Recent Reports from Three Ascendium-Funded Projects Add to Roadmap for Systemic Change
All of our grant projects are aimed at helping the field better understand policies and practices that can remove systemic obstacles to enable more students from low-income backgrounds to succeed in postsecondary education and workforce training. Three recent reports springing from Ascendium-funded projects are adding to the body of knowledge of what institutions can do to improve their students chances of success.
Building enhanced services into Promise programs
MDRC has issued a policy brief outlining early lessons from the College Promise Success Initiative. The brief, “Designing for Success,” explores how Promise programs are building enhanced student services into their models to increase success among students from low-income backgrounds.
Satisfactory academic progress
The Finish Line: Graduation by Design is a project that explores student behaviors, college policies and institutional practices that prevent students from completing the credits they start, landing many of them on financial aid probation and suppressing completion rates. MDRC recently published a report detailing their findings from three colleges in the Minnesota State system and offering six strategies colleges can use to help their students maintain satisfactory academic progress and avoid financial aid probation.
MDRC recently published a report highlighting findings from their analysis of Ascendiums Career Ready Internship (CRI) program for four-year colleges, which we launched in 2015. The CRI program provided funding and support to 33 institutions in four states to develop quality paid internships for students from low-income backgrounds. The analysis found that colleges were successful in placing underrepresented students into valuable internships, and employers appreciated the program. However, colleges have struggled to sustain the programs after the end of the grant period.
We hope practitioners gain actionable insights from this trio of reports, ultimately leading to broad, meaningful change that benefits students facing barriers to completion.