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AscentUP FAQs - Employers
AscentUP FAQs - Employers

Your questions about the AscentUP Program

Updated over a week ago

What is AscentUP?

Ascent borrowers are granted the unique opportunity to engage in employer-led project-based internships, in partnership with Riipen and wrap around support. With specialized career development resources and personalized coaching provided by AscentUP, this collaboration will equip learners with the skills, confidence, and experience necessary to thrive in their careers.

Why is AscentUP important for learners?

AscentUP allows students looking to explore the tech sector to benefit from paid work-based learning experiences through 30 hour internships. Learners are able to enhance and showcase their skills, form employer networks, and connect with long-term employment opportunities. Completed remotely over 3-6 weeks, employer projects provide authentic experience and support career clarity to pave the way for success in the dynamic job market.

Am I an eligible employer?

Employers must be located in US and considered as one of the following:

  • not-for-profit employer;

  • public sector employer (post-secondary institution); or,

  • private sector employer

Employers may not be:

  • An elected official

  • part of an organization that engage in partisan political activities; and/or, a federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government.

You will be asked to verify your company information when joining the AscentUP program. You can find out more about our employer verification process here.

What is the employer registration process?

To sign up for AscentUP you will need to complete a short form to ensure you are eligible for the program and to let us know what types of digital tech projects you will be looking to post. If eligible, you will then be invited to join the AscentUP portal where you post your projects to be matched to the program. On joining the portal program, you will be asked to verify that you meet the AscentUP eligibility criteria, as outlined in our Terms and Conditions here. For more info on the verification process, view this article here.

What does an AscentUP project need to include?

Employers can post a range of digital tech projects, including but not limited to data analysis, digital marketing, UX/UI design, learning design, software development, product management & IT management. Companies in the tech sector can also post projects which support their mission such as digital marketing, data analytics, or grant writing.

Projects should provide 30 hours of work per learner participating. Each project must be completed over 3-6 weeks. For more information on how to create and submit a project for AscentUP, you can consult this article.

How many projects can I submit and how many learners can I take on?

There’s no limit to how many projects an employer can submit to the AscentUP program. The participants will be assigned in teams of 5, directly to the project through the program. That being said, we ask that you be mindful of the amount of learners you accept to work on your project, to ensure you can dedicate appropriate time to each learner.

What if my project requires more than 30 hours of work?

Projects are assigned teams of 5 participants, which means your project should be able to be completed over 150 hours in total. If you think you will need more than this we recommend splitting the work and posting multiple projects to work with more than one AscentUP team.

What if my project timeline needs to change?

All AscentUP projects must be completed over 3-6 weeks and by August 31st 2024. Each learner is expected to contribute 30 hours to the project. A project timeline can be adjusted, as long it still meets those requirements and if both the employer and the learner team are in agreement to do so. To adjust the project timeline that is recorded on the Riipen platform, the employer can make a request from the settings page on the match. Instructions for how to do this can be found here. The AscentUP team will review and approve new date change requests within 2 business days.

What are the Terms and Conditions for the program and what is the three strike system?

In an effort to create a good AscentUP experience for all parties, we have Terms and Conditions, which can be found here. Please take a moment to read through them. You will be asked to sign the T&Cs agreement when you post your project. We've also created a three strike system. This means that if any AscentUP user goes against the Terms and Conditions, they will receive a strike. You will be notified via e-mail when/if you've received a strike. If you receive three strikes, you will be removed from the program and will no longer be able to participate.

How do learners get connected to projects?

Participants will be placed into a team of 5 and will be matched to your project by the AscentUP team. Participants must start and complete the project work through the Riipen platform in order to receive their stipend payment. You are welcome to communicate with them outside of the platform as well. Participants will need a dedicated contact to answer questions and provide access to any resources they need throughout the project.

Am I required to pay learners?

No, AscentUP is a fully subsidized program. On successfully completing an employer project, each learner is paid a $300 stipend by Riipen. For more information on confirming and completing an AscentUP project please consult this article.

How does the funding work?

AscentUP is different from traditional wage subsidy or grant funding programs that you might be used to. Riipen pays learners directly, which means that funding is attached to learners, not projects. Stipends are not locked in until a learner team has been matched to and started your project. Stipends are sent to learners as a one-time payment, which means that learners only receive payment upon successful completion of projects. Learners who do not fully complete the project will not be paid. Learners will not be permitted to take on more than one project.

Are learners employees of the organization?

No. Learners are neither employees of the organization they do a project for, nor of Riipen (who will pay their stipend). As such, learners do not qualify for any benefits and will not obtain any record of employment from either organizations. Upon joining the AscentUP program, Riipen will require learners to submit their legal name, social security number, and mailing address so that we can issue the appropriate tax form(s).

If I choose to submit my project to other opportunities, will those learners receive stipends?

No. While you are welcome to submit your project(s) to other courses and internship programs on Riipen, connections that you make outside of the AscentUP program would not have the stipend attached, even if the learners are eligible. Learners will only receive a stipend if they have applied and been accepted to your project through the AscentUP portal.

Still have questions? Reach out to us via live-chat in the avocado found in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen or via email at

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