How it Works
We’ll ask you a few questions to identify your academic goals and make sure Ascend is a good fit for you. Then, we’ll ensure you can get started earning transferrable credits whether you have yet to declare a major or have already been earning credit.
Get Your Plan
Our expert advisors will create a customized academic plan based on how fast you want to go, where you want to graduate, and what types of classes you want to take. Whether you’re looking for a gap year, dual credit, or a heavy college load, we can accommodate you!
Reach Your Goals
As you work to reach your academic goals, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive college experience. Teams, coaching, certifications, travel to live events, and Q&A with experts are all included in the Ascend program.
WATCH: Ascend Explained in 7 Minutes…
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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.
The Seven Steps to Ascend
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- 9-30 credits per year
- Registration and travel to events
- Signature Leadership Courses
- Navigate course
- Ascend team assignment
- Access to expert workshops
- Opportunities for leadership
- Access to the community, forever
- Signature Leadership Certification
- Ascend certification each year
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!