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Resource Library

Sharing knowledge is at the heart of our mission. Explore Ascendium’s growing library of publications that examine the complex challenges facing postsecondary learners, and how we’re helping our partners address them.

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Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

The Great Misalignment: Addressing the Mismatch between the Supply of Certificates and Associate's Degrees and the Future Demand for Workers in 565 U.S. Labor Markets

May 2024
Researchers found that in 565 U.S. labor markets in which learners can pursue certificates and associate’s degrees, or middle-skills credentials, those offered are often misaligned with actual labor market needs. Based on this data, this report provides recommendations to stakeholders and policymakers to help middle-skill credential providers be more responsive to the needs of local learners and economies.
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ApprenticeshipToolkit resource
The Council of State Governments

Public Sector Apprenticeship Toolkit: Addressing Critical Workforce Shortages in State and Local Government

May 2024
This toolkit serves as a resource for state and local governments to develop, launch, and sustain registered apprenticeship programs to fill talent shortages. Like many other sectors, state governments around the U.S. are facing workforce shortages. Registered apprenticeship programs offer a compelling training pathway for developing the next generation of public workers, especially as many states recently removed degree requirements for public sector jobs.
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New America

Community College Bachelor’s Degrees in Florida: An Update on Enrollment and Labor Market Outcomes

May 2024
This brief provides an updated look at enrollment and graduation trends within Florida’s community college baccalaureate (CCB) programs after three decades of offering these programs in the state. Understanding who enrolls in which programs, what programs are offered, and the labor market outcomes of their graduates can provide insights into where the state is creating new pathways and where there is room for growth and improvement. This resource also provides information to other states considering CCB program adoption.
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2023 Education Philanthropy Report: From Learning to Action

April 2024
Our 2023 report reflects on our continued efforts to build evidence and share actionable insights through our grantmaking. Inside, you’ll read how our philanthropy catalyzes change to postsecondary education and workforce training systems so more learners from low-income backgrounds can achieve their goals. You’ll also get insights into the upcoming year.
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Academic Intelligence

Apprenticeship in America: Rethinking the Role of Community Colleges

March 2024
In this episode, the Future U. podcast hosts two innovators to discuss the leading role community colleges can play in growing America’s apprenticeship programs. Mitchell Harp, dean of apprenticeship programs at Trident Technical College, and Pierre Dubuc, CEO of OpenClassrooms, consider barriers and solutions to apprenticeships, including engaging employers and supporting learners in apprenticeship programs and career development.
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SectorialTraining resource

Sector-Based Training Programs: An Approach to Achieving Equitable Labor-Market Outcomes and Upward Mobility

February 2024
Sectoral training programs can offer flexible, affordable, and accessible pathways to upward mobility and career achievement. With the goal of helping to scale and strengthen sectoral training programs, this brief from MDRC focuses on the challenges providers and workers face and the current opportunities to collaborate with providers in applying evidence, innovating, and expanding effective practices.
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ImprovingSTEM resource
University of Washington

Progress in Improving STEM Transfer Partnerships Pathways

February 2024
This brief provides a snapshot into the process and progress of the STEM Transfer Partnership (STP) initiative. STP teams worked together for over 18 months to better understand and dismantle the obstacles for low-income STEM transfer students interested in completing a bachelor’s degree. Their documentation can serve new, future transfer partnerships by providing direction and inspiration.
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Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University

Small Towns, Big Opportunities

February 2024
This report provides a nuanced look at the status of educational attainment and employment in rural areas, finding that rural workers today are as likely as those in urban areas to hold a good job — one that pays a living wage for their region. But the report also shows that racial and gender disparities exist in who gets access to those jobs, even as rural areas grow more diverse. As rural economies shift and populations continue to decline and evolve, these communities need greater investment in education and workforce training to ensure future economic vitality.
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National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Transfer and Progress: Fall 2023 Report

February 2024
One of several in this series, this report shows that transfer enrollment increased along all pathways for the fall 2023 semester. The series aims to better serve the education community with new, timely, and detailed data on transfer progress and mobility.
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New America Foundation

Community Colleges and Apprenticeship: The Promise, the Challenge

November 2023
Community colleges are well-positioned to expand apprenticeship opportunities and create affordable, equitable pathways into careers in healthcare, information technology, business services, and more. Resources from New America detail how colleges can fill the role of apprenticeship intermediary while serving the needs of learners and their communities.
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Postsecondary Competency-Based Education Program Model Map Framework
American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Competency-Based Education (CBE) Program Model Mapping Project

October 2023
While many colleges are adopting competency-based education (CBE) programs, few look the same. American Institutes for Research developed a framework and research brief that not only identifies design features and options currently in use by colleges and universities in the U.S., but also helps those in the field understand which features are working and which may be less effective.
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University of Washington

Learning from Students: How Teams Rethink Their STEM Transfer Process Through Student Input

August 2023
This brief documents the work of postsecondary education partners to collect student input and translate that data into improvements for learners using STEM transfer pathways. It includes the strategies they used to collect input, as well as insights on what constitutes input, what forms of input are most needed, and how partners can best learn from students.
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