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SREE Summer Fellows Program a Win-Win-Win for Students, Organizations and the Field

October 14, 2021 2-minute read
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The Society of Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE), in collaboration with Grantmakers for Education’s Learning, Evaluation and Data (LEAD) Impact Group, recently wrapped up its Summer Fellows Program. For the third year, Ascendium has supported the program by partnering with SREE to match researchers with important research questions being asked by philanthropic organizations like Ascendium.

Bethany Miller, Ascendium’s deputy director of learning and impact, serves as co-chair of the LEAD Impact Group. This virtual learning community supports Grantmakers for Education (GFE) members in using data, research and evaluation to improve philanthropic practice, policies and strategies, along with supporting the Summer Fellows Program.

“The fellowship is designed to be a win-win-win,” Miller said. “Philanthropic organizations like Ascendium get a high-quality synthesis of knowledge in the field, the Fellow gets a critical professional growth opportunity and other audiences benefit from the knowledge production.”

Ascendium sponsored three SREE Fellows this summer, who studied and presented on rural adult work-based learning, short-term credentials and research use in postsecondary education and workforce contexts. The three students were Madeleine Yount, a master’s student at Boise State University; Katrina Borowiec, a doctoral candidate at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development; and Claire Chuter, a PhD student at John Hopkins University, School of Education. They recently presented their research to Ascendium’s grantmaking team ahead of the annual SREE conference, in which they also participated.

“Katrina Borowiec’s research will help us understand what the existing literature says about who pursues short-term credentials and what their outcomes are,” said Maryann Rainey, an Ascendium program officer who worked in partnership with Borowiec this summer. “We’ll learn more about which state and institutional policy and programmatic factors may affect these outcomes and what strategies still need to be studied, evaluated and potentially replicated in order to maximize impact for learners from low-income backgrounds.”

“The research also provides a landscape for Ascendium to consider future philanthropic investments to further the research in how and which short-term credentials drive equitable outcomes for learners,” Rainey added.

Interested in reading the research completed by past SREE Fellows? SREE stores the Fellows’ research findings on their website. Find their executive summaries, technical reports and presentations here and check back to view the 2021 research projects.