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Streamline Key Learner Transitions

Our philanthropy supports institutions and systems to facilitate seamless transitions between educational and career opportunities after high school.

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FocusArea StreamlineTransitions Header

How We See the Problem

Leveraging workforce training systems, transferring between postsecondary providers and entering or re-entering the workforce are pivotal moments in a learner’s career or academic journey. Institutions and systems can implement policies and practices that inadvertently make these transitions difficult. For example, when curricula don’t align, or information systems are incapable of sharing data effectively, students risk losing credits, momentum and money. The jump from postsecondary education into the workforce also presents challenges, especially when institutions offer programming that does not align with the skills employers need.

Ascendium’s Approach

We support initiatives to streamline transitions via better data sharing; improving collaboration between institutions; and helping educational, workforce training and employer systems function in more complementary and effective ways to advance opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility.

Streamline Key Transitions v3

Outcomes we seek

The efforts we fund cross postsecondary and workforce landscapes. The outcomes we seek measure progress across these areas: providing learners with the information they need to understand the education landscape and take advantage of career pathways; giving learners the ability to successfully earn and transfer credits and train toward credentials that create equitable pathways to sustainable careers; and fostering collaborative efforts around data coordination between postsecondary and workforce systems with learners’ needs and goals.

How we work

We fund initiatives that help institutions streamline transitions between postsecondary education, credentialing and workforce entry. This means developing multiple pathways into training and certificates; promoting collaboration between education, non-degree credential partners and workforce systems; aligning transfers between institutions at system, state, and regional levels; and ultimately working to ensure that learners are prepared for entry into the workforce.

Grants to Streamline Key Learner Transitions

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

School District of South Milwaukee|$38,025|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Adams-Friendship Area School District|$38,020|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports 13 Wisconsin public school districts in launching summer melt text nudging to help increase on-time college enrollment rates.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting-NCAN memberships for Wisconsin school districts

National College Attainment Network|$19,653|9/2018 - 12/2020
This grant supports National College Access Network membership fees for the 13 school districts participating in the Text Steps project.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting-Signal Vine, Inc. fees for Wisconsin school districts

Signal Vine, Inc.|$46,920|8/2018 - 9/2020
This grant supports licensing and setup fees for the Signal Vine texting platform for the 13 school districts participating in the Text Steps project.

FAFSA Completion Challenge

National College Attainment Network|$1,000,000|4/2018 - 8/2020
This grant supports the National College Access Network in helping 30 large cities with lower-than-average FAFSA completion rates implement plans to increase communitywide rates.

Scaling Education to Employment Solutions

America Achieves Inc|$150,000|4/2020 - 7/2020
This grant supports America Achieves in developing actionable recommendations for how philanthropy and the public sector can work together to scale high potential postsecondary education to employment initiatives.

Creating Postsecondary Pathways for Thread Students

Thread Inc|$277,000|7/2019 - 6/2020
This grants supports Thread in an effort to conduct a planning initiative to audit, strengthen, and codify their relationship-driven approach to supporting underserved young adults in five core postsecondary pathways: two-year degree completion, four-year degree completion, entrepreneurship, trade school/apprenticeships and straight-to-workforce.

Ascendium-Sponsored Convening Fund

Yes We Must Coalition|$95,000|1/2019 - 6/2020
This grant supports the Yes We Must Coalition in hosting a two-day convening in 2019 focused on employer engagement and building professional readiness into the student experience at their member institutions.

Text Steps Summer Melt Texting

Ben Castleman|$7,875|5/2018 - 5/2020
This grant supports Ben Castleman in providing consulting to the 13 Wisconsin public school districts participating in the Text Steps summer melt project.

Tools of the Trade Apprentice Scholarship

Wisconsin Technical College System|$271,500|8/2019 - 4/2020
This grant supports $1,500 scholarships awarded to up to 180 construction and industrial trade apprentices attending a Wisconsin Technical College System college during the spring 2020 semester.
View All Ascendium Grants

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