Prepare for life, not for the classroom

Welcome to the most intense, most robust, most friendly, most exclusive college program on planet earth.

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How it Works

WATCH: Ascend Explained in 7 Minutes…

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Real-World Experience

Project-Based Education

Our style of education is what really sets the Ascend program apart. Can Ascend students earn an affordable bachelor’s degree? Of course. But our project-based education format means that Ascend students also graduate with experience and soft-skills that make them better at real life than any of their peers.

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The Seven Steps to Ascend

1. Teams

Ascend Teams are the cornerstone of the program. After a student is placed in a team of 7-10 of their peers, they receive—and provide—coaching, encouragement, and accountability. One student in each team is mentored directly by program staff and acts as the team leader.

Video: Learn more about Ascend Teams

Ascend students
Eric Metaxes, Ascend

Eric Metaxas at APEX 2019

2. Events

A collection of events bring the Ascend program to life by providing a platform for students to forge relationships in person and learn in an even more intense environment.

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3. Expert Workshops

The expert workshops are monthly webinars that expose students to a wide variety of fields, ideas, and principles. One month they might be engaging with an expert in marketing, and the next month a full-time missionary. Students rate these workshops among their favorite parts of the program.

Video: View Sample Workshop

Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaking to program students

Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaking to program students

Ascend student leaders

Student leaders

4. Student Leadership

Student leaders—selected and trained by staff—are the lifeblood of everything in the Ascend program. Student leaders play a critical role in planning events, onboarding new students, and facilitating online and in-person environments for the community. These leaders are constantly learning life-lessons with hands-on experience.

Video: Hear from some of our leaders

5. Academics

Whether enrolled for 9, 15, or 30 credits, Ascend students have access to expert advising and a huge library of transferable college courses from some of the biggest academic providers. Dr. Jeff Myers' Signature Leadership Courses are included in the program.

View course catalog

View available majors

View certifications

Ascend student
Ascend students

6. Student Projects

Ascend students conceive, plan, and execute a project as a part of the program. An opportunity for students to apply what they are learning, these projects have ranged from starting a nonprofit to building a canoe for a multi-day trip.

7. Community

Ascend students get full access to our vibrant community. Complete with online forums, video hangouts, live events, and opportunities for international missions, this community connects over a thousand friends around the world.

Learn more about the community

Unbound student community



For new students, APEX is the ultimate orientation. For graduating students, APEX is the ultimate crescendo. This event is the largest event in the program—open to alumni, family, and friends. Past speakers include Eric Metaxas, Joel Salatin, Phylicia Masonheimer, and Navy SEAL Mike Ritland.

Video: Watch the Recap

APEX event, Ascend

Students at APEX

Basecamp students, Ascend

Students at Basecamp


Basecamp is an intensive life training event held somewhere warm each January. This powerful event helps students master vital life skills and understand the resilience needed for a life of impact. Basecamp provides masterful techniques for students to strategically leverage tasks, direct time, and handle relationships with wisdom, all in the context of strength, courage, and grit — setting them apart in a generation that lacks these abilities. With engaging content, fun stories, and, of course, slightly warmer temperatures, Basecamp is an incredible launching pad for the new year.

Learn more about Basecamp


Held in the mountains of Colorado, Capstone is part of the last course in the Signature Leadership Series. At this event, students are mentored in person by Dr. Jeff Myers on Christian leadership.

Video: Why Students Love These Courses

Signature Leadership Course students

Students attending Capstone

Available Majors

Ascend supports an extensive list of bachelor’s degrees from a variety of schools. Earn any of the following degrees online at your own pace!

Don’t see your desired major on this list? Schedule a time to talk to us and we’ll see if we can help!

BA Biology

BA Computer Science

BA Criminal Justice

BA English

BA International Studies

BA Liberal Studies

BA Mathematics

BA Music

BA Political Science

BA Psychology

BA Public Relations

BA/BS History

BA/BS Homeland Security

BA/BSBA Communications

BS Biblical and Educational Studies

BS Christian Leadership and Management

BS Civil Engineering

BS Criminal Justice: Business Administration and Management

BS Criminal Justice: Crime Scene Investigation

BS Criminal Justice: Criminal Psychology

BS Criminal Justice: Homeland Security

BS Criminal Justice: Juvenile Justice

BS Criminal Justice: Public Administration

BS Criminal Justice: Strategic Intelligence Studies

BS Cybersecurity

BS Early Childhood Education

BS Elementary Education

BS Government: National Security

BS Government: Politics and Policy

BS Government: Pre-Law

BS Government: Public Administration

BS Industrial Engineering Technology

BS Informatics: Healthcare

BS Information Systems: Accounting Information Systems

BS Information Systems: Data Networking

BS Information Systems: Database

BS Information Systems: Information Assurance

BS Information Technology: Application & Database Development

BS Information Technology: Data Networking & Security

BS Information Technology: Gaming Design

BS Information Technology: Web & Mobile Programming

BS Organizational Leadership

BS Paralegal Studies

BS Psychology: Addictions and Recovery

BS Psychology: Christian Counseling

BS Psychology: Criminal

BS Psychology: Crisis Counseling

BS Psychology: Developmental

BS Psychology: Life Coaching

BS Psychology: Military Resilience

BS Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies

BS Religion: Christian Counseling

BS Religion: Christian Ministries

BS Religion: Evangelism

BS Social Work

BS Special Education

BSAST Information Technology

BSBA Accounting

BSBA Computer Info Systems

BSBA Economics

BSBA Entrepreneurship

BSBA Finance

BSBA Financial Planning

BSBA General Management

BSBA Green and Sustainable Management

BSBA Healthcare Management

BSBA Human Resources Management

BSBA International Business

BSBA Leadership

BSBA Marketing

BSBA Marketing Analytics

BSBA Marketing: Digital Marketing & Advertising

BSBA Marketing: Sales Management and Professional Selling

BSBA Marketing: Strategic Marketing Management

BSBA Project Management

BSBA Public Administration

Pre-Med (Degree add-on)

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Interested in learning more about how this all works? Read the breakdown explaining how you can earn a bachelor’s degree through Ascend.


Signature Leadership Certification

Students who complete the Signature Leadership Series and attend the Capstone event will receive a certification in leadership from Dr. Jeff Myers. This certification can be included on your resume and LinkedIn profile, linking to a page that explains what you did to receive this certification.

Jeff Myers at Capstone, Ascend by Unbound

Dr. Jeff Myers teaching Capstone students

Jonathan Brush at APEX, Ascend by Unbound

CEO Jonathan Brush recognizing a student at APEX

Ascend Certification

Ascend students also receive a unique certification from Unbound CEO Jonathan Brush. This certification will be linkable, just like the Leadership Certification, and will outline the professional experience and expert training you receive as an Ascend student.

Learn more about Ascend Certifications

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If you’re ready to be challenged, work hard, participate in Christian community, and learn more than you’ve ever learned before, you’re the student we want.

  • check 9-30 credits per year
  • check Registration and travel to events
  • check Signature Leadership Courses
  • check Navigate course
  • check Ascend team assignment
  • check Access to expert workshops
  • check Opportunities for leadership
  • check Access to the community, forever
  • check Signature Leadership Certification
  • check Ascend certification each year

Enrollment opening for the 2022 class soon!

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Want to talk to someone before you apply? Schedule a call with us!

Still not sure? Read the Unbound guarantee.


What is Ascend?

Ascend is Unbound’s project-based college program, designed as a 1-3 year intensive that combines the best of flexible academics, practical life skills, robust community, and leadership expertise. Students graduate Ascend with more than college credit — they’ve also studied under field experts, earned a life-changing leadership credential, completed a challenging project, worked through our practical life courses, formed a remarkable professional and personal network, and attended three powerful live events.

How do I know Ascend is right for me?

Ascend students want something more. They recognize that they are called to a life of meaning, service, and leadership—and are willing to pursue that vision. They’re willing to commit time, effort, and energy to the process of growth, and they see the value of skills and principles that will equip them for a life of impact. They’re willing to be part of a team, knowing that they and their fellow students can help each other go further and do more than they could on their own.

They know that an extraordinary life lies beyond the edge of their comfort zone, and even if it takes time, they’re willing to set sail for that horizon.

If this sounds like you, Ascend was designed for you. (And you should go apply.)

Can I do Ascend as a dual enrollment high school student?

Yes! High school students can enroll in Ascend for dual credit. We recommend our 9 or 15 credit option for high school students who are just entering the college world.

Can I do Ascend as a gap year?

Of course! While Ascend is not first and foremost a gap year program, it delivers many of the same benefits as a gap year would. Some level of academic participation is currently required to enroll in Ascend, but you can select our 9 or 15 credit option if you would prefer to take fewer classes.

Can I do Ascend for multiple years?

Yes! You can take one to three years of Ascend before you move on to your target school or pursue your unique path. Each year is designed to be a full experience in itself, but subsequent years build on each other and provide students with deeper and more significant opportunities as they progress.

Can I use financial aid, scholarships, or tuition assistance plans for Ascend?

Because we are affiliated with schools but are not a college ourselves, we cannot take financial aid, scholarships, or tuition assistance directly. However, you are welcome to utilize available options at your discretion and use those funds to enroll in Ascend. Because we’ve all been college students too, we’re excited that our pricing structure is set lower than the average state school with tuition assistance!

Download the FREE EBook!

Equip your high school student for the real world. Includes 50+ project ideas to get you started!