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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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Resource Library

Sharing knowledge is at the heart of our mission. Explore Ascendium’s growing library of publications that examine the complex challenges facing postsecondary learners, and how we’re helping our partners address them.

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The National Student Clearinghouse Resource Center

COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility and Progress: First Two Years of the Pandemic Report

September 2022
The final report in the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s series shows overall declines in both transfer enrollment and continuing enrollment post-transfer during the COVID-19 health crisis. Transfer students over 20 years old were among those whose enrollments declined most. In addition, community college enrollments dropped sharply, aligning with a drop in transfers from two- to four-year institutions, otherwise known as upward transfer.
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capr resource
CAPR

The Next Phase of Placement Reform: Moving Toward Equity-Centered Practice

September 2022
Many colleges still use a process by which entering students are tested to determine if they're academically prepared for college-level math and English courses. These single, high-stakes tests have proven to be ineffective predictors of students' real abilities to succeed in college-level courses. They also contribute to disparities in early college success rates for learners from low-income backgrounds and adult learners. While changing the ways students get assessed and placed is a key area of reform, it's not by itself enough to eliminate those disparities. This brief from CAPR highlights promising strategies for addressing barriers to equitable access to and success in college-level courses, including barriers that may persist after broad placement reform has been implemented.
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Education Commission of the States

Do the Details of Corequisite Supports Matter?

July 2022
Community college systems and individual colleges have made considerable investments in corequisite supports, and these supports have been implemented in myriad ways. Yet, despite overall favorable evidence of improvements, we know remarkably little about how to design corequisite supports to maximize students’ success. This report from Strong Start to Finish examines corequisite designs of math and English courses across the Colorado Community Colleges System to identify the features of corequisite support courses that are most strongly associated with students’ short- and long-term outcomes.
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UofMReport
University of Montana

Categorization of Place-based, Postsecondary Learning Experiences for Rural Students

July 2022
Place-based learning is an outside-the-box approach to curriculum design. It integrates local and regional cultures, history and resources into educational curricula, making it a good fit for rural learners. It encourages them to be more engaged in postsecondary education by making it relevant to their lives and their communities. This resource includes case study profiles of rural institutions and how they utilize place-based learning programs.
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CaringCampusResource
Institute for Evidence-Based Change

Implementing Caring Campus With Nonacademic Staff: Lessons From Participating Colleges

June 2022
In addition to the many structural barriers that impede the success of learners from low-income backgrounds, there are also cultural barriers — those that make learners feel isolated and overwhelmed and like they don't belong. A new report from the Community College Resource Center shows how community colleges can confront these barriers and increase retention by intentionally engaging nonacademic staff to build a culture of belonging. Specifically, the report discusses the early promise of Caring Campus/Staff, a program designed and administered by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change to enlist nonacademic staff in these efforts.
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Complete College America

No Middle Ground: Advancing Equity Through Practice

June 2022
No Middle Ground provides a guide for incorporating equity into Complete College America’s evidence-based strategies for college completion. The report outlines the importance of language and intentionality in creating programs and policies to disrupt dysfunctional systems and pave the way for all students to complete college.
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MDRC ISP today
MDRC

Informed Self-Placement Today: An Exploratory Study of Student Outcomes and Placement Practices

June 2022
Informed Self-Placement is a placement system in which students decide their math and English placement level based on information provided by colleges. This report from CAPR provides an opportunity for institutions to evaluate their placement systems relative to the degree of choice and guidance provided, and to consider changes that may boost student progression and success.
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Rural Community Colleges with Lisa Larson
Rural Matters

Diving Into Place-Based Education Programs (Part VI)

June 2022
The final installment in a six-part series, this Rural Matters podcast episode highlights place-based education programs, particularly how they can benefit rural learners and communities. Place-based learning involves engaging the community, which can help make college learning more accessible, relevant and motivating to first-generation learners and learners from low-income backgrounds.
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Rural Educator Academy Background
Community Colleges of the Appalachia Region

Rural Educator Academy Background, Brief and Core Competencies

June 2022
Created by The Community Colleges of Appalachia, the Rural Educator Academy (REA) is a unique, two-pronged approach to professional development for rural postsecondary educators. Through REA, a community of practice has formed to identify ways leaders can improve student success for learners from low-income backgrounds while also focusing on equity. A curriculum for training will be produced from the REA professional development program.
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Community College Research Center

Research Evidence on Ask-Connect-Inspire-Plan Onboarding Practices

May 2022
New research behind a framework aimed at enriching learners’ experiences as they choose and plan a program of study has been shared by the Community College Research Center (CCRC). This brief describes the motivation, research evidence and equity implications that allow CCRC’s Ask-Connect-Inspire-Plan framework to serve as a useful strategy for colleges to engage learners and encourage completion.
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Rural Community Colleges with Lisa Larson
Rural Matters

The Importance of Digital Skills and Leadership in Rural Postsecondary Education (Part V)

May 2022
The fifth in a six-part podcast series, this Rural Matters episode features a discussion with leaders of two organizations working with rural community colleges to prepare students for the digital economy. These organizations focus their work on helping rural college leaders to understand and use data so that they can identify barriers faced by learners from low-income backgrounds and create equitable pathways to career success.
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New America

Evaluating the Student Experience at Community College Baccalaureate Programs

May 2022
Community college baccalaureate programs can be an invaluable resource for students who otherwise lack avenues for obtaining a four-year degree. In this brief, New America profiles three students who describe what it was like to work toward a bachelor’s degree and why they chose to enroll at a community college to do so.
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