Ascendium grant will help close equity gaps | WTCS Skip to content

Ascendium grant will help close equity gaps

Madison, WI – Ascendium Education Group has awarded the next round of grants from its $10 million Maintain Momentum for Student Success Initiative, including a $150,000 grant to the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).

The initiative aims to sustain postsecondary education reform work and prevent equity gaps from widening amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintain Momentum grantees are membership organizations and networks that were chosen because their members substantially serve learners from low-income backgrounds, the target population of Ascendium's philanthropy.

"As WTCS institutions focus on recovering from the pandemic, they risk losing momentum on student success reforms. This grant will allow WTCS to continue its reform efforts and work to close equity gaps,  keeping each technical college engaged,” said Ascendium Vice President - Education Philanthropy Amy Kerwin.

Specifically, the Ascendium grant funding will allow WTCS institutions to advance important reforms, including data-informed decision-making, guided pathways and leadership development.

“Ascendium has been a visionary partner for us for many years,” said WTCS President Dr. Morna K. Foy. “As we continue our work to create meaningful opportunities for populations that have been historically underserved in higher education, Ascendium’s support is a difference maker,” Foy said.

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Ascendium Education Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. Ascendium invests in initiatives designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Ascendium’s work identifies, validates and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit

The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 500 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized business solutions and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. Nearly 300,000 individuals access a technical college each year.