Senior program officer with expertise, network and
passion needed to join growing grantmaking team at
Ascendium Education Group (Ascendium) has helped millions of
learners pursue postsecondary education since 1967, when it was
formed to help fulfill the promise of the landmark Higher Education
Act of 1965. Over the years, Ascendium has grown to become the
nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor, providing
information, tools and counseling to help millions of borrowers
nationwide avoid default and keep the door to re-enrollment open.
We guarantee federal student loans, conceive and develop innovative
products and services that support student success and loan
repayment, and invest in studying and improving postsecondary
education practices through our philanthropy.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, net proceeds from Ascendium’s guaranty
and other operations are used to fund Ascendium’s
philanthropy. The philanthropy team is comprised of program,
grants management, and learning and impact staff who all have a
shared commitment to advancing our mission. As a national funder,
our mission is to elevate opportunities for learners from
low-income backgrounds so they can achieve postsecondary
educational and career success. Our grantmaking focuses on
transforming systems of postsecondary education and workforce so
they can support low-income populations, especially those in
historically underrepresented groups: first-generation students,
incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and
veterans. The philanthropy team currently makes grants in four
focus areas: Remove Structural Barriers to Success, Streamline Key
Learner Transitions, Expand Postsecondary Education in Prison,
Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training.
Across our four focus areas, our funding supports innovative ideas,
the creation of an evidence base, and the expansion and replication
of effective practices.
We’re looking for an experienced grantmaker to advance our
postsecondary education in prison focus area. Senior program
officers are responsible for leading work in a particular area of
Ascendium’s strategy by designing and leading complex grants and
partnerships, gaining deep expertise in their strategic focus area,
and serving as a thought leader to advance learning and scaled
impact in the field.
These are some of the qualifications we’re looking for:
- 5+ years of experience as a strategic nonprofit leader, with
proven expertise in higher education, prison education, or related
fields, and/or experience as an impact-driven grantmaker focused on
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent organizational, problem solving and coordination
skills, with demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding
Ascendium staff are temporarily working remotely
from their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the construction
of new headquarters in Madison, WI, opening in January 2022. This
role will be based in Madison.
Ascendium Education Group employees enjoy an outstanding benefit
package designed to provide employees and their families
with a high degree of security.
If you’re interested in this job opening, please visit
our careers website
and click “Find Open Positions at Ascendium.” Select the option to
apply online, create your profile and fill out the application for
the job opening. A fully completed application, including a
resume/CV and cover letter, must be submitted to be considered for
Ascendium Education Group, Inc. (Ascendium) provides equal
employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race,
color, religion, sex, age, national origin, creed, disability,
veteran status or any other characteristic protected by state or
federal law. We are strongly committed to this policy and believe
in the concept and spirit of the law.
If you would like assistance with the application process,
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite all applicants to complete the Voluntary Affirmative
Action questions when submitting application materials. The
questions are found at the end of the online application process.
To learn more about our commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity,
please visit ascendiumeducation.org/careers.
Ascendium has contractual obligations that require criminal,
employment and education background investigations as a condition