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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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Normalizing Education Resource Center

November 2023
The reinstatement of Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated learners is a positive step toward normalizing opportunity to pursue education and career goals. This digital field guide was created to ensure postsecondary education leaders and corrections professionals have open access to free resources necessary to create high-quality postsecondary education in prison programs that lead to quality jobs and successful reentry.
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National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Prison Education Program Web Center

October 2023
Applying for and administering financial aid can be a minefield, especially for those in carceral settings. This web center provides both financial aid and prison education program administrators with up-to-date tools, training, and news related to the implementation of financial aid for incarcerated learners.
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Vera Institute of Justice

Second Chance Pell: Six Years of Expanding Higher Education Programs in Prisons

June 2023
Since 2016, the Vera Institute of Justice has provided technical assistance to colleges and corrections departments participating in the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, which provides need-based Pell Grants to people in state and federal prisons. This report describes the first six years of the initiative, with special focus on the 2021–22 financial aid year.
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New England Board of Higher Education

Report of the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison

June 2023
The New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison was formed with the goal of working to ensure that every incarcerated person in New England has access to high-quality, workforce-aligned equitable postsecondary opportunities with a wide range of educational pathways. With the restoration of Pell Grants for incarcerated learners occurring July 1, this report speaks to how such aims can be achieved.
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AR 2022 NewsRelease Featured

2022 Education Philanthropy Report: Meeting the Moment

April 2023
This year’s report is all about overcoming the challenges presented by our changing world. Inside, you’ll read about the tremendous efforts of our grant partners to improve postsecondary education and workforce training systems so that learners from low-income backgrounds can succeed beyond high school.
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RANDReport resource
The RAND Corporation

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Prison Education

March 2023
This report from RAND Corporation looks at trends in the COVID-19 infection rate for the U.S. state prison population and uses the results of a 2022 survey to examine how the health crisis and response efforts affected postsecondary education in prison programs.
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Academic Intelligence

How Pell Restoration Can Foster Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Learners in Prison

December 2022
On July 1, 2023, 1.5 million people in U.S. prisons become eligible for federal Pell Grants. In this episode of the Future U. podcast, hosts Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn talk to a scholar in prison education and a formerly incarcerated student who went on to earn his degree about how colleges benefit from offering and what it takes to provide meaningful opportunities for these learners to achieve their postsecondary education goals.
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2021 annual report

2021 Education Philanthropy Report: Stronger Together

March 2022
In 2021, we saw the impact partnership and collaboration can make in helping transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds. Our report tells the story of our philanthropy during 2021 and what can be achieved when organizations work together.
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Beyond Pell Restoration

March 2022
This report from the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison outlines the potential impacts of Pell Grant restoration on the field of postsecondary education in prison. The analysis uses original qualitative data from interviews with 12 postsecondary education in prison programs and quantitative data from the 2020 Understanding the Landscape of Higher Education in Prison national survey to illuminate persistent funding challenges that the Pell Grant alone cannot address.
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Evaluation of the Minnesota Department

Evaluation of the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ Career Navigators Program Final Report

March 2022
This research report presents the final findings from the RAND Corporation’s independent evaluation of the Minnesota Department of Corrections' Career Navigators program. It should be of interest to educators who develop and provide education programs for incarcerated adults, researchers who explore postsecondary education in prison and pathways to careers, corrections officials and policymakers.
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Reentry Campus Program Guide for Replication

March 2022
The Reentry Campus Program (RCP) works to expand educational opportunities and expedite completion rates for individuals who are currently and formerly incarcerated. This guide is designed to provide insight about the development of RCP and assist organizations interested in building a similar program.
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Landscape of Higher Ed

The Landscape of Higher Education in Prison 2019-2020

December 2021
This report from the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, partially funded by Ascendium, is the second annual data report on the Annual Survey of Higher Education in Prison Programs. It is the basis for the National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs. The Directory serves as a comprehensive resource for people seeking information about college in prison programs. It helps the field answer key questions about these programs and is a point of reference for advocates working to expand access to postsecondary education in prison.
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