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Newsletter Article September 27, 2023

Keith Witham Reflects on His First Six Months as Vice President of Education Philanthropy

Halfway through his first year as Vice President of Education Philanthropy, Keith Witham provides an overview of the past six months of Ascendium’s grantmaking. He also looks ahead, reaffirming Ascendium’s commitment to transforming the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds through postsecondary education and workforce training.

Newsletter September 21, 2023

Tackling Economic Inequity, Validation Grant Guidance Released, and Part 2 of Q&A with UIA’s Bridget Burns

  • How a Coalition of Nonprofit, Private Colleges Is Tackling Economic Inequity
  • Validation Grant Guidance Released for Partners Evaluating Effectiveness of Innovations and Reforms
  • Q&A: UIA’s Bridget Burns on Helping Struggling Students Get Back on Track (Part 2)
Newsletter Article September 12, 2023

Validation Grant Guidance Released for Partners Evaluating Effectiveness of Innovations and Reforms

Ascendium awards validation grants to support independent evaluations that help build the body of evidence about ideas that merit acceptance as standard practice. We recently released guidance designed to provide clarity to prospective grantees about the information we look for in applications for validation grants that center impact evaluations.

Newsletter Article September 11, 2023

How a Coalition of Nonprofit, Private Colleges Is Tackling Economic Inequity

Although the vast majority of learners pursue postsecondary education in hopes of landing a good job, career advising is frequently limited and opportunities such as internships are often out of reach for learners from low-income backgrounds – many of whom work while attending college and can't afford to take on unpaid work. The Yes We Must Coalition hopes to solve this by helping member institutions employ strategies for career preparedness that have proved successful at community colleges.

Newsletter Article August 31, 2023

Q&A: UIA’s Bridget Burns on Helping Struggling Students Get Back on Track (Part 2)

Students who receive a D or F or withdraw (DFW) from a course often stall out and can risk losing future financial aid. The COVID-19 health crisis exacerbated DFW rates, especially among learners from low-income backgrounds. In part two of our interview, University Innovation Alliance (UIA) founding CEO Dr. Bridget Burns discusses what UIA institutions have learned from efforts to help students recover credits and regain momentum towards completion, as well as what other lessons they learned from the health crisis.

Ascendium in the News August 28, 2023

Free Job Trainings for Immediate Employment for Maui Residents

Good Jobs Hawai’i offers free job training to Maui residents who want to upskill and earn industry credentials in the healthcare, skilled trades, and technology industries. Ascendium’s support of this initiative includes funding to help with industry partner coordination and the development of career pathways within the University of Hawaii System.

Newsletter August 24, 2023

Q&A with UIA’s Bridget Burns, Improving Learner Outcomes with Updated CUNY Transfer Explorer, and More

  • Q&A: UIA’s Bridget Burns on Helping Struggling Students Get Back on Track (Part 1)
  • Updated Tool Saves Time and Money to Improve Learner Outcomes
  • Helping Learners See a Clearer Path: Awareness Continues to Build Around Guided Pathways Framework
Ascendium in the News August 24, 2023

New Functionality in CUNY Transfer Explorer

The latest updates to City University of New York (CUNY) and Ithaka S+R’s Transfer Explorer provide learners with more transparent, accessible information on how their prior learning experiences will apply toward degree completion.

Ascendium in the News August 16, 2023

American International College Aims to Stem Region’s Talent Drain

American International College (AIC) is one of 10 institutions benefiting from an Ascendium grant to the Yes We Must Coalition, a group of 42 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities committed to the success of learners from low-income backgrounds. AIC intends to work with area businesses to further understand their needs and prepare learners for careers in the region.

Newsletter Article August 16, 2023

Helping Learners See a Clearer Path: Awareness Continues to Build Around Guided Pathways Framework

The guided pathways framework is a whole-college redesign of the student experience that helps learners explore, choose, plan, and complete programs aligned with their education and career goals. It can be especially helpful to learners from low-income backgrounds as it more clearly outlines their program with considerations to efficiency and affordability. As leaders in developing, evaluating, and implementing the guided pathways framework, Community College Research Center (CCRC) continues to build awareness of this targeted reform strategy.

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