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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.

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.

News Release April 11, 2024

Ascendium Releases 2023 Education Philanthropy Report, From Learning to Action

Ascendium released its 2023 Education Philanthropy Report, From Learning to Action. The report highlights our “learning while doing” approach to grantmaking.

Ascendium in the News April 10, 2024

Scaling Up: Shrinking the DFW Rate

Inspired by the success of Georgia State University’s Accelerator Academy model, 10 University Innovation Alliance member institutions are working to decrease the rate of failures or withdrawals from gateway courses and then scale promising solutions. Failures and withdrawals disproportionately impact learners from low-income backgrounds and learners of color, keeping them from progressing toward a degree.

Newsletter Article April 08, 2024

Roadtrip Nation Is Hitting the Road Again to Explore Postsecondary Education in Prison’s Positive Career Outcomes

April is Second Chance Month. Join us in recognizing incarcerated learners and elevating conversations about solutions for all justice-impacted individuals. Learn more about Ascendium’s commitment to increasing access to high-quality postsecondary education in prison.

News Release April 02, 2024

Skills Boost: Wisconsin Technical College System Apprentices Receive $1.6M in Scholarships from Ascendium

Hundreds of apprentices in the Wisconsin Technical College System receive Tools of the Trade scholarships from Ascendium in 2024.

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