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ECMC Foundation Grants More Than $9.8M to Postsecondary Education Programs

December 18, 2019

ECMC Foundation today announced that it has committed $9,828,729 to 15 organizations bringing the 2019 grant commitments to approximately $36 million to date. These grants and investments support grantees’ efforts ranging from evaluating best practices, addressing basic needs insecurity, supporting national training and closing equity gaps in degree attainment.

These investments reflect the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to advancing postsecondary educational outcomes for students and individuals from underserved backgrounds across its College Success, Career Readiness, Education Innovation Ventures, and special opportunity grants.

A selection of grants made are listed below. For a full list of grants made by the Foundation please visit ECMC Foundation’s website at  

College Success

  • Grants totaling $3,137,046 were made to a cohort of grantees as part of the Basic Needs Initiative, which aims to address basic needs insecurity among students, including food, housing childcare, mental health and transportation. During the three-year initiative, the cohort of grantees will undertake a wide array of projects, including launching new initiatives, scaling existing evidence-based programs and conducting research studies, to further the field’s knowledge of supporting students’ basic needs. The grantees include: Arkansas Community Colleges, Auburn University Foundation, Ithaka S+R, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Michigan Community College Association (fiscally sponsored by Grand Rapids Community College Foundation), The University of Texas at San Antonio and United Way of King County
  • A grant of $306,900 was made to Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, a research and non-partisan advocacy organization that works to inform Georgia leaders of education policy and practice. ECMC Foundation’s funding will support the Postsecondary/College Success Initiative, their signature postsecondary effort to build local, regional, and state capacity to address barriers to postsecondary completion. The goal is to engage rural community leaders to address state policy solutions.
  • A grant of $540,000 was made to uAspire, a nonprofit that provides financial advising and advocacy services to students. ECMC Foundation’s funding will support the pilot of its Systems Change model. The goal is to partner with 18 higher education institutions and help redesign their financial systems to be more student-center and transparent, particularly for students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds.

Career Readiness

  • A grant of $750,000 was made to the Center to Advance CTE, which supports and promotes a positive environment in which high-quality career and technical education (CTE) policies, programs and practice can be developed, nurtured and sustained. Funding from ECMC Foundation will support a multi-state postsecondary CTE data initiative. The goal is to improve the quality, availability and effective use of postsecondary CTE data at both the state and institution level. Each participating state team will develop and execute two-year action plans and share learnings with non-participating states.
  • A grant of $329,808 was made to the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, a nonprofit that expands quality education in prisons and shapes public discussion about higher education and incarceration. Funding from ECMC Foundation will support the development of the National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs. The goal is define practices and theories that constitute high-quality teaching and learning in prison systems.
  • A grant of $1,849,920 was made to the Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College to support the Strategic Data Project (SDP), which was created by the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University. SDP is a fellowship program and network that transforms education through the power of quality research and evidence. Funding from ECMC Foundation will support the launch a new fellowship program for data professionals at institutions of higher education with CTE programs. The goal of the program is to improve fellows’ use of data to support students in the successful completion of CTE programs and generate insights about the workforce outcomes of their various CTE programs. The fellowship program is part of ECMC Foundation’s CTE Leadership Collaborative.
  • A $499,998 grant was made to World Education, Inc., which aims to improve the well-being and economic mobility of adults and youth from low-income backgrounds through education, training, and social supports. Funding from ECMC Foundation will support to help eight community colleges build their capacity to broaden and expand key practices and services that can enhance single mothers’ career readiness and success in college. The goal is to expand the colleges’ capacity to support the persistence and completion of single mothers and student parents.

Education Innovation Ventures

  • A program-related investment was made to Better Future Forward, a nonprofit organization focused on providing income-share agreements (ISA) to advance opportunity and educational equity. A loan from ECMC Foundation will provide ISAs to 450 students from low-income backgrounds in academic years two and three of the Chicago ISA Program. The goal is to see a cohort of students through to graduation and test the efficacy and outcomes of the ISA model at four-year institutions.

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