New Ascendium Initiative Will Help “Optimize” HEP Delivery in Minnesota, Iowa and New York

Thursday, December 5, 2019

In July 2019, Ascendium issued a request for concepts to find postsecondary institutions and corrections departments poised to take their higher education in prison (HEP) systems to the next level and help the field learn what it takes to build the relationships and infrastructure necessary for systemic improvement. This initiative, “Optimizing Delivery Systems for Higher Education in Prison: Postsecondary Pathways for Re-Entry Transition,” represents Ascendium's first major HEP project since last spring’s unveiling of its new funding strategy, which features HEP as one of four focus areas. They're committing a total of $5 million toward the initiative in planning grants, implementation grants and a comprehensive evaluation.

These sites have been announced as their grant partners, each awarded a $150,000 planning grant:

  • The Minnesota Department of Corrections will work with the “Just Education” Collaborative at University of Minnesota’s Institute for Advanced Study, Inver Hills Community College/Dakota County Technical College and Augsburg University as they prepare to launch their “College at Prison” effort.
  • The Iowa Department of Education will partner with the Iowa Department of Corrections, Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Central Community College and the University of Iowa to develop a statewide plan to support workforce-relevant academic and career pathways.
  • City University of New York’s Institute for State and Local Governance will collaborate with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, bringing together key stakeholders across the state to align educational offerings.

Read more on Ascendium's website