Press Release

Ascendium’s 2018 Education Philanthropy Report Highlights $107 Million in Grant Funding

April 18, 2019

Renamed organization to continue focus on student success and education philanthropy

Madison, Wis.—Ascendium Education Group today released its 2018 Education Philanthropy Report, Clearing the Path, which describes the organization’s 2018 grantmaking aimed at promoting access and success in postsecondary education and workforce training among historically underrepresented learners. Ascendium’s grantmaking focuses on barriers facing students from low-income households, a disproportionate number of whom are students of color and first-generation students.

For the year, Ascendium invested $107 million in projects aimed at exploring, validating and scaling strategies for broad, lasting change leading to a more effective and equitable postsecondary education and workforce training landscape. Clearing the Path details grant projects that touch each stage of the student journey, from enrollment through completion. Issue areas spotlighted in the report include improving higher education in prison; increasing community college graduation rates; and boosting success among adult Latino students. The report also foreshadows new funding priorities for the next three to five years, which will be unveiled later this spring.

Ascendium was known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates before changing its name in November of 2018. This is the organization’s first philanthropy annual report to be published under the Ascendium banner.

“2018 was a year of change as we transitioned from Great Lakes to Ascendium,” said Richard D. George, Chairman, President and CEO of Ascendium. “But through the transition, our commitment to championing opportunity through postsecondary education and workforce training has remained as strong as ever.

“We envision a world in which everyone has the chance to ascend to their peak potential, and we believe postsecondary education is the vehicle best equipped to take them there.”

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