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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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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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-WSCA Travel Grants

Scaling
Wisconsin School Counselor Association|$10,000|10/2019 - 2/2020
This grant supports the Wisconsin School Counselor Association in providing travel grants to the 13 Text Steps districts to attend the 2020 WSCA Annual Conference.

College Promise Technical Assistance Initiative Phase II

Validation
MDRC|$1,000,519|1/2018 - 12/2019
This grant supports MDRC efforts to increase the retention and persistence rates of students who receive College Promise scholarships at four selected programs by providing technical assistance in the design and implementation of evidence-based student success interventions that supplement financial support.

Labor Market Playbook

Scaling
Aspen Institute Inc|$368,000|6/2017 - 7/2019
This grant supports The Aspen Institute in creating a set of tools to help community colleges improve students’ labor market outcomes through replicable, evidence-based practices and strategies for strengthening employer collaboration.

Career Ready Internship Grant-Four-year institution program evaluation

Validation
MDRC|$413,999|4/2016 - 6/2019
This grant supports MDRC in evaluating Ascendium's Career Ready Internship program. MDRC will analyze data from each of the 33 CRI sites and conducting student and employer surveys to assess impact on student persistence and experience, college-employer relationships, program implementation and scale and sustainability.

Enhancing the Reverse Transfer of Credit Pathway

Scaling
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center|$300,000|11/2017 - 4/2019
This grant supports the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center in improving and expanding institutional use of its reverse transfer platform to retroactively award degrees earned by students before they left college.

College Promise Campaign

Scaling
Civic Nation|$250,000|5/2018 - 4/2019
This grant to Civic Nation supports the College Promise Campaign’s 2018 efforts to promote the development and expansion of college promise programs, foster high-impact college promise programs that increase student opportunity and success, and build broad public support for College Promise programs.

Tools of the Trade Apprentice Scholarship

Scaling
Wisconsin Technical College System|$270,000|8/2018 - 3/2019
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 2019 semester.

Tackling Transfer

Exploration
Aspen Institute Inc|$292,379|1/2018 - 7/2018
This grant supports the Aspen Insitute's work with states and institutions to improve the policies and practices that enable students from community colleges to transfer to public colleges and universities.

2015-2018 Career Ready Internship Grant

Scaling
Loras College|$516,464|10/2015 - 5/2018
This grant supports 33 four-year colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to offer paid internships to juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need.

2015-2018 Career Ready Internship Grant

Scaling
St Catherine University|$427,793|10/2015 - 5/2018
This grant supports 33 four-year colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to offer paid internships to juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need.
View All Ascendium Grants

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