12/2022 - 5/2024
This grant supports Achieving the Dream (ATD) in helping its member colleges collect and use learner- and community-level data to drive college-wide reform. ATD will pilot the use of its new Community Vibrancy metrics framework with 15 colleges, learning how the metrics can be applied to drive change and produce tools and a training curriculum to support broader adoption across ATD’s 300+ member institutions.

Ready for Pell

Scaling
Jobs for the Future Inc|$4,984,528|9/2021 - 4/2024
This grant supports Jobs for the Future Inc (JFF) in leading Ascendium’s Ready for Pell initiative, including identifying and selecting high-capacity postsecondary education providers; surfacing and disseminating best practices; and providing technical assistance to enable institutions to implement best practices. JFF will also manage the third-party evaluation and share lessons from the initiative to inform efforts to scale access to Pell in prison settings.

2023 Aspen Prize and New Student Outcomes Data Benchmarking Tool

Scaling
The Aspen Institute Inc|$1,200,000|4/2022 - 3/2024
This grant supports the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program in awarding the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and developing a set of data tools, benchmarks and resources to expand adoption of core student success practices related to community college excellence. This grant will support broader field use and engagement with metrics, enabling colleges to benchmark their progress and set institutional reform goals accordingly.

Governing Board Success Academy

Exploration
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education|$2,078,900|10/2020 - 3/2024
This grant supports the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, in partnership with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, in providing professional development to governing boards on prioritizing equitable student success through practice, policy and budget oversight.

Community College Growth Engine Fund Expansion

Exploration
Education Design Lab|$995,900|10/2021 - 3/2024
This grant supports Education Design Lab (The Lab) in deploying the Community College Growth Engine Fund with two community college systems. The Lab will support the design and pilot of employer-validated micro-pathways to connect low-income learners to economic mobility.