A New Way to Think
About Education

Are you looking for meaningful community, relevant skills,
and a flexible, applicable education?
You’re in the right place.

A New Way
to Think
About Education

Are you looking for meaningful community, relevant skills, and a flexible, applicable education
You’re in the right place.

START HERE

What is Ascend?

Ascend is a remote, 3-year leadership and professional development program that gives students a network and community for life, relevant, resume-worthy skills that will put them ahead in the job market, the opportunity to earn high-level certificates and (if they need it) a college degree. All while providing the freedom and flexibility for students to remain local, invest in their families, and pursue jobs and other opportunities along the way

Click here to listen to the Be Unbound podcast episode all about Unbound’s education philosophy.

START HERE

What is Ascend?

Ascend is a remote, 3 year leadership and professional development program that gives students a network and community for life, relevant, resume-worthy skills that will put them ahead in the job market, the opportunity to earn high-level certificates and (if they need it) a college degree. All while providing the freedom and flexibility for students to remain local, invest in their families, and pursue jobs and other opportunities along the way

Click here to listen to the Be Unbound podcast episode all about Unbound’s education philosophy.

FAST FACTS

How Does it Work?

Projects & Teams

Ascend's team structure and ambitious project requirements challenge students to build critical life and professional skills while gaining hands-on experience in fields that interest them. Through the coaching and accountability of their teammates and the real-world challenge of projects, students hone relational and professional skills every day.
Click here to continue reading!
Explore student projects and stories by clicking the button below!
Click Here

Courses & Certificates

Ascend students can earn 9, 15, or 30 credits per year with full degree plans available for those who want to earn a bachelor's degree. For students who don't want a degree, the minimum number of credits required in Ascend is 9, but not just any 9. These credits include the accredited and certified Signature Leadership Course series - the foundation of Ascend student's leadership training.
Click here to keep reading!
Learn more about the Signature Leadership Courses and Certificate by clicking the button below!
Click Here

Community & Network

Through three live student events, monthly team meetings and expert-led webinars, and daily interaction with their fellow students, team leaders, and staff, Ascend gives students the opportunity to build meaningful, life-long community and a nationwide network that includes not only their current class but 10,000+ alumni.
Click here to keep reading!
Learn more about the Ascend student and alumni community by watching our event recap videos! Click the button below.
Click Here

Projects & Teams

Ascend’s team structure and ambitious project requirements challenge students to build critical life and professional skills while gaining hands-on experience in fields that interest them. Through the coaching and accountability of their teammates and the real-world challenge of projects, students hone relational and professional skills every day.

Courses & Certificates

Ascend students have the option of earning 9, 15, or 30 credits per year with full degree plans available for students who want to earn a bachelor's degree. For students who don't want to pursue a degree, the minimum number of credits required is 9, but not just any 9. The 9 credit level of Ascend includes the accredited and certified Signature Leadership Course series - the foundation of Ascend student's leadership training. Learn more about these courses by clicking here!

Community & Network

Through three live student events, monthly team meetings and expert-led webinars, and daily interaction with their fellow students, team leaders, and staff, Ascend gives students the opportunity to build meaningful, life-long community and a nationwide network that includes not only their current class but 10,000+ alumni.

Ascend students are placed on teams of 7-10 other students led by a highly trained team leader. Students attend monthly team meetings and expert-led webinars as well as 3 live student and alumni events focused on community, personal and professional skill development, and effective Christian leadership. Ambitious, personally challenging projects require students to take an idea from concept to reality and apply their skills in real life to build experience that will move them forward. Through 3 robust Christian leadership courses taught by Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries, students are trained in biblical leadership and challenged to exercise their influence to make a difference for Christ in the world around them. Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn up to 5 high-level certificates in leadership and professional development that will set them apart from their traditionally educated peers and ahead in the job market. And in addition to everything else, students have the option of earning up to 30 college credits per year towards a college degree.

THE GUARANTEE

What are the Results?

When an Ascend student graduates from the third and final year of the program, having successfully earned each Ascend certificate, they graduate with the official Ascend employment guarantee. We do not believe there is any way a successful Ascend student will graduate from our program, move into the job market, and not be able to find work. And not just any work – work that they love and that makes a difference in the world. If we’re wrong? All your money back, guaranteed. 

Click here to read the Ascend employment guarantee.

THE GUARANTEE

What are the Results?

When an Ascend student graduates from the third and final year of the program, having successfully earned each Ascend certificate, they graduate with the official Ascend employment guarantee. We do not believe there is any way a successful Ascend student will graduate from our program, move into the job market, and not be able to find work. And not just any work – work that they love and that makes a difference in the world. If we’re wrong? All your money back, guaranteed. 

Click here to read the Ascend employment guarantee.

NEXT STEPS

How to Get Started

STEP 1

Book a Call with Your Admissions Counselor

Each one of our Admissions Counselors are program alumni who have been where your student is and are uniquely equipped to walk you through the process of deciding if Ascend is the right fit for your student. They’ll be able to answer all of your questions, ask some of their own, and outline the best next step for you and your student. These calls typically last 20-30 minutes and will wrap up one of three ways: enrollment, scheduling a follow up call, or sending you on your way in a direction better suited for your student.

STEP 2

Enroll in Ascend

Enrolling in Ascend is simple. Just let your admissions counselor know you are ready to begin and they will walk you through two steps: scheduling your academic coaching call and finalizing your payment details for either a full tuition payment or a deposit to kick off a customized payment plan for the year. After that  you will receive an enrollment form in your inbox to complete your student profile. On your academic coaching call you’ll receive all the details you need for your upcoming academic and life courses and a few weeks later, if applicable, you’ll receive your Degree Plan! 

STEP 3

Receive Your Team Assignment
& Get Access to Slack

Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll receive your Ascend Team assignment and get access to our private chat platform, Slack. Slack is where you will find all the resources you need throughout the year and connect with your fellow students, Team Leader, and Unbound staff. Your Ascend Team will be comprised of 7-9 other Ascend students and led by an Ascend Team Leader. Your Team Leader will be another student or alumni who has successfully completed all of the elements of the first year of Ascend and who has been intensively trained in coaching, leadership, and academic support. 

STEP 4

Attend APEX

In August, Ascend will kick off with the first live event of the year, APEX. APEX is held in Lake City, Michigan August 20th-24th. For year one students, APEX is an orientation not just to Ascend but also to the student community and Unbound as a whole. As a highlight event that takes place before the semester even starts, APEX is where you are first introduced to the key principles and relational culture behind Ascend. Here, the bar is intentionally set high too high for you to reach it on your own. But through the connections you make with over a hundred other students and alumni, you have the opportunity to reach it together. 

Click here to watch the recap video for APEX 2021!

STEP 5

Attend Team Meetings
& Expert-Led Webinars

Each month in Ascend you will attend an Expert-Led Webinar and your Ascend Team meeting. On your Ascend Team meetings your Team Leader’s job is to help you and your other team members set and achieve your educational and personal goals for the year. They will also be your first line of contact for questions and support over the next 10 months.

For each Expert-Led Webinar, you’ll hear from an intentionally selected field expert. These webinars are attended by all Ascend students and provide opportunities for field experts to share their experiences, lessons they have learned, and personal perspective on your own questions. These sessions give you a chance to see how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.

STEP 6

Start Your Courses & Project Brainstorming

The first course you and your team will take in the Ascend program is Unbound’s life purpose course, Navigate. This course runs from August 29th through December 19th and is designed to help young adults discover their life purpose by asking the right questions, exploring their interests, and moving forward with confidence in their decisions. 

As the fall kicks off, you will also start your first accredited courses and begin brainstorming your Ascend Project. Depending on whether you enroll for 9, 15, or 30 credits, you will begin with either a general education course or the first Signature Leadership Course. As you begin brainstorming your project, you’ll complete two specific steps:

  1. Submit initial ideas and rough research to your Ascend Team Leader for feedback
  2. Submit your final 2-3 ideas and initial research to your Ascend Team Leader for feedback

STEP 7

Attend Basecamp

In January, the spring semester will kick off with Basecamp. Basecamp is typically held in Florida or Alabama January 19th-23rd. Basecamp is a life skills intensive that focuses on key personal and professional skills that most people are aware of, but few make the most of. At Basecamp, you will learn to strategically manage your time and tasks, form exceptional relationship skills, and challenge your existing idea of resiliency. Basecamp is also an orientation to your Ascend Project. 

Click here to watch the recap video for Basecamp 2022!

STEP 8

Start Putting Your Project Plan into Action

Ascend is a project-based education program, which means that it is all about helping you translate your academic and nonacademic studies into practical, actionable steps that equip you for life. Your Ascend Project is one of the most powerful ways you will do that. 

In the spring semester you will bring your Ascend Project to life and put your plan into action through six steps:

  1. Attend Basecamp for your project orientation
  2. Submit your project proposal to your Team Leader
  3. Receive final approval for your project and begin executing
  4. Submit three project status updates to your Team Leader in February, March, and April

STEP 9

Attend Capstone

As the spring semester begins to wrap up, students will attend Capstone. Capstone is held in Colorado at the end of April. Capstone is not only the final event of the year, but it is also a critical part of the final Signature Leadership Course. Your course instructor, Dr. Jeff Myers, will attend live, present several lectures, run a live coaching and mentorship practicum, and engage with students over meals. 

Capstone is all about engaging with the leadership principles and practices taught in the Signature Leadership courses at a whole new level. As you dialogue, wrestle with, and apply the concepts you’ve learned throughout the course series, you become better equipped to take these ideas home and do something new with them. At Capstone, you’re reminded of the lesson that no leader ever “arrives”, and you’ll create a plan that allows you to apply the “asking questions” framework you’ll learn in Navigate to your life and influence as a leader. 

Click here to watch the recap video for Capstone 2022!

STEP 10

Complete Your Project

In May of your Ascend year you will complete your Ascend Project with three final steps:

  1. Complete a peer review and make all final edits
  2. Submit your final project report to your Ascend Team Leader
  3. Receive a final review and notes from your Team Leader

STEP 11

Finish Your Courses & Earn Your First Two Certificates

At the end of May or beginning of June you will close out your Ascend year by completing any final assignments for your courses and attending the final Ascend Webinar. For all students who successfully complete each aspect of the program, they will earn two high-level certificates in leadership and professional development. These certificates will set you apart from your traditionally educated peers and ahead in the job market. And if you continue on in Ascend? You will have the opportunity to earn an additional 3 certificates to highlight all of the experience, training, skills, and education you have received through the Ascend program.

PRICING

Pick Your Plan

With 9 Credits

12 installments of:

$791
  • Or $8,500 paid in full

With 15 Credits

12 installments of:

$875
  • Or $9,500 paid in full

With 30 Credits

12 installments of:

$1,125
  • Or $12,500 paid in full

READY?

Book Your Admissions Appointment

NEXT STEPS

How to Get Started

STEP 1: Book a Call with Your Admissions Counselor

Each one of our Admissions Counselors are program alumni who have been where your student is and are uniquely equipped to walk you through the process of deciding if Ascend is the right fit for your student. They'll be able to answer all of your questions, ask some of their own, and outline the best next step for you and your student. These calls typically last 20-30 minutes and will wrap up one of three ways: enrollment, scheduling a follow up call, or sending you on your way in a direction better suited for your student.

STEP 2: Enroll in Ascend

Enrolling in Ascend is simple. Just let your admissions counselor know you are ready to begin and they will walk you through two steps: scheduling your academic coaching call and finalizing your payment details for either a full tuition payment or a deposit to kick off a customized payment plan for the year. After that  you will receive an enrollment form in your inbox to complete your student profile. On your academic coaching call you'll receive all the details you need for your upcoming academic and life courses and a few weeks later, if applicable, you'll receive your Degree Plan! 

STEP 3: Receive Your Team Assignment & Get Access to Slack

Once you've enrolled, you'll receive your Ascend Team assignment and get access to our private chat platform, Slack. Slack is where you will find all the resources you need throughout the year and connect with your fellow students, Team Leader, and Unbound staff. Your Ascend Team will be comprised of 7-9 other Ascend students and led by an Ascend Team Leader. Your Team Leader will be another student or alumni who has successfully completed all of the elements of the first year of Ascend and who has been intensively trained in coaching, leadership, and academic support. 

STEP 4: Attend APEX

In August, Ascend will kick off with the first live event of the year, APEX. APEX is held in Lake City, Michigan August 20th-24th. For year one students, APEX is an orientation not just to Ascend but also to the student community and Unbound as a whole. As a highlight event that takes place before the semester even starts, APEX is where you are first introduced to the key principles and relational culture behind Ascend. Here, the bar is intentionally set high — too high for you to reach it on your own. But through the connections you make with over a hundred other students and alumni, you have the opportunity to reach it together. 

STEP 5: Attend Team Meetings & Expert-Led Webinars

Each month in Ascend you will attend an Expert-Led Webinar and your Ascend Team meeting. On your Ascend Team meetings your Team Leader's job is to help you and your other team members set and achieve your educational and personal goals for the year. They will also be your first line of contact for questions and support over the next 10 months.

For each Expert-Led Webinar, you'll hear from an intentionally selected field expert. These webinars are attended by all Ascend students and provide opportunities for field experts to share their experiences, lessons they have learned, and personal perspective on your own questions. These sessions give you a chance to see how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.

STEP 6: Start Your Courses & Project Brainstorming

The first course you and your team will take in the Ascend program is Unbound's life purpose course, Navigate. This course runs from August 29th through December 19th and is designed to help young adults discover their life purpose by asking the right questions, exploring their interests, and moving forward with confidence in their decisions. 

As the fall kicks off, you will also start your first accredited courses and begin brainstorming your Ascend Project. Depending on whether you enroll for 9, 15, or 30 credits, you will begin with either a general education course or the first Signature Leadership Course. As you begin brainstorming your project, you'll complete two specific steps:

1. Submit initial ideas and rough research to your Ascend Team Leader for feedback
2. Submit your final 2-3 ideas and initial research to your Ascend Team Leader for feedback

STEP 7: Attend Basecamp

In January, the spring semester will kick off with Basecamp. Basecamp is typically held in Florida or Alabama January 19th-23rd. Basecamp is a life skills intensive that focuses on key personal and professional skills that most people are aware of, but few make the most of. At Basecamp, you will learn to strategically manage your time and tasks, form exceptional relationship skills, and challenge your existing idea of resiliency. Basecamp is also an orientation to your Ascend Project.

STEP 8: Start Putting Your Project Plan into Action

Ascend is a project-based education program, which means that it is all about helping you translate your academic and nonacademic studies into practical, actionable steps that equip you for life. Your Ascend Project is one of the most powerful ways you will do that. 

In the spring semester you will bring your Ascend Project to life and put your plan into action through four steps:

1. Attend Basecamp for your project orientation
2. Submit your project proposal to your Team Leader
3. Receive final approval for your project and begin executing
4. Submit three project status updates to your Team Leader in February, March, and April

STEP 9: Attend Capstone

As the spring semester begins to wrap up, students will attend Capstone. Capstone is held in Colorado at the end of April. Capstone is not only the final event of the year, but it is also a critical part of the final Signature Leadership Course. Your course instructor, Dr. Jeff Myers, will attend live, present several lectures, run a live coaching and mentorship practicum, and engage with students over meals. 

Capstone is all about engaging with the leadership principles and practices taught in the Signature Leadership courses at a whole new level. As you dialogue, wrestle with, and apply the concepts you’ve learned throughout the course series, you become better equipped to take these ideas home and do something new with them. At Capstone, you’re reminded of the lesson that no leader ever “arrives”, and you’ll create a plan that allows you to apply the “asking questions” framework you’ll learn in Navigate to your life and influence as a leader. 

STEP 10: Complete Your Project

In May of your Ascend year you will complete your Ascend Project with three final steps:

1. Complete a peer review and make all final edits
2. Submit your final project report to your Ascend Team Leader
3. Receive a final review and notes from your Team Leader

STEP 11: Finish Your Courses & Earn Your First Two Certificates

At the end of May or beginning of June you will close out your Ascend year by completing any final assignments for your courses and attending the final Ascend Webinar. For all students who successfully complete each aspect of the program, they will earn two high-level certificates in leadership and professional development. These certificates will set you apart from your traditionally educated peers and ahead in the job market. And if you continue on in Ascend? You will have the opportunity to earn an additional 3 certificates to highlight all of the experience, training, skills, and education you have received through the Ascend program.

READY?

Book Your Admissions Appointment

Testimonials

KEEP EXPLORING

Dive Deeper into Ascend.

KEEP EXPLORING

Dive Deeper into Ascend.

Teams

Ascend students are placed on teams of 7-10 students each year. This team structure provides an introduction to accountability and action, team dynamics, and influence and leadership.

Click here to “meet” three of our Ascend team leaders and get to know the people leading your students!

Click here to learn more about Ascend teams.

Events

Ascend students attend 3 live student and alumni events held across the country focused on community, personal and professional skill development, and effective Christian leadership.

Click here to listen to a session from one of our 2022 event speakers on the importance of resiliency.

Click here to learn more about each Ascend event.

Expert Webinars

Ascend students attend monthly expert-led webinars throughout the year. During these webinars, they have the chance to hear from experts in a variety of fields with unique stories and perspectives.

Click here to learn more about Ascend webinars.

Courses & Certificates

Ascend students have the option of pursuing a bachelor’s degree 100% online. Not interested in a degree? Ascend’s leadership courses, life courses, and high level certificates set Ascend students from their traditionally educated peers and ahead in the job market.

Click here to learn more about one of the first certificates Ascend students earn: The Signature Leadership Certificate.

Projects

Ascend students complete challenging personal or team projects across a variety of fields. These projects give students the opportunity to explore career paths, achieve personal and professional accomplishment, build their resume and portfolio, and learn how to work alone and with others.

Click here to find out how Ascend student Abby used her Ascend project to raise $52k for survivors of human trafficking.

Click here to learn more about Ascend projects.

Communty & Network

Ascend students gain access to a powerful Christian student community and network of 10,000+ alumni. With international, national, local, and online platforms, the opportunities to connect with students and alumni are endless.

Click here to learn more about the Ascend community.

As Seen On

How Does Ascend Work?

Projects & Teams

Ascend’s team structure and ambitious project requirements challenge students to build critical life and professional skills while gaining hands-on experience in fields that interest them. Through the coaching and accountability of their teammates and the real-world challenge of projects, students hone relational and professional skills every day.

Courses & Certificates

The nine credit level of Ascend includes the accredited and certified Signature Leadership Course series. These three rigorous courses take students through at least 300 hours of study and application in the field of leadership, conflict resolution, effective communication, coaching, mentorship, negotiation, and persuasion.

Community & Network

Through three live student events, monthly team meetings and expert-led webinars, and daily interaction with their fellow students, team leaders, and staff, Ascend gives students the opportunity to build meaningful, life-long community and a nationwide network that includes not only their current class but 10,000+ alumni.

What Are the Benefits?

For pricing information, details about events, projects, and academics, and more, see our full Ascend page.

How Do I Get Started?

Ready to say "no" to average and "hello" to the skills, experience, and community you need to impact the real world?

Click the link below to schedule a free consultation with our admissions team. You can get your questions answered and see if you are a good fit for the Ascend program.

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