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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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paths to success

How Community Colleges Are Strengthening Guided Pathways to Ensure Students Are Learning

October 2021
This report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities features narratives, best practices and recommendations from a two-year project to strengthen guided pathways implementation at 20 participating campuses. In this effort, funded in part by Ascendium, participants mapped academic paths and degree programs to student goals, helped students choose and stay on a degree path and built capacity to ensure students were learning.
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Equitable Community College Student Outcomes

How to Achieve More Equitable Community College Student Outcomes: Lessons From Six Years of CCRC Research on Guided Pathways

September 2021
This Ascendium-supported report outlines how the Community College Research Center's thinking has evolved in the six years since it published Redesigning America’s Community Colleges, an influential book on guided pathways. Since that time, the center has studied the adoption, implementation costs and effects of guided pathways at more than 100 institutions. The report offers high-level recommendations, including increased use of experience-based learning, early advising tied to academic majors and customized onboarding paths for older adults returning to school.
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Student Success Training Resources

Student Success Training Resources for Campus Employees

September 2021
The National Association of College and University Business Officers produced these flexible, user-friendly videos and activities to help all campus employees understand how they can help students overcome systemic barriers and succeed. The six-part curriculum, supported by Ascendium, includes modules on overcoming implicit bias, understanding and overcoming systemic racism and more.
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IEBC Caring Campus

Incorporating Racial Equity into Caring Campus

August 2021
Ascendium supported the Institute for Evidence-Based Change to produce a series of guides on Caring Campus, a holistic approach to improving a sense of student belonging and connection on campus with the goal of increasing student success. This third guide details ways professional staff and others can incorporate concepts of racial equity, specifically the behavioral commitments, into the Caring Campus approach.
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corequisite mathematics

Corequisite Mathematics Toolkit

August 2021
This toolkit supports college faculty, administrators and advisors in ensuring that corequisite mathematics classes provide the support students need to be successful, particularly those who are students of color, first-generation and from low-income communities. It also provides nationally agreed-upon design principles for math corequisites, as well as tools and resources to make them actionable. It’s part of the Strong Start to Finish initiative led by Education Commission of the States and supported by Ascendium, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
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faculty staff support toolkit

Faculty & Staff Support: A Toolkit for Mid-Level Managers

July 2021
This Strong Start to Finish (SSTF) toolkit aims to build capacity for large-scale, equity-grounded, student-focused change by providing tested change leadership strategies for mid-level campus managers. SSTF is led by Education Commission of the States and supported by Ascendium, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
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How Ohio Community Colleges Are Using Guided Pathways to Personalize Student Support

How Ohio Community Colleges Are Using Guided Pathways to Personalize Student Support

June 2021
This report, supported by Ascendium, examines innovative ways Ohio community colleges are providing personalized student supports within the guided pathways model. The report finds that personalizing universal supports has the potential to increase equity by better recognizing and meeting the needs of underrepresented students, a step towards reducing structural barriers to their success.
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University Innovation Alliance Completion Grants Playbook

University Innovation Alliance Completion Grants Playbook

April 2021
The University Innovation Alliance produced a comprehensive suite of materials to provide qualitative analysis for the completion grants strategy and a roadmap for institutions considering starting their own programs. With support from Ascendium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it draws on the experiences of 11 member institutions using completion grants to increase graduation rates for low-income learners.
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Investing in Student Success at Community Colleges

Investing in Student Success at Community Colleges: Lessons from Research on Guided Pathways

April 2021
The Community College Research Center at Columbia University Teachers College prepared this primer and federal policy brief on Guided Pathways, a comprehensive reform approach whereby community colleges fundamentally reshape themselves in ways that create clearer pathways to credentials with strong labor-market value. The brief draws heavily on research funded by Ascendium in the past several years.
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Caring Campus An Initiative to Involve Community College Staff

Caring Campus: An Initiative to Involve Community College Staff in Increasing Student Success

April 2021
This research brief, developed by the Community College Research Center, highlights the Caring Campus initiative with a special focus on evaluating the importance of nonacademic college staff to the student experience. With funding from Ascendium, the work draws on observations at six colleges, plus interviews with representatives and staff, to detail initial findings related to the initiative’s potential to affect college culture and further change efforts for learners.
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2020 Education Philanthropy Report Empowering Possibilities

2020 Education Philanthropy Report: Empowering Possibilities

April 2021
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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A Better Way to Place Students What Colleges Need to Know About Multiple Measures Assessments

A Better Way to Place Students: What Colleges Need to Know About Multiple Measures Assessments

February 2021
Placement testing often determines whether a student is required to take developmental education courses or college-level courses upon entry to postsecondary education. Placement testing can also be a barrier for students, which is why Ascendium supported the research captured in this resource by MDRC and the Community College Research Center which explores an alternative to high-stakes placement testing.
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