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Ascend Institute


The Ascend Institute was born out of the Dallas County Community College District's (DCCCD) need to serve the business community in North Texas. In its more than 50-year history, DCCCD's seven expansive colleges have educated millions of students, many of whom go on to four-year universities to receive a bachelor's degree (or higher) and enter the workforce.

But the workforce of today has radically changed. Employers greatest skillset needs now exist in what are called "middle-skill jobs." These jobs typically do not require a four-year college degree but do require some training in technical, managerial and other essential work-related skills, and in some cases leading up to and including an industry-recognized certification.  

The Ascend Institute is committed to the evolving needs of today's employers. We can leverage the strength and recources of DCCCD, while delivering services tailored to the specific requirements of your organization. 

Service Offerings

Economic Development

We will work to support state and local economic development organizations in their efforts to attract and retain employers in North Texas. Our partnership will focus on the ability to provide the full slate of Ascend services outlined below, which will accentuate the economic benefit of our workforce development programs. Our goal is for the North Texas region to become the preferred destination for employers looking to relocate their business operations.  Additionally, we will also serve existing organizations wishing to expand and strengthen their workforce.

Talent Acquisition and Development

The Ascend Institute will utilize traditional and nontraditional means to find and prepare talented individuals for the workforce. This also includes retraining of those seeking to improve their workplace skills and those receiving new skills training. We will first assess participants for job skills and aptitude. Then, they will be made aware of the best career path options based on their individual skills and talents.

Some participants may require preparation for the workforce, which may include completing their high school education through a General Education Diploma (GED) program. Some may require training in English as a Second Language (ESL). Others may enter Adult Education and Literacy programs (AEL) to improve their reading and comprehension skills. The Ascend Institute will provide access to these and other workplace preparation programs to help our participants get ready for more advanced training in high-demand, high-paying jobs.

We will also provide career advice and counseling for participants as they near completion of their pre-employment training. Our goal is to ensure they meet prospective employers who find them well prepared to be successful and productive in their new careers.

Customized Soft Skills Training

The vast majority of today's employers are seeking "soft skills" training for their changing workforce. This is because competency in these areas is absolutely essential for workplace success. The Ascend Institute has developed training programs in a number of critical areas that employers require. And we can customize these offerings to your industry and company, so they essentially become your baseline training. For example, we offer tailored training in areas such as:

  • Entry-level management and supervisory skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Ethical behaviors in the workplace 

Technical Training and Certification

In addition to soft skills competency, technical training is also required for job proficiency and success. The Ascend Institute works within industries to develop competency-based curriculum that can be delivered in a flexible manner, regardless of location. Our goal is to develop and offer tailored programs that teach the skills required by your workforce.

Ascend will partner with your organization to create curriculum and teaching programs to meet your needs. Some examples of existing programs include:

  • Allied Health Career Training – Patient care technician certification, medical front office, medical coder certification, Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), electrocardiogram (EKG) technician,  phlebotomist, nurse's aide and surgical technologist
  • Construction Skills – Welding, plumbing, pipe fitting, electrician, sheet metal fabrication and surveying skills
  • Cloud Technology – Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification, certifications, Cyber security, Cisco and Azure
  • Real Estate – Texas Real Estate Certification (TREC)
  • Advanced Manufacturing – Certification in Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD), as well as modeling and design, CNC machining, robotics, Mechatronics, electrical and mechanical maintenance
  • Project Management – Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) 

Degree-Completion Programs

Many employers have tuition-assistance programs available for their employees. However, much of that assistance goes unused. The Ascend Institute works with employers to bridge the gap between their current roles and achieving their degree-completion dreams. The Ascend Institute provides the following services to employees to help them meet their goals:.

  • Review of existing college credit and planning for degree completion;
  • Conversion of noncredit to credit, where applicable;
  • Assistance with college admissions and enrollment;
  • Financial aid counseling;
  • Coaching advice until degree completion;
  • Career pathway guidance and counseling;
  • Reporting to the employer on program success. 

Apprenticeship Programs

Contact Us

Robert D. Rash
President & CEO
Olympia Consulting
Tim Samuels
Executive Dean
Business Programs

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