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2020 Education Philanthropy Report, Empowering Possibilities

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.


2020 Education Philanthropy Report Empowering Possibilities
April 2021

2020 Education Philanthropy Report: Empowering Possibilities

Our 2020 report, Empowering Possibilities, tells the story of our philanthropy during an unprecedented time and the tremendous efforts of our grant partners who were able to advance their work despite numerous challenges.
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rural higher education
February 2021

Rural Higher Education: Realities & Opportunities

These reports by MDRC are a special supplement to a series of four Rural Matters podcasts which were funded by Ascendium. Offered in these reports are ideas and recommendations for education professionals and policymakers to boost success for postsecondary education and workforce training in rural areas, along with links to listen to the original podcasts.
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Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education A Rural Pacific Learning Tour
January 2021

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education: A Rural Pacific Learning Tour

This Ascendium funded report lays out findings and insights gleaned from focus groups of students who live in and/or attend college in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. The information sheds light on how these rural institutions, students and communities have fared – both prior to the global pandemic and now.
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A College Lifeline Higher education for incarcerated and rural students
November 2020

A College Lifeline: Higher Education for Incarcerated and Rural Students — And Why It Matters

A College Lifeline, supported with funding from Ascendium, looks at the ways higher ed is serving rural and incarcerated students along with the unique benefits and challenges both educators and students face.
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RuralColleges InsightsReport thumbnail
October 2020

Insights Report: The Road Ahead for Rural Colleges

Rural college leaders are responding to demographic declines in innovative ways, including aligning more closely with regional workforce needs, creating satellite locations and using technology to close distance gaps. (Report produced by The Chronicle of Higher Education and sponsored by Ascendium)
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Rural Matters Rural Higher Education Challenges Opportunities
October 2020

Rural Matters: Rural Higher Education: Challenges & Opportunities (Podcast Series)

This four-part podcast series from Rural Matters, sponsored by Ascendium, features leaders in the rural postsecondary education space discussing challenges and opportunities in rural higher education and workforce training.
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Improving Workforce Outcomes for Rural Community College Students
October 2020

Improving Workforce Outcomes for Rural Community College Students

This Social Finance report, supported by funding from Ascendium, is intended to serve as a “how-to guide” for rural community college leaders in building or refining workforce partnerships. For workforce program directors, the checklists in the Getting Started and Rural Considerations sections are designed to be printed and used as a work plan. For presidents and provosts, the executive summary and stories of peer institutions serve as examples for transformation.
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EP Rural HND thumbnail
May 2020

Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training

This overview of one of Ascendium’s funding focus area explores Ascendium’s investment priorities for expanding networks and sharing data around postsecondary education and workforce needs in rural areas, and the desired outcomes of that support.
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May 2020

About Ascendium Education Philanthropy

This overview of Ascendium's education philanthropy details our strategic approach to philanthropy: how, where and what we fund, our four focus areas and our belief in the power of education for upward social mobility.
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2019 report thumbnail
April 2020

2019 Education Philanthropy Report: A Sharper Focus

2019 was not only our first full year under the Ascendium name, we literally sharpened our focus to four areas: removing structural barriers, postsecondary education in prison, rural education and workforce training, and streamlining transitions.
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2019 Ascendium Annual Report Thumbnail
January 2019

2018 Education Philanthropy Report: Clearing the Path

Our 2018 report, Clearing the Path, highlights our belief in catalyzing lasting change that reduces barriers that arise throughout a student’s progression from enrollment through program completion to gainful employment.
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2018 Ascendium Grantee Perception Report
June 2018

2018 Grantee and Applicant Perception Report

We’ve found that one of the best ways to identify areas for improvement is to ask those who know us best—namely, the grant partners we invest in.
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