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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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NSCTransfer
The National Student Clearinghouse Resource Center

COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility and Progress: First Two Years of the Pandemic Report

September 2022
The final report in the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s series shows overall declines in both transfer enrollment and continuing enrollment post-transfer during the COVID-19 health crisis. Transfer students over 20 years old were among those whose enrollments declined most. In addition, community college enrollments dropped sharply, aligning with a drop in transfers from two- to four-year institutions, otherwise known as upward transfer.
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CAPR

The Next Phase of Placement Reform: Moving Toward Equity-Centered Practice

September 2022
Many colleges still use a process by which entering students are tested to determine if they're academically prepared for college-level math and English courses. These single, high-stakes tests have proven to be ineffective predictors of students' real abilities to succeed in college-level courses. They also contribute to disparities in early college success rates for learners from low-income backgrounds and adult learners. While changing the ways students get assessed and placed is a key area of reform, it's not by itself enough to eliminate those disparities. This brief from CAPR highlights promising strategies for addressing barriers to equitable access to and success in college-level courses, including barriers that may persist after broad placement reform has been implemented.
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JFF

Ten Ways Institutional Coaching Makes A Difference

August 2022
Institutional coaches are trusted advisors who help facilitate change conversations, share resources and knowledge and provide guidance to college administrators, faculty and staff engaged in implementing large-scale change initiatives. This report from Jobs for the Future illuminates how coaching positively impacts the people and institutions engaged in supporting guided pathways and other student success initiatives.
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Columbus Learning Center Management Corporation

Rural Learning Systems: Regional Collaborative Changing Systems for Adults in Northern California

August 2022
ProjectAttain! is a partner in the Rural Learning Systems cohort, collaborating with colleges, employers and a workforce board to improve educational attainment for adults in rural Northern California. This article details how the nonprofit is working with CivicLab to strengthen their partnerships so that more individuals with some college or skills training can achieve a credential or degree.
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RuralLearningSystems
Columbus Learning Center Management Corporation

Rural Learning Systems: Improving Economic Opportunity in Rural Taos County

August 2022
The Taos Education Collaborative (TEC), a partner in the Rural Learning Systems cohort, is spotlighted in this article by CivicLab. TEC brings businesses, educators and community organizations to the table to develop a homegrown workforce. Other rural communities can learn from TEC’s work to build stronger educational pipelines and clearer, better aligned pathways for postsecondary attainment and socioeconomic mobility.
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STEMTransfer
University of Washington

Structuring STEM Transfer Partnership Success: Report #1

August 2022
In their first report, the University of Washington describes key components of a successful STEM transfer program that centers student success through an interconnected system, rather than several siloed systems. Using data from the first six months of their STEM Transfer Partnerships program, they are hopeful this resource will begin a dialogue on how practitioners and researchers think about STEM and student transfer.
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Education Commission of the States

Do the Details of Corequisite Supports Matter?

July 2022
Community college systems and individual colleges have made considerable investments in corequisite supports, and these supports have been implemented in myriad ways. Yet, despite overall favorable evidence of improvements, we know remarkably little about how to design corequisite supports to maximize students’ success. This report from Strong Start to Finish examines corequisite designs of math and English courses across the Colorado Community Colleges System to identify the features of corequisite support courses that are most strongly associated with students’ short- and long-term outcomes.
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UofMReport
University of Montana

Categorization of Place-based, Postsecondary Learning Experiences for Rural Students

July 2022
Place-based learning is an outside-the-box approach to curriculum design. It integrates local and regional cultures, history and resources into educational curricula, making it a good fit for rural learners. It encourages them to be more engaged in postsecondary education by making it relevant to their lives and their communities. This resource includes case study profiles of rural institutions and how they utilize place-based learning programs.
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CaringCampusResource
Institute for Evidence-Based Change

Implementing Caring Campus With Nonacademic Staff: Lessons From Participating Colleges

June 2022
In addition to the many structural barriers that impede the success of learners from low-income backgrounds, there are also cultural barriers — those that make learners feel isolated and overwhelmed and like they don't belong. A new report from the Community College Resource Center shows how community colleges can confront these barriers and increase retention by intentionally engaging nonacademic staff to build a culture of belonging. Specifically, the report discusses the early promise of Caring Campus/Staff, a program designed and administered by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change to enlist nonacademic staff in these efforts.
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The Conference Board

Preparing Rural Americans for the Postpandemic Economy: Lessons from Utah

June 2022
Rural communities face different labor market challenges than urban areas. However, there are opportunities for significant change as the U.S. emerges from the pandemic. This brief from The Conference Board looks at labor market challenges and solutions for rural America, using rural Utah as a case study.
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Complete College America

No Middle Ground: Advancing Equity Through Practice

June 2022
No Middle Ground provides a guide for incorporating equity into Complete College America’s evidence-based strategies for college completion. The report outlines the importance of language and intentionality in creating programs and policies to disrupt dysfunctional systems and pave the way for all students to complete college.
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MDRC

Informed Self-Placement Today: An Exploratory Study of Student Outcomes and Placement Practices

June 2022
Informed Self-Placement is a placement system in which students decide their math and English placement level based on information provided by colleges. This report from CAPR provides an opportunity for institutions to evaluate their placement systems relative to the degree of choice and guidance provided, and to consider changes that may boost student progression and success.
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