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Newsletter Article June 17, 2024

Building on Prior Learning to Test the Effectiveness of Solutions that Better Serve Learners

Supporting critical learning and evidence building projects that catalyze the adoption of effective postsecondary education and workforce training solutions and reforms is core to our grantmaking strategy. Two recent validation grants demonstrate our support for these types of projects that build evidence policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders can use to better understand what makes solutions and reforms effective. With evidence in hand, these stakeholders can influence changes to practices and policies that lead to improved access to and success in postsecondary education and workforce training for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Newsletter Article June 17, 2024

Media Partnerships Call Attention to Critical Issues and Solutions

From a nursing apprenticeship program in Texas to a women’s prison education program in Colorado, these recent stories from some of our media partners encapsulate how high-quality reporting and storytelling can spread insights about innovative, evidence-based solutions. They can also inform and inspire people as to what’s possible in postsecondary education and workforce training, prompting policy and institutional leaders to address critical issues in their own communities.

Newsletter May 28, 2024

How Ohio is Preparing the STEM Workforce, A Texas Community College Initiative Aims to Advance Equity, Q&A with Carolynn Lee, and More

  • Ambitious Yet Vital: How Ohio is Preparing the STEM Workforce of Tomorrow
  • A Texas Community College Initiative Aims to Advance Equity and Opportunity for English-Language Learners
  • Q&A: Carolynn Lee Discusses How Social Finance Institute Could Help Improve Outcomes for Learners
Newsletter Article May 20, 2024

Q&A: Carolynn Lee Discusses How Social Finance Institute Could Help Improve Outcomes for Learners

Social Finance, a national nonprofit, recently launched the Social Finance Institute. The Institute is a new initiative to increase learning and dissemination of insights from the nonprofit’s decade of work to make postsecondary education and workforce training more accessible, affordable, and sustainable. In this Q&A, Deputy Director of Education Grantmaking Carolynn Lee shares what excites her about the innovative work and how it can lead to improved outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds.

Ascendium in the News May 15, 2024

Goodwill Grant Will Expand Training to Fill High Demand Jobs

Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana is one of eight Goodwill centers across the U.S. that will develop new workforce training pathways aligned to labor market needs in their rural regions. These pathways benefit rural residents by providing an opportunity to upskill to fill high-demand jobs in their rural communities. This news article spotlights an individual who utilized one of Goodwill’s existing programs to advance his career and fill a local need for nurses in a rural community.

Newsletter Article May 14, 2024

A Texas Community College Initiative Aims to Advance Equity and Opportunity for English-Language Learners

The Texas Community College Education Initiative is spearheading efforts to empower English-language learners (ELLs) by bridging the gap between English as a Second Language programs and community college credentials. Through targeted interventions and resource development, this initiative aims to facilitate seamless transitions for ELLs into postsecondary education and workforce training programs, advancing equity and opportunity in Texas.

Newsletter Article April 30, 2024

Ambitious Yet Vital: How Ohio is Preparing the STEM Workforce of Tomorrow

Ohio Strong Start in Science is a bid by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to address high failure rates in entry-level science courses and boost STEM workforce readiness. This initiative will revamp placement practices, curricula, and instruction in gateway biology and chemistry courses. By exploring corequisite redesign’s potential and sharing insights, this project has the potential to ensure equitable learning opportunities and inspire nationwide adoption

Ascendium in the News April 23, 2024

Report: A Convening of Rural Higher Education Institutions Aims to Provide Economic Mobility for Rural Learners

Education Design Lab has launched the Rural College Design and Data Academy. Made up of 13 rural postsecondary education institutions, the new Academy aims to strengthen their capacity to meet the needs of rural learners from low-income backgrounds through workforce-aligned training pathways. To give more rural learners the opportunity to earn a credential and gain economic mobility, the Academy will identify promising pathways and gather data to understand rural institutions’ capacity to support them.

Newsletter Article April 12, 2024

Exploring Innovative Financing Models to Strengthen Talent Pipelines

Opportunities exist for integral stakeholders to form partnerships and explore effective and sustainable financing models for workforce training programs. A grant to Social Finance will encourage this coordination, which we envision leading to more robust, equitable training options for learners from low-income backgrounds to achieve upward mobility.

Newsletter Article April 11, 2024

How Postsecondary Education in Prison Pathways Empower Incarcerated Learners to Reach Their Full Potential

In observance of Second Chance Month, we're shining a spotlight on postsecondary education in prison pathways. As the White House and others encourage a more comprehensive approach to educating incarcerated learners, it’s imperative that we design clear pathways supported by essential wraparound services. This enables incarcerated learners to seamlessly enter postsecondary education programs while incarcerated and gain valuable credentials and workforce opportunities upon release.

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