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A ccess to S tudent Assistance P rograms I n R each of E veryone. ASPIRE Expansion Overview. ASPIRE is a program of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. ASPIRE is Expanding 115 sites 165 sites. Three ways to ASPIRE!

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aspire expansion overview

Access to

Student Assistance



Reach of


ASPIRE Expansion Overview

ASPIRE is a program of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission


ASPIRE is Expanding

115 sites 165 sites

Three ways to ASPIRE!

  • Traditional ASPIRE: At a school or site that serves high school students
      • eASPIRE: Online mentoring
      • Getting Ready to ASPIRE: Mentoring for middle school students

Expansion funds provided by Federal GEAR UP and

College Access Challenge Grant

      • Apply at
      • Volunteer to be an eMentor

Who administers ASPIRE?

The mission of OSAC:

To assist Oregon students and their families in attaining a postsecondary education and to enhance the value, integrity, and diversity of Oregon's college programs

aspire goals

Provide mentoring and resources to help

  • students access education and training
  • beyond high school
  • Help ASPIRE sites build a sustainable
  • community of volunteer mentors
    • Educate students and families about school selection, and options regarding scholarship and financial aid


what is aspire

Provides one-on-one mentoring by adult volunteers

  • Welcomes ALL students
  • Offers ALL postsecondary educational options (Career-Technical, Apprenticeships, Community College, 4-year College or University)
  • Creates a network of volunteer support and activities to help students and their families realize their dream of post-secondary education.
    • Extends and enhances the reach
    • of high school career and guidance staff.

What is ASPIRE?

why do students need aspire
Why do students need ASPIRE?

“I can’t afford it…”

“I can do just as well going straight to work...”

“I’m not smart enough.”

“No one in my family has ever gone to college…”

“I don’t know where or how to go…”

B. Reaching Oregon Students

makes a difference for students


Makes a Difference for Students!

“There’s nothing like seeing the light in the eyes of a student at the very moment they begin to believe they can attend college.” ASPIRE Advisor

“ASPIRE kept me motivated to complete scholarships. My advisor helped me fill out the FAFSA, which I wouldn't have known about otherwise.”

Student at Yamhill-Carlton High School

“My ASPIRE advisor at Marshfield High School was an instrumental part of my college decision making process. She volunteered her time to teach me about the application process, how to create an effective Pro/Con spreadsheet, and how to write successful essays.”

Student at Marshfield High School

“ASPIRE provided services to students that would not be here if ASPIRE did not exist.”Principal at Crow High School

aspire statistics
ASPIRE Statistics

1998 to 2010

  • 4 sites to 115
  • 41 volunteers to 1,516
  • 160 students to 9,087
  • 2007 - General Funds appropriated
  • 2007 – Statute 348.500 - ASPIRE Programs
aspire team

Scholarship and Access Program Director – Vicki Merkel

ASPIRE and Outreach Supervisor/Team Lead – Lori Ellis

Training/Recruitment – Deb Park

Region Supervisors

  • Columbia & New CACG Sites Gretchen Beckner & Holli Kalaleh
  • Mazama Becky Wilson
  • Willamette Gary Campbell
  • New CACG Sites Gayle Yamasaki
  • Special Projects Coord. Steve Machado

Program Assistant Kristin Vreeland

Site Coordinators Local

ASPIRE Volunteer Advisors Local

ASPIRE Advisory Team Program Participants

school or agency administrator s responsibilities

Designate ASPIRE coordinator

  • Provide release time, travel costs for ASPIRE coordinator to attend fall conference
  • Provide:
    • Adequate workspace
    • Phone
    • Internet access
    • College resource materials
  • Meet annually with ASPIRE region supervisor and coordinator to assess program, set goals

School or Agency Administrator’s Responsibilities

aspire coordinator responsibilities

Obtain permission slips for students under 18

  • Perform criminal history verification for all volunteers
  • Attend training and ASPIRE conference(s)
  • Set goals and performance measures
  • Recruit and manage volunteer corps
  • Recruit and match students with volunteers
  • Collect data: progress reports, surveys, scholarship tracking

ASPIRE Coordinator Responsibilities


ASPIRE Partnership Grant Overview:

OSAC provides 50% of the funds needed to pay the wages of the ASPIRE coordinator at your site. The Partnership Grant Agreement signifies that you agree to provide the remaining 50% of funds needed as a demonstration of support. This match may be met one of two ways:

1) A new position may be created or a part-time position may be expanded and your in-kind or funds will match State contribution.

2) Existing staff time and duties (guidance counselor, school counselor, or other staff assigned to college career-related duties) may match the state contribution.

ASPIRE Coordinator time must be used for ASPIRE Program activities. To meet the requirements of the Partnership Grant, your ASPIRE Coordinator must dedicate at least 05 or 10 hours per week to the management of the ASPIRE program.

let s make a difference

Let’s Make a Difference…

“To the world I may be one person, but to him I may be the world.”

~ASPIRE Advisor

becoming an aspire site
Becoming an ASPIRE Site.
  • Overview of Partnership Grant:
  • Importance of In-Kind Proposal to meet Partnership Match
    • Enables Schools and Youth Service Agencies to become involved with ASPIRE without additional budgetary obligation during challenging fiscal times.
    • Application Process: Overview

ASPIRE Funding Partners 2010-11

State General Funds for Administration and Partnership Grants

Other Funds for Partnership Grants

College Access Challenge Grant

Other Funds for ASPIRE Expansion

Other Funds for Partnership Grants

Other Funds for the e-ASPIRE and Get Ready to ASPIRE Special Projects

Other Funds for Former Foster Youth trainings, publications & website information, and Fall Conference

Other Funds for students with disabilities

examples of in kind match small school
Examples of In-Kind Match: Small School
  • Small School A: OSAA Classification 1A-3A
    • College Access Challenge Grant Amount = $2000 as a Partnership Grant to provide 2.5 hours of Site Coordinator position.
      • School A currently has a part-time Librarian who is coordinating scholarship and post-secondary support with the School Counselor.

* 2.5 hours of their time can be added to the above 2.5 hours to recruit, train, and support mentoring by volunteers in the ASPIRE Program.


Examples of In-Kind Match: Large School

  • School B: OSAA Classification 4A-6A
    • College Access Challenge Grant Amount = $4000 toward 10 hours each week of Site Coordinator Position.
      • School B wanted to create an additional part-time position to provide volunteer recruitment, support, and coordination.
      • They contacted a number of their business partners and their school district foundation and asked for financial support to meet the $4000 match. The shared with their businesses that where a small individual student scholarship would be wonderful, having the businesses link resources together in this way has the ability to help approximately 50 students have access to post-secondary support with weekly 1-1 mentoring.
examples of in kind match community agency
Examples of In-Kind Match: Community Agency
  • Community Youth Service Agency
    • Able to apply to be an ASPIRE Site if direct services are provided to High School Age Youth.
      • Most would fit under the OSAA 1A to 3A classification for Partnership Grant Eligibility which is $2000 for 5 hours of services by Site Coordinator.
        • Example: A Drug Free Community Coalition coordinates an after-school program with a part-time Mentoring Coordinator position paid by a Foundation Grant.
      • This group decided that this position was a natural fit for the ASPIRE Site Coordination duties so were able to identify 5 hours of this work that meets the In-Kind Match.
resources provided to aspire sites

ASPIRE written handbooks for:

    • School administrators
    • ASPIRE coordinators
    • ASPIRE advisors
  • ASPIRE list serve
  • ASPIRE Blog

Resources Provided to ASPIRE Sites

aspire trainings and webinars

Administrative Overview

    • Principal & involved staff
  • Introduction to ASPIRE
    • ASPIRE advisors
  • College 101
    • ASPIRE Advisors, students, parents
  • Finding Fund$ for Oregon $tudents
    • ASPIRE advisors, students, parents, school staff & community members
    • Calendar available on ASPIRE Oregon Website

ASPIRE Trainings and Webinars