Skip to main content


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.


ResourceThumbnail StudentSuccessinDevelopmentalMathematics NapEdu
November 2019

Increasing Student Success in Developmental Mathematics

To learn which students are not well-served by existing gateway math developmental educational reforms, we enlisted the NAS to help develop a research agenda and areas for future research over the next five years.
Visit Site 
Screen Shot 2020 05 11 at 5.04.56 PM
November 2019

Equity and Excellence in Practice: A Guide For Higher Education in Prison

Lumina Foundation supported the Prison University Project and The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison to document key characteristics of high-quality prison higher education programs for stakeholders.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail EmergencyAidToolKit EqualMeasure
September 2019

Training for Emergency Grant Decision-Makers

Ascendium partnered with Equal Measure to fund the development of better tools for emergency grant decision-makers to ask the right questions to get at the root cause of each student's personal financial crisis.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail TheWorkforcePlaybook TheAspenInstitute
June 2019

The Workforce Playbook

A practical guide to setting a vision and key practices for talent development and economic mobility, balancing the needs of students and employers to advance the overall prosperity of their regions, from the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail AMatterofDegree MDRC
April 2019

The Finish Line: Graduation by Design

Ascendium committed $1 million to support MDRC's The Finish Line: Graduation by Design project, which explores student behaviors, college policies and institutional practices that prevent students from completing the programs they start.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail DesigningSucess MDRC
April 2019

College Promise Success Initiative

College Promise programs make higher education more accessible by covering tuition, without typically addressing nonfinancial barriers. The MDRC College Promise Success Initiative enables more colleges to supplement their CP programs with student supports.
Visit Site 
2019 Ascendium Annual Report Thumbnail
January 2019

2018 Education Philanthropy Report: Clearing the Path

Our 2018 report, Clearing the Path, highlights our belief in catalyzing lasting change that reduces barriers that arise throughout a student’s progression from enrollment through program completion to gainful employment.
View the PDF
ResourceThumbnail TribalColleges CCSSE
January 2019

An Exploration of Student Experiences at Tribal Colleges

This Center for Community College Student Engagement report provides a snapshot of how students experience TCUs, showing gaps in successful completion as well as how continued investments can narrow this gap.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail DoublingGraduationRatesinaNewState MDRC v2
December 2018

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) in Ohio

A new report funded by Ascendium details the findings of the successful ASAP Ohio demonstration, helping thousands of students graduate at more than twice the rate of their peers.
Visit Site 
WCTS Student Success Center
October 2018

WCTS Student Success Center

Helping the greatest number of students toward successful degree completion requires broad-scale change. Wisconsin Technical College System's Student Success Center is a statewide hub that enables the 16 system colleges to learn from their peer institutions.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail FreeCollege BrookingsEdu
September 2018

The Degree Project

Does the promise of a college scholarship early in a student's high school career increase the likelihood that the student will go on to and complete higher education? This Brookings report summarizes The 2011 Degree Project.
Visit Site 
ResourceThumbnail SeekingSTEM Hope4College
July 2018

Seeking STEM: The Causal Impact of Need-Based Grant Aid on Undergraduates' Field of Study

Prior research often points to students' lack of preparation for the shortage of STEM majors. This Hope Center paper investigates an alternative explanation: resource constraints.
Visit Site