Are you looking for meaningful community, relevant skills,
and a flexible, applicable education?
You’re in the right place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
In August, Ascend will kick off with the first live event of the year, APEX. APEX is held in Lake City, Michigan August 19th-23rd. 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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
In May of your Ascend year you will complete your Ascend Project with three final steps:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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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