One of the many common questions that we receive about the Ascend program regards the size and structure of Ascend Teams.
Because these teams are the core of Ascend’s project-based focus and community, it’s an important question. While we’re not in a place to be concerned about “class-size” or “teacher-to-student ratio” since we’re not a brick and mortar school, it’s important to know how these teams work and how big they are!
How Big Are the Teams?
The simple answer to the size question is: seven to ten students with a team leader.
This team size is strategically set to be small enough so that each person has room to participate.Students don’t get lost in the shuffle and everyone participates in team discussions and group projects at events.
It’s also large enough to provide a robust range of support from team members and leaders. There’s just enough perspectives that students seeking feedback on projects will hear from a variety of peers who all have something unique to contribute.
On top of the Ascend Teams, the wider program-wide community is a great opportunity to build lasting friendships and collaborate on projects together. But we’d like to think of the Ascend Teams as the “goldilocks” of the Unbound community: not too big, not too small, but just right.
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Who Leads the Ascend Team?
This is another common (and important) question we get from prospective students.
Ascend Teams are led by a highly-qualified and trained leader. Many of these leaders are Ascend alumni themselves so they are intimately experienced with the Ascend experience and all of the special opportunities and challenges that students face.
Furthermore, every Ascend Team leader is trained in coaching and group leadership by our staff who have years of collective experience in leading teams, coaching young people, and managing projects.
Ascend Team Leaders are essential to the success of the Ascend Team and they are integral to the whole community! ATLs lead team calls and serve as the student’s point of contact for questions that come up during the student’s time in the Ascend program.
At events, ATLs serve an important role as group leaders and community coordinators. Often you can find them organizing special activities during free time.
Whether it’s during an online call or in the context of an event, our Ascend Team Leaders demonstrate leadership and they’re fun to hang out with!
The Ascend Team is the core building block of the Ascend community and serves as a student’s “home base” for their community involvement and project planning and execution.
Ascend Teams are composed of seven to ten students under the direction of a trained Ascend Team Leader.
These teams collaborate on projects, offer feedback and group coaching, keep each other accountable, and encourage each other in their progress as they go through the program.
Ultimately, Ascend Teams help students in the Ascend program to thrive by giving them a community of support as they learn to own their purpose. They’re an excellent practice ground for building strong and healthy relationships. And the teams function to help provide encouragement and support as each student grows to life resiliently for the glory of God.
Jace Bower is a Copywriter for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.