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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.

A young woman training in a server room.

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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Our Three Investment Priorities

Grants to Streamline Key Learner Transitions

Creating Pathways to Mid-Level Tech Careers and Educational Opportunity

Exploration
Apprenti|$150,000|5/2021 - 9/2022
This grant supports Apprenti in determining the viability of a formal partnership with a four-year degree granting institution for the purpose of providing a pathway to a bachelor's degree for low-income and underrepresented learners who complete registered technology apprenticeships.

College Promise Careers Institute & Expanding Ecosystems for Promise Student Support

Scaling
College Promise Campaign|$250,000|7/2021 - 6/2022
This grant supports the College Promise Campaign in expanding their efforts to build awareness of supports for specific College Promise student populations and their work focused on elevating the role of postsecondary education in addressing workforce and economic development needs.

Career Advising Tools and Outreach for Low-Income College Graduates-Planning Phase

Exploration
The Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia|$284,300|12/2020 - 6/2022
This grant supports the University of Virginia in developing a personalized job recommendation tool and intrusive advising resources designed to improve employment outcomes for low-income community college graduates.

Assessing Training Success through Place-Based and Geographic-Agnostic Program Models

Scaling
Merit America|$837,000|5/2021 - 5/2022
This grant supports Merit America in testing service delivery models for learners engaged in place-based programs and those engaged in geographic-agnostic programs to compare learner completion and job placement outcomes and inform plans for scale.

Strengthening Guided Pathways through Workforce

Scaling
The Aspen Institute Inc|$1,089,700|10/2019 - 3/2022
This grant supports The Aspen Institute in operationalizing the Ascendium-funded Workforce Playbook by engaging community college leaders in a variety of contexts through additional curricular materials and embedding the Workforce Playbook into the existing guided pathways framework.

Supporting a Multi-State Education-Workforce Data Infrastructure

Scaling
Coleridge Initiative Inc|$550,348|9/2020 - 3/2022
This grant supports the Coleridge Initiative in developing and delivering training classes for two states to build capacity for state education and workforce agencies in the use of data to improve education and workforce transitions. The Coleridge Initiative will partner with state-based public policy staff and college-based data science programs within each state to develop curricula, deliver ongoing applied data training to state agency staff and build new analytical products to inform the design and development of effective education and training policy and practice.

Degrees When Due

Validation
Institute for Higher Education Policy|$618,000|1/2018 - 3/2022
This grant supports the Institute for Higher Education Policy in conducting the impact research component of the Degrees When Due initiative, a national effort to advance degree reclamation for the “some-college, no-degree” population. This research includes an examination of current degree reclamation strategies and student-level postsecondary and employment outcome data.

Evaluation of Veterans Credentialing Pilot Initiative

Validation
DVP-Praxis Ltd.|$183,000|7/2020 - 2/2022
This grant supports DVP-Praxis in evaluating the Military Credentialing Advancement Initiative-Pathways Project, an initiative of Lumina Foundation. The Pathways Project will support the creation of new pathways between military occupational competencies and high-quality civilian credentials, and the formative evaluation will highlight learnings from the pilot sites to inform the field and encourage broader recognition of military training and experience.

Implementing Competency-Based Education at Scale

Exploration
Kentucky Community and Technical College System Foundation Inc|$613,915|6/2020 - 2/2022
This grant supports the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in developing and executing an in-depth planning process to understand the system, academic and structural changes necessary for a statewide implementation of competency-based education within its general education, career and technical and workforce training programs.

Next Generation Sector Partnerships National Benchmarking & Rural Affinity Group

Validation
Next Gen Sector Partnerships|$379,375|1/2020 - 2/2022
This grant supports Next Gen Sector Partnerships in creating a formal analysis of the impact of the more than 80 Next Gen Sector Partnerships currently operating nationwide. The analysis will inform the codification of best practices and the development of training materials for use in the expansion of rural public and private partner networks working toward regional vitality and expanded opportunity.
View All Ascendium Grants

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