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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

Streamline Key Learner Transitions

Our philanthropy supports institutions and systems as they work to facilitate seamless transitions between educational and career opportunities after high school.

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How We See the Problem

Leveraging workforce training, transferring between postsecondary providers and entering or re-entering the workforce are pivotal moments in a learner’s career or academic journey. Institutions and systems can implement policies and practices that inadvertently make these transitions difficult. For example, when curricula don’t align, or information systems are incapable of sharing data effectively, students risk losing credits, momentum and money. The jump from postsecondary education into the workforce also presents challenges, especially when institutions offer programming that does not align with the skills employers need.

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Ascendium's Approach

An investment priority to...

Explore diverse pathways to and through postsecondary education and workforce training

Means we support...

  • Identifying, validating and scaling high-quality, nontraditional postsecondary education and training models, such as apprenticeships, career pathways, short term credentials and competency-based education
  • Promoting collaboration between postsecondary education and non-degree providers

Which will lead to...

  • Increasing learners’ understanding of the credentialing landscape and equitable pathways to careers
  • Increasing learner completion of nontraditional postsecondary education and training that enhance their readiness and access to employment, sustainable career pathways and additional education
  • Recognition from the traditional academe of high-quality, non-degree credentials and training, resulting in accessible and equitable pathways to additional education and careers

An investment priority to...

Ease transitions between, and returning to, postsecondary providers

Means we support...

  • Reforming policy and practice to improve transfer and application of credit at system, state and regional levels
  • Supporting effective strategies to reengage adult learners with some college, but no degree

Which will lead to...

  • Learners with some college but no degree re-enrolling and earning a high-quality credential
  • Increasing the number of learners who successfully move between education providers without losing credit, slowing momentum or delaying credential completion

An investment priority to...

Smooth transitions between postsecondary education and the workforce

Means we support...

  • Promoting postsecondary alignment and collaboration with workforce and economic development
  • Expanding data infrastructure and information sharing between postsecondary education providers and the workforce
  • Scaling effective institutional policies and practices that promote successful job placement leading to socioeconomic mobility

Which will lead to...

  • Postsecondary and workforce systems sharing data to provide learners with relevant education that meets economic and workforce needs and learners’ goals
  • Postsecondary institutions demonstrating commitment to learners’ career outcomes

Grants to Streamline Key Learner Transitions

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
Racine Unified School District|$28,665|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
West Allis West Milwaukee School District|$32,835|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
School District of La Crosse|$47,910|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
St. Francis School District|$38,020|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
School District of South Milwaukee|$38,025|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
Adams-Friendship Area School District|$38,020|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting-Signal Vine, Inc. fees for Wisconsin school districts

Scaling
Signal Vine Inc|$46,920|8/2018 - 9/2020
This grant supports licensing and setup fees for the Signal Vine texting platform for the 13 school districts participating in the Text Steps project.

FAFSA Completion Challenge

Scaling
National College Attainment Network|$1,000,000|4/2018 - 8/2020
This grant supports the National College Access Network in helping 30 large cities with lower-than-average FAFSA completion rates implement plans to increase communitywide rates.

Creating Postsecondary Pathways for Thread Students

Exploration
Thread Inc|$277,000|7/2019 - 6/2020
This grants supports Thread in an effort to conduct a planning initiative to audit, strengthen, and codify their relationship-driven approach to supporting underserved young adults in five core postsecondary pathways: two-year degree completion, four-year degree completion, entrepreneurship, trade school/apprenticeships and straight-to-workforce.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Scaling
Ben Castleman|$7,875|5/2018 - 5/2020
This grant supports Ben Castleman in providing consulting to the 13 Wisconsin public school districts participating in the Text Steps summer melt project.

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