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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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2021 Education Philanthropy Report

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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Placing a Hold on Posts

Placing a Hold on Postsecondary Student Success

January 2022
This new Ascendium-supported brief by Education Commission of the States analyzes administrative holds, offering policy examples and considerations for postsecondary leaders working to ensure holds don’t impede learner progress. Evidence is mounting that such holds can negatively impact institution and state graduation and workforce goals. They also disproportionally affect students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education, namely students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.
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covid19 transfer mobility

COVID-19 Transfer, Mobility and Progress: Fall 2021 Report

January 2022
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has released the sixth report in a series which analyzes undergraduate transfer enrollment and pathways throughout the COVID-19 health crisis. This report, co-funded by Ascendium and ECMC Foundation, shows that transfer enrollment appears to have stabilized in Fall 2021 following a decline the previous year.
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Mapping Rural Colleges Tool

Mapping Rural Colleges Tool

January 2022
The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab completed their Mapping Rural Colleges project, funded by Ascendium. This project builds on research previously conducted by the SSTAR Lab and publicly available data to generate foundational, robust research about the state of rural postsecondary education and create an interactive data tool. This data tool aims to be a resource providing a more comprehensive view of rural postsecondary education for education leaders, researchers, practitioners and national networks exploring how to respond to demographic and enrollment shifts in rural institutions and communities.
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Mapping Rural Colleges and Their Communities

Mapping Rural Colleges and Their Communities

January 2022
This report provides new insights into demographic and economic indicators on rural areas, rural college enrollment trends and rural college communities to broaden how rural education is viewed and spark new questions. The report also provides an interactive data tool that is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Student Success Through Applied Research Lab project, funded by Ascendium. This report and its accompanying data tool aim to help researchers and policymakers more accurately portray rural areas and colleges to inform, expand and ultimately improve educational opportunities and outcomes in rural areas.
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introducing nations rural serving

Introducing Our Nation’s Rural-Serving Postsecondary Institutions

January 2022
To complement their rural-serving institutions (RSIs) data tool, the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC) also released a report detailing their process and findings. The report uses ARRC’s new metric to identify over one thousand RSIs, providing insights on these institutions, their learners and the communities they serve.
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rural serving data tool

Rural-Serving Institutions Data Tool

January 2022
Ascendium supported the creation of a mapping tool that identifies rural-serving institutions (RSIs) through a formal framework developed by the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. The tool can be used by researchers, policymakers, leaders at RSIs and philanthropic organizations to better support rural institutions and the learners they serve.
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Lessons From Two Experimental

Lessons From Two Experimental Studies of Multiple Measures Assessment

January 2022
This research brief summarizes the results of two rigorous studies on multiple measures assessments, one in New York and one funded by Ascendium in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Conducted by MDRC and Community College Research Center, both studies found that using multiple measures assessments to place students in introductory college-level English and math courses substantially improved completion rates. Ascendium supports efforts to validate and scale strategies like multiple measures that increase completion rates and reduce time to degree.
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Prioritizing Analysis

Prioritizing Analysis of Student Transcripts in Degree Reclamation Efforts to Improve Student Completion Outcomes

January 2022
Degree reclamation is a strategy to capture existing credits and put learners with some college, but no degree on track to postsecondary education completion. This resource from the Institute from Higher Education Policy provides recommendations for colleges and universities interested in improving completion outcomes.
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Degree Reclamation

The Degree Reclamation Playbook

January 2022
With over a decade’s worth of best practices included, this Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) playbook serves as a guide to reengage stopped-out students and increase completion at institution, system and state levels. Ascendium supports this resource through its investment in IHEP’s Degrees When Due initiative, a national effort to advance degree reclamation policy and practices.
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Rural Community Colleges with Lisa Larson

Mapping Postsecondary Providers with Nicholas Hillman (Part VIII)

December 2021
The final segment of an eight-part Rural Matters podcast series, sponsored by Ascendium, features the work of University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Nicholas Hillman and his colleagues at the Student Success Through Applied Research Lab. Hillman discusses his current research efforts and goals to map rural-located postsecondary providers, providing a deeper understanding of rural institutions and learners.
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Increasing Gatekeeper

Increasing Gatekeeper Course Completion

December 2021
This rigorous three-semester study of community college students in Minnesota and Wisconsin found a higher percentage of students who were placed using multiple measures assessments finished college-level English and math courses, compared to those who were placed in remedial courses using traditional methods. MDRC and Community College Research Center collaborated on the study. Ascendium supported this effort in keeping with its strategy to validate promising practices that improve outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.
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LASS

The Latino Adult Student Success Academy

December 2021
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) collaborated with Excelencia in Education and Strada to create the Latino Adult Student Success (LASS) Academy, the first cohort in CAEL’s Adult Learner Academy model. The LASS Academy brought 15 Hispanic-serving institutions together to learn, collaborate and use data to guide decision-making about how they can best serve students. Ascendium supports efforts to increase data-driven decision-making to drive more equitable student outcomes.
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