Higher Education
Meets Project-Based Learning

Graduate with elite certificates, a powerful network,
hands-on experience in fields you’re interested in,
and a job guarantee.

Request More Information
About Ascend

Name(Required)

I am (or my student is) going into. . .

Project-Based
Higher Education

Graduate with elite certificates, a powerful network,
hands-on experience in fields you’re interested in,
and a job guarantee.

Request More Information
About Ascend

Name(Required)

I am (or my student is) going into. . .

Project-Based Higher Education.

START HERE

What is Ascend?

Ascend is a remote project-based higher education program that trains students in Christian leadership and teaches them to translate their studies and experiences into practical, actionable steps that equip them for life.

START HERE

What is Ascend?

Ascend is a remote project-based higher education program that trains students in Christian leadership and teaches them to translate their studies and experiences into practical, actionable steps that equip them for life.

DIVE DEEPER

What is Project-Based Higher Education?

YEAR 1

Ascend Foundations Project

First year students are required to complete a personal or professional project by taking an idea from concept to reality.

YEAR 2

Ascend Challenge Project

Second year students are required to complete a project in a team environment where they help take someone else’s idea from concept to reality.

YEAR 3

Ascend Launch
Project

Third year students are required to lead a team in completing a project, whether it is their own idea or someone else’s.

HEAR IT EXPLAINED

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

How Do the Academics Work?

OPTION 1

The Debt-Free Degree Path

Earn 75% of your degree through Ascend, transfer to one of Unbound’s six partner schools for your final year, earn your diploma and graduate with 1-4 elite certificates, a powerful network, hands-on experience in fields you’re interested in, and three years of resume-worthy experience.

OPTION 2

The Non-Degree
Path

Complete Unbound’s accredited and certified Signature Leadership Course series and earn a powerful certificate in Christian Leadership. Build invaluable personal and professional skills and experience through Unbound’s robust life courses and internship opportunities.

OPTION 3

The Still-Deciding Path

Not sure what your future holds? Complete your first year in Ascend with no pressure to make a final decision. Explore your God-given gifts through the Signature Leadership Courses and test some of your interests in your Ascend Project. We’ll help you re-evaluate at the end of the year!

HEAR IT EXPLAINED

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE

A Year in Ascend

1

Ascend Teams

Ascend Teams are comprised of 10 Ascend students and meet once a month for coaching, support, and accountability. Each team is led by an Ascend Team Leader (ATL) – an Ascend alumni who has been intensively trained in coaching and academic support.

2

Monthly Webinars

Ascend students attend Expert-Led Webinars in addition to monthly Ascend Team meetings. These webinars give students a chance to hear from intentionally selected field experts and see how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world. 

3

Live Events

Ascend students attend three live student events held in Michigan, Alabama, and Colorado. These events happen in August, January, and April. Registration, room & board are all included in tuition for Ascend students. <i>Plus</i> free travel to APEX, the first event of the year!

4

Online Courses

Ascend includes 4-11 online courses based on the path you choose. The first course is a nonaccredited life purpose course, Navigate. The next three are the Signature Leadership Courses. Dual-credit and degree paths include 2-7 additional gen-ed courses.

5

Ascend Projects

During the first 16-weeks of Ascend you will brainstorm ideas for your Ascend Project and submit final ideas to your ATL at the end of October. In January you will begin executing your project, sending updates to your ATL for feedback along the way, and completing your project in April.

1

Ascend Teams

Ascend Teams are comprised of 10 Ascend students and meet once a month for coaching, support, and accountability. . . click here to keep reading.
Each team is led by an Ascend Team Leader (ATL) - an Ascend alumni who has been intensively trained in coaching and academic support.

2

Monthly Webinars

Ascend students attend Expert-Led Webinars in addition to monthly Ascend Team meetings. These webinars give students. . . click here to keep reading.
a chance to hear from intentionally selected field experts and see how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.

3

Live Events

Ascend students attend three live student events held in Michigan, Alabama, and Colorado. These events happen in August. . . click here to keep reading.
January, and April. Registration, room & board are all included in tuition for Ascend students. Plus free travel to APEX, the first event of the year!

4

Online Courses

Ascend includes 4-11 online courses based on the path you choose. The first course is a nonaccredited life purpose. . .click here to keep reading.
course, Navigate. The next three are the Signature Leadership Courses. Dual-credit and degree paths include 2-7 additional gen-ed courses.

5

Ascend Projects

During the first 16-weeks of Ascend you will brainstorm ideas for your Ascend Project and submit final ideas to your ATL at the end of October. . . click here to keep reading.
In January you will begin executing your project, sending updates to your ATL for feedback along the way, and completing your project in April.

1

Join Your Ascend Team

Your Ascend Team will be comprised of 8-10 other Ascend students and will meet once a month for coaching, support, and accountability. Each team is led by . . . click here to keep reading.
an Ascend Team Leader (ATL). ATL's are Ascend alumni who have been intensively trained in coaching, leadership, and academic support.

2

Attend Monthly Webinars

Each month in Ascend you will attend an Expert-Led Webinar in addition to your Ascend Team meeting. These webinars give you a chance to hear from intentionally. . . click here to keep reading.
selected field experts and see how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.

3

Attend Three Live Events

Ascend students attend three live student events held in Michigan, Alabama, and Colorado. These events happen in August, January, and April. click here to keep reading.
Event registration, room & board are all included in tuition for Ascend students. Plus free travel to APEX, the first event of the year!

4

Complete Online Courses

Ascend includes 4-11 online courses depending on which path you choose. The first is a nonaccredited life purpose and decision-making course called Navigate. The next three . . . click here to keep reading.
are the Signature Leadership Courses taught by Dr. Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries. Students pursuing dual-credit or a degree will take an additional 2-7 general education and elective courses.

5

Complete Your Project

During the first 16-weeks of Ascend you will brainstorm ideas for your Ascend Project and submit final ideas to your ATL at the end of October. During the second 16-weeks . . . click here to keep reading.
you will begin executing your project, submitting status updates to your ATL along the way for feedback. At the end of April, you will submit your final, completed project to your ATL.

REVIEWS

What Parents Just Like You Say

Ascend was the perfect program for our daughter who wanted to earn college credit, seek leadership opportunities, and be immersed in a community which espoused a Christian worldview. I have enjoyed seeing my daughter build lifelong friendships while gaining self confidence and discovering new gifts.

Nicholas C.,

Student Parent

As the parent. . . I can honestly say this community has been life changing for my son and our family. . . No matter who you are you will find friends and support in this group. And you will receive a fantastic education in both academics and life.

Rebecca L.,

Student Parent

I love when my girls talk about what they’re experiencing and I also enjoy overhearing the teaching! (huge Dr Myers fan!) The result of being challenged in a Christ-focused direction has great value. Love the leadership, thoughts and relationships cultivated.

Dawn S.,

Student(s) Parent

PRICING

Enroll Today

What Students Just Like Yours Say

I’ve realized what leadership actually means, and I have been able to gain confidence in my ability to plan, coordinate, and execute projects. It’s an amazing program that teaches real-life skills that you won’t learn anywhere else.

Faith S.,

Ascend Student

Ascend is a program where you learn to have a question-based mindset, where you learn to ask questions and grow more in your understanding. Ascend has helped me realize that in order to be extraordinary at the ordinary, I need to learn to seek discomfort to grow, learn to ask questions to further my understanding and knowledge.

Andrew C.,

Ascend Student

Ascend has helped me to come out of my shell and not be as afraid to try new things. This is a place where you can be yourself and almost always find someone to laugh with you. They challenge you to do things that grow you and challenge you in new ways. It's also a great way to make friends and build connections.

Alexandra F.,

Ascend Student

I chose Ascend because it sounded like it incorporated an in-person community. . . and had much more of a life application emphasis than other programs. Connecting with people from around the country gave me a much higher motivation and encouragement than I would have otherwise. Also the leadership courses had a ton of impactful reading and discussing it with the others was very thought provoking and developed how I see and move in the world.

Jesse K.,

Ascend Student

Ascend has introduced me to some of the most extraordinary people in the world. The friendships I made in this past year are not fleeting or superficial; but rooted in a love for Jesus and passion for living life which promises longevity. I couldn't be more grateful.

Briley C.,

Ascend Student

Ascend changed the way I view my abilities. . . the way I view leadership, and the way I view time management. You seriously need to do Ascend, it'll change you for the better in many ways, and you'll never find a better community.

Colton J.,

Ascend Student

Ascend has pushed me outside of my comfort zone within a supportive network of friends. My critical thinking skills have improved and the relationships in my life have flourished because I have been given tools that have grown my character.

Tim F.,

Ascend Alumnus

The Ascend program has been a great fit for me. Ascend is not just a typical online college program. The community involved with the program is supportive and helpful! Ascend has been beneficial for me where I am right now and for the future. You're not just a number, you're a part of a community!

Madison T.,

Ascend Alumna

The Ascend program was an awesome experience! Not only was the content from the webinars amazing, but the in-person events were so valuable! The students on my team and in the whole class are still some of my closest friends. It was an honor to graduate alongside such genuine, intelligent, and exceptional people.

Tamma P.,

Ascend Alumna

READY?

Book Your Admissions Appointment

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition starts at $8,500 if you pay in full or $9,500 if you choose a payment plan. Tuition covers your student’s Ascend Team, Ascend Project, monthly coaching and webinars, registration to three live events plus travel to the first, access to the online Navigate life purpose course, registration for the online accredited Signature Leadership Course Series and general education courses, and daily access to their coach, teammates, fellow students, and program staff via Slack. 

This depends entirely on the student. Each year we have a mix students who are finishing high school or already graduated. The best way to determine if your student can manage Ascend alongside high school is to talk to an admissions counselor about the time commitment for each path available. Click here to book a call!

Nope! Ascend is a remote program that give students the opportunity to build a network and form connections across the country while continuing to invest in their local communities, families, and churches.

Yes! We offer payment plans that allow you to pay for Ascend in up to 20 installments depending on how early you enroll. 

While ultimately it comes down to each individual student and their schedule, the vast majority of Ascend students work part or full time while completing the program. 

Each Ascend Team includes 8-10 students and one Ascend Team Leader.

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!

Of course! While Ascend is not first and foremost a gap year program, it is designed with easy exit points after each year. 

Just one: that your student wants to enroll. It’s very important that each student who enrolls in Ascend wants to be here. We tell all students that their experience in Ascend is very likely to be extraordinary, but whether or not that happens is up to them and their willingness to show up and invest. 

As Seen or Heard On

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Keep Exploring

Listen to commentary on higher education today, Unbound student stories, and engaging interviews with leaders in Christian education.

Episode Highlights:

  • The Vision For a Different Education (feat. Rush and Cindy Cone) – Listen Now
  • How to Prepare for a Resilient Life (feat. Mrs. Elaine Bell) – Listen Now
  • How the State of Higher Education Has Changed Over Time – Listen Now

The Be Unbound YouTube channel shares actionable tips for students and chronicles the adventures of Unbound students and alumni.

Video Highlights:

Read what’s happening in higher education and informed commentary on the topics of life preparation, education, and Christian leadership.

Article Highlights:

  • How Community Enhances Project-Based Higher Education – Read Now
  • Writing Our Own Case Studies: How Unbound Students Learn Differently – Read Now
  • Students Are Walking Into Life Unprepared. Project-Based Higher Education is Here to Change That. – Read Now
  • A Call for Christian Students to Embrace Counterculturalism – Read Now

LOOKING FOR A SPRING OPTION?

CHECK OUT ASCEND SEMESTER

3-Day Online Intensive for Parents of High Schoolers

What's Next?

Equip your child to launch into adulthood confident in who they are and excited to explore their interests and gain real-world experience.