Ascender Program

Catch The Next! Ascender Model
Catch the Next
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Academic Program
Program Focus
First Year Support


The Ascender Program provides academic, emotional-social, and community support for Latino and other underserved community college students. They aim to increase the number of students who successfully complete developmental coursework their first-year, in particular, college-level gatekeeper courses such as English and Math and increase the number of students who graduate from the community college and transfer to a four-year college or university. Faculty and administrators in the program participate in 3 professional development seminars earning a total of 5 graduate credits from the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.

Program Description

The Catch the Next- Ascender program provides navigational support to students  through advising paired with a Learning Frameworks course.  Elements include instruction in English and Math for first year students, mentoring, a student club, and access to paid internships for students. Additionally, site visits to Universities and an annual Transfer Motivational Conference at UT Austin are offered. 
Catch the Next provides experiential and intensive training for faculty in  two- and four-year institutions in the State of Texas, in classroom strategies, co-curricular design with an emphasis on culturally responsive practice.  


Data demonstrates Ascender courses increase the average student's odds of obtaining a bachelor's certificate by 1.24 (p<.001).  

From 2012-2016, Ascender students successfully completed developmental reading and writing at an average rate of 80%, whereas state averages remain near 60-65%. 

In 2012, Ascender students completed their college-level English course at an average rate of 85%, compared to 30% of underprepared students in Texas. 

Ascender students graduate in four-year at a rate of 39%, compared to their Texas Latino peers graduating at a 27% rate. 


Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.