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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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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2023 AR thumb

2023 Education Philanthropy Report: From Learning to Action

April 2024
Our 2023 report reflects on our continued efforts to build evidence and share actionable insights through our grantmaking. Inside, you’ll read how our philanthropy catalyzes change to postsecondary education and workforce training systems so more learners from low-income backgrounds can achieve their goals. You’ll also get insights into the upcoming year.
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John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Measuring Student Success Beyond Completion: Involving Boards in the Metrics that Matter

April 2024
The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and additional partner institutions share new evidence on the most useful learner success metrics and how postsecondary education institution governing boards can best use them to fulfill their roles. Focused on how good key metrics can lead to actionable outcomes, this article is part of a larger initiative to leverage the power of governing boards to oversee, envision, and drive equitable learner success.
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DeltaCompase resource
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Case Study: Delta Compass

March 2024
This case study highlights the efforts of Delta Compass, a workforce collaborative addressing current and future labor needs in a rural region of the U.S. They are an example of an organization that is responsive to local employment needs, working together with employers and the community college system to fill jobs in healthcare, education, and manufacturing.
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UpskillNW resources
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Case Study: Upskill NWA

March 2024
This case study details the recent activities of Upskill NWA. Primarily focused on healthcare professions, Upskill NWA provides comprehensive, individualized support to help learners complete requirements and secure employment. By working with area colleges and universities, the efforts of Upskill NWA are an example of how community-based stakeholders can collaborate to meet local workforce needs.
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RuralLISC
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Case Study: People Inc.

March 2024
This case study spotlights People Inc. of Virginia. The organization provides a wide range of services that help advance workforce opportunities in rural America, including work-based learning and on-the-job training. Because they collaborate with employers and community organizations, their work is a good example of what can be accomplished through rural partnerships.
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CAPR report
MDRC

Access to Success: Insights for Implementing a Multiple Measures Assessment System

March 2024
Most colleges have traditionally used standardized tests to help place learners in the math or English course level that best suits their prior learning and preparation. But those tests are a bad predictor of learners’ actual abilities, resulting in many learners – especially those from low-income backgrounds – being placed in courses they don't get college credit for and delayed on their path to a degree. Multiple Measures Assessment (MMA), the use of multiple forms of information about learners beyond just a single standardized test score, is proven to work better at helping learners get into the best courses for them. In this report, MDRC and the Community College Research Center explore how to implement and sustain the use of MMA.
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CommCollegeBachTexas resource
New America

Community College Bachelor’s Degrees in Texas: A First Look at Enrollment and Outcomes

March 2024
Community college baccalaureate programs are growing in Texas as they have the potential to offer more streamlined paths for learners to credentials that lead to good jobs. This brief offers policymakers and practitioners more information on who enrolls in these programs and what happens to graduates in the labor market so they can understand how these degrees can serve learners from low-income backgrounds.
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ImprovingSTEM resource
University of Washington

Progress in Improving STEM Transfer Partnerships Pathways

February 2024
This brief provides a snapshot into the process and progress of the STEM Transfer Partnership (STP) initiative. STP teams worked together for over 18 months to better understand and dismantle the obstacles for low-income STEM transfer students interested in completing a bachelor’s degree. Their documentation can serve new, future transfer partnerships by providing direction and inspiration.
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Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University

Small Towns, Big Opportunities

February 2024
This report provides a nuanced look at the status of educational attainment and employment in rural areas, finding that rural workers today are as likely as those in urban areas to hold a good job — one that pays a living wage for their region. But the report also shows that racial and gender disparities exist in who gets access to those jobs, even as rural areas grow more diverse. As rural economies shift and populations continue to decline and evolve, these communities need greater investment in education and workforce training to ensure future economic vitality.
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Accel7Week
The College System of Tennessee

Accelerated Courses at Tennessee Community Colleges

February 2024
To better understand the impact of accelerated (shorter-than-15-week) courses on learners from low-income and other nontraditional backgrounds, the College System of Tennessee studied whether seven-week courses affect learner outcomes and how faculty, staff, and learners experience accelerated courses. The resulting interactive policy brief showcases the changing landscape of accelerated course offerings at Tennessee community colleges while setting the stage for further study.
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BeyondAccess resource
Vera Institute of Justice

Beyond Access: Advancing Racial Equity and Inclusion in Prison Education Programs

February 2024
To bridge the gap between promising practices for advancing equity in postsecondary education and current postsecondary education in prison practices, the Vera Institute of Justice launched a multiyear, cross-state, collaborative project to explore racial inequities in both systems. This report presents their findings along with strategies aimed at tackling these inequities in postsecondary education in prison programs.
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National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Transfer and Progress: Fall 2023 Report

February 2024
One of several in this series, this report shows that transfer enrollment increased along all pathways for the fall 2023 semester. The series aims to better serve the education community with new, timely, and detailed data on transfer progress and mobility.
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