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Senior Program Officer

This job is no longer available

Madison, WI, USAMadisonWIUSA

Ascendium Education Group (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates), the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor and a leading postsecondary education and workforce training philanthropy, recently unveiled a new funding strategy that builds on the organization’s existing grantmaking approach and expands its focus to new areas.

Ascendium makes grants to researchers, postsecondary institutions and workforce training providers for initiatives aimed at expanding opportunity for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. The organization’s grantmaking focuses on increasing equity for low-income populations, especially those in historically underrepresented groups: first generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans.

Areas of Responsibility: 
  1. Develop and manage a portfolio of grants to achieve the organization’s priorities. These grants will represent a carefully designed, cohesive set of investments to achieve planned outcomes.
  2. Manage grantmaking with integrity and rigor, including soliciting and reviewing grant concepts, providing feedback and working with partners to refine proposals, reviewing agreements and reports, providing guidance to grant partners, and tracking outcomes consistent with Ascendium’s strategic priorities.
  3. Through site visits and regular communication with grant partners in the assigned portfolio, monitor and assess progress and budgets of funded programs and initiatives and provide regular updates to the Director – Education Grantmaking. Utilize the information gleaned from the activities of grant partners to help inform future funding opportunities.
  4. Design additional activities that complement grantmaking such as contracting for expert research and analysis and convening new partners and building coalitions.
  5. Develop, maintain, and execute project plans to ensure the effective management of assigned projects.
  6. Develop close working relationships with key strategic partners (e.g., college and university leaders, government agencies, researchers, nonprofits, and academia).
  7. Develop close, collaborative partnerships with other national and regional funders working in postsecondary and workforce training to exchange information, share lessons, and leverage each other’s efforts.
  8. Collaborate with Ascendium’s writing, design, and web development teams to raise awareness of grantee efforts, our learning, and recommendations to the field.
  9. Participate in local, regional, and national networks to obtain and maintain a high level of knowledge of the most effective strategies to elevate equitable opportunity and outcomes for learners from historically underrepresented groups so they can achieve their academic and career goals.
  10. Utilize independent judgment and maintain a high degree of accuracy and timeliness in assigned work.
Educational Background: 
5+ years of private foundation or nonprofit experience
Excellent oral and written communications skills
Excellent organizational, problem solving and coordination skills, with demostrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload
Knowledge equivalent to a Master's Degree in philanthropy, counseling, education, business, or a related field.
How to Apply: 

If you're interested in this job opening, please visit our careers website at Select the option to apply online, create your profile and fill out the application for the job opening you are interested in. A fully completed application must be submitted to be considered for this position. 


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 [email protected]. 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

Ascendium Education Group employees enjoy an outstanding benefit package designed to provide employees and their families with a high degree of security.


Ascendium has contractual obligations that require criminal, employment and education background investigations as a condition of employment.

Organization Info

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
May 9 2019
Active Until: 
Jun 9 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Ascendium Education Group