Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s Accelerating Student Completion: Encouraging New Dreams (Ascend) is a program created to help more students earn certificates and associate degrees within three years. Funded by a grant from Arnold Ventures, Ascend replicates the ASAP program at CUNY colleges in New York whose students doubled their graduation rates by providing a range of financial, academic, and personal supports. These supports include comprehensive and personal advisement, career counseling, tutoring, waivers for tuition and mandatory fees, gift cards for groceries and/or gas, and additional financial assistance to reduce or eliminate the cost of textbooks.
Ascend also offers special class scheduling options to ensure that Ascend students get the classes they need, are in classes with other Ascend students, and attend classes in convenient blocks of time to accommodate their work schedules. As students approach graduation, they receive additional assistance to help them transfer to a 4-year college or transition into the workforce, depending on their goals.
- Monthly incentive to help with groceries and/or gas
- Textbook assistance to reduce (or eliminate) the cost of textbooks
- Waiver covering tuition and mandatory fees for any gap left over after applying your financial aid award
- Dedicated Ascend Advisor to guide you from entry to graduation
- Special registration options to help you get the classes you need that fit your schedule
- Enhanced career development and academic support services
Eligible Programs Include…
Lisha Burks, Ascend Director:
304-260-4380 EXT. 2409
ASCEND is part of a research study funded by Arnold Ventures to learn how the program benefits students. Students must meet the ASCEND eligibility criteria and agree to be part of the study to have the chance to receive the ASCEND services. A lottery-like process will be used to select which students among those who are eligible may participate in ASCEND.