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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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Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Assessing the Use of Administrative Holds

October 2023
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has created an online resource center to increase understanding around the impact of administrative hold policies and practices on equitable learner success. The online resource center includes learner profile videos, testimonials, case studies, and tools which provide context and actionable guidance for those planning an institutional assessment of holds.
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Translating Opportunity: Improving Postsecondary Pathways for Multilingual Learners of English

September 2023
Multilingual learners of English play a vital role in U.S. society but are often marginalized, misunderstood, and underserved in postsecondary education. This report offers recommendations to help educators, policymakers, researchers, and others better serve this diverse population with effective and equitable policies and programs.
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Education Commission of the States

A State Policy Framework for Developmental Education Reform

September 2023
Developmental education reforms such as multiple measures for placement, co-requisites, and math pathways are proven to reduce barriers for learners from low-income backgrounds and increase postsecondary student success. This framework provides a guide for codifying these reforms in policy to promote scaling and sustainability.
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Institute for Evidence-Based Change

Implementing Caring Campus: Strategies College Presidents Use to Improve Culture and Support Reform

May 2023
Developed by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, Caring Campus is a reform effort based on research that shows students who feel connected to their college are more likely to persist from semester to semester and complete their academic goals. This report highlights the role of college presidents in supporting campus culture and offers guidance for leaders at other institutions as they consider how best to institute Caring Campus and other culture-focused reforms.
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Aspen Institute

The 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

April 2023
The Aspen Prize recognizes the transformative power of community colleges by honoring institutions with outstanding student outcomes. The winners and finalists for 2023 offer lessons on what’s possible when a college commits to delivering on its promises, both to students and the broader community.
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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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New America

When Community Colleges Offer a Bachelor’s Degree: A Literature Review on Student Access and Outcomes

March 2023
State policymakers are increasingly allowing community colleges to offer bachelor's degrees in order to meet growing demand for credentials in high-demand and applied fields. This report synthesizes research about such programs’ ability to improve student access and outcomes.
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Teachers College, Columbia University

Mapping Community College Finance Systems to Develop Equitable and Effective Finance Policy

March 2023
With a view toward equity, researchers from HCM Strategists have mapped and compared three very different state systems to reveal the diversity and complexity of how community colleges are financed. They also provide an analytical framework for informed and effective reforms so that these institutions can be better equipped to help their students complete degrees.
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Improving Outcomes for Men of Color in College: Recommendations for Advancing Success in the “Dual Pandemics”

March 2023
Across colleges and universities, the COVID-19 health crisis and racial injustice have contributed to startling enrollment declines for men of color. This is particularly true at community colleges, which serve as a primary pathway into postsecondary education. This brief from MDRC’s College Completion Strategy Guide shares strategies that colleges and universities can use to support this population of learners.
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CAPR Multiple Measures Assessment Toolkit

December 2022
Giving students multiple ways to demonstrate their skills helps ensure all students who are ready for college-level math and English courses have the opportunity to take them, which can make access to these courses more equitable. This toolkit from the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness — led by the Community College Research Center and MDRC — is designed to help colleges reform assessment and placement using multiple measures.
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Facilitating Institutional Transformation

October 2022
JFF’s Student Success Center Network is dedicated to advancing socioeconomic mobility by equitably increasing the number of students earning postsecondary degrees that lead to good jobs. This report summarizes findings from the first five years of the Student Success Center Network's Coaching Program, including case studies and lessons learned.
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How Tools Support Coaches and Student Success Center Coaching Programs

September 2022
Jobs for the Future, Community College Research Initiatives and Achieving the Dream created a set of tools and resources to assist both coaches and leadership in its Student Success Center Network in directly supporting the process of complex institutional change. This brief shares which tools resonated the most with state-based Student Success Center leadership and coaches, how they were used, their benefits and the importance of training to augment their impact on student success.
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