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Meeting the Training Needs of Rural America Through Extension Services

BOULDER, Colorado — The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) will focus research and analysis on one of the largest providers of noncredit training in the country — Cooperative Extension — through a multiyear grant from the Ascendium Education Group.  

This grant will support the work of Serving Rural America through Land-Grant Colleges & Universities: Unlocking the Workforce Development Potential of Extension Services. In this project, NCHEMS will develop and pilot a reimagined, contemporary vision to increase impact for the Cooperative Extension Systems. This pilot will balance state priorities, locally focused workforce needs and rural students’ aspirations. In this project, NCHEMS will focus its efforts by:  

To support this work, NCHEMS will build an Advisory Group comprised of diverse stakeholders to assist with steering the work. NCHEMS will also build Working Groups from three to five geographic areas that will work towards implementing the framework. NCHEMS’ work for this project will wrap up with a final report. This report will include lessons learned about opportunities for the federal government, states and institutions to meet the changing needs of rural residents from low-income communities more effectively. Nominations are being accepted for the Advisory Group until Feb. 20, 2024. Learn more about the Advisory Group or submit a nomination here

NCHEMS Vice President Sarah Pingel will lead the work for this project. Pingel said, “Extension provides a vital link between people in rural areas and postsecondary institutions across the nation. We are pleased the partner with Ascendium and other stakeholders in rural student success to explore how Extension services can be leveraged to meet workforce needs in all communities.”  

About Ascendium: 
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 https://www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org. 

About NCHEMS: 
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan postsecondary education consulting organization specializing in research, development, and technical assistance that helps states, systems, and institutions adopt forward-looking/future-oriented policies and practices. 

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