Ascendium Invests $16.2 Million in Degree Persistence, Health Pathways, Sustainable Digital Careers and More | Ascendium Education Group, Inc. Skip to main content


Newsletter Article January 20, 2021

Ascendium Invests $16.2 Million in Degree Persistence, Health Pathways, Sustainable Digital Careers and More

Ascendium’s Board of Directors has approved funding for 19 new grants totaling more than $16.2 million. This includes funding for field support and development projects and a wide range of efforts across our four focus areas. This includes projects targeted towards postsecondary learners from low-income backgrounds, especially first-generation learners, veterans, incarcerated learners, rural community members and learners of color. Collaborating with co-funders and grant partners, Ascendium is supporting:

  • OnPath, an MDRC project to scale persistence strategies at five institutions within the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Center for Student Success and five community colleges in the state. The project will use evidence from the MDRC grant, Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE), to apply behavioral science insights to boost persistence and progress for learners from low-income backgrounds. ECMC Foundation is co-funding this project.
  • Hana Career Pathways in Healthcare, a project of the University of Hawaii system, will develop clear career pathways that lead from high-demand, entry-level healthcare occupations to advancement in skills, education, career and earnings. Ascendium is partnering with the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.
  • Michigan Community College Workforce and Transfer Alignment, a project of the Michigan Community College Association, will increase equitable access to and through community college workforce programs for learners from low-income backgrounds statewide. The project will help to improve program alignment with industry certifications, build new baccalaureate transfer pathways and strengthen advising practices related to transfer and career outcomes.
  • Preparing Incarcerated Learners for Careers in Technology, a LaunchCode Foundation project, will expand access to LaunchCode’s foundational coding and web development training and employment program for incarcerated learners in several Missouri prison facilities. The project aims to increase workforce training opportunities and improve employment outcomes for incarcerated adults while providing a pathway to further education.
  • Evaluating Digital Pathways Transformation of Rural Community Colleges, a new project of Achieving the Dream, will build a cohort of six rural community colleges undergoing large-scale institutional change to increase the number of learners from low-income backgrounds who graduate and enter the digital economy. Ascendium is collaborating with grant partners Cognizant U.S. Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and the Walmart Foundation.

Ascendium funds these projects with the belief that they will contribute to a future where more learners from low-income backgrounds reach their education and career goals, equity gaps are eliminated and all postsecondary learning is valued and validated.

You can find additional information about these grants, such as grant amount, type and period, by visiting the All Grants page.

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