Ascendium Education Group Announces Fall 2019 Grantmaking Update

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

This August, Ascendium’s board of directors approved funding for several new grant projects. This round of grants is especially significant because it represents the first big batch since we launched our refreshed funding strategy this past spring. The new projects will:

  • Support a data fellows pilot program through the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities with the goal of improving data literacy among faculty and staff to foster increased use of student data to inform strategic, tactical and operational decisions
  • Enable the Institute for Evidence-Based Change to increase student retention by cultivating caring campus environments and allow the Community College Research Center to evaluate the initiative’s impact on students, faculty and staff
  • Provide resources to the Education Finance Institute so they can develop an income share agreement (ISA) and enable MDRC to assess the operational feasibility of an ISA specifically structured to improve outcomes for students from low-income backgrounds
  • Pool funds with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Kresge Foundation to amplify the impact and reach of Strong Start to Finish by providing technical assistance to six state systems around emergent needs and advising other state systems eager to replicate their success and implement developmental education reforms at scale
  • Operationalize The Aspen Institute’s Workforce Playbook by engaging community college leaders in a variety of contexts through additional curricular materials and embedding the playbook into the existing guided pathways framework
  • Support the development or expansion of high quality prison-based postsecondary education programs to fully support incarcerated learners along a defined educational and reentry pathway, increase student enrollment capacity and improve student success outcomes

“We’re excited about each of these new initiatives because they build on work already in progress or increase our knowledge about promising ideas,” said Vice President of Education Philanthropy Amy Kerwin. “Most importantly, they all contribute toward helping more learners from low-income backgrounds achieve their academic and career goals.”