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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 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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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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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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new america web
New America Foundation

Community Colleges and Apprenticeship: The Promise, the Challenge

November 2023
Community colleges are well-positioned to expand apprenticeship opportunities and create affordable, equitable pathways into careers in healthcare, information technology, business services, and more. Resources from New America detail how colleges can fill the role of apprenticeship intermediary while serving the needs of learners and their communities.
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Postsecondary Competency-Based Education Program Model Map Framework
American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Competency-Based Education (CBE) Program Model Mapping Project

October 2023
While many colleges are adopting competency-based education (CBE) programs, few look the same. American Institutes for Research developed a framework and research brief that not only identifies design features and options currently in use by colleges and universities in the U.S., but also helps those in the field understand which features are working and which may be less effective.
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learning from students
University of Washington

Learning from Students: How Teams Rethink Their STEM Transfer Process Through Student Input

August 2023
This brief documents the work of postsecondary education partners to collect student input and translate that data into improvements for learners using STEM transfer pathways. It includes the strategies they used to collect input, as well as insights on what constitutes input, what forms of input are most needed, and how partners can best learn from students.
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workforce alignment study
Urban Institute

Workforce Alignment Study: Maximizing Workforce Success for College Students

August 2023
This suite of resources provides information for policymakers, institutional and system leaders, and practitioners on effective workforce aligned strategies and policies that help learners from low-income backgrounds complete short-term career and technical education credentials that lead to good jobs.
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TennCoach
Tennessee Board of Regents – The College System of Tennessee

The Tennessee Coaching Project: Next Steps Advisors (Pilot Semester Overview)

August 2023
The Tennessee Coaching Project extends support for adult learners with some postsecondary education but no degree through course-focused success coaches known as Next Steps Advisors. These coaches help them navigate the unique challenges and barriers they face returning to postsecondary education to complete their degree.
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futureUPod
Academic Intelligence

Learner Mobility and Transfer in Higher Ed

May 2023
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, it’s estimated that transfer students lose 43% of their credits when they move to a new institution. In this podcast episode, Michael Horn and Jeff Selingo speak to Greg Washington, president of George Mason University, about university programs that support learner mobility, especially for transfer students. These programs show promise as they make it easier for learners to keep prior-earned credits and integrate into their new institution.
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states take steps
RAND Corporation

States Can Take Steps to Address Potential Barriers to Equity in Stackable Credential Pipelines

April 2023
To ensure that stackable credentials are advancing equity, states and institutions can take actions to scale initiatives in ways that ensure learners from low-income backgrounds have access to and succeed in these pathways. A new research brief offers insights and recommendations for stakeholders based on a study of potential barriers within stackable credential pipelines.
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stacking cred
RAND Corporation

Do Low-Income Students Benefit from Stacking Credentials? Descriptive Evidence from Colorado and Ohio

April 2023
Stackable credential programs may be especially helpful for learners from historically underserved communities as they provide greater flexibility to pursue postsecondary education and workforce training. Using data from Colorado and Ohio, this research brief details the differences in credential-stacking and labor market returns from stacking for learners from low-income backgrounds versus middle- and high-income learners.
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