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Aspire to be your very best in 2018
Dan Montavon, Adult Diploma Coordinator at the Scioto County Career Technical Center, talks to students of the Aspire program in New Boston.
As the 2017 calendar comes to an end some people may begin thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions. The Scioto County Aspire program, at the South Central Ohio ESC in New Boston, is available to anyone who wishes to check education off their resolutions.

“It’s never too late. The New Year is a fresh start; a new beginning. So let’s put this on the top of our list. Let’s get our future going with an education and a job,” said Aspire Coordinator Paula Baumgardner.

Formerly known as the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program, Aspire offers a variety of educational programs. 

“Students who do not have a high school diploma, or adults who have been out of school for a while and are considering going to college or to the vocational school, those are the prime candidates that may need our service,” Baumgardner said. 

At orientation, new students will meet admissions officers from local universities and the Scioto County Career Technical Center.

“It gives students a new perspective that once they earn their High School Equivalency, it doesn’t stop there. They have options. I like to bring those speakers in because it opens up the world to those students,” Baumgardner said. 

After completing the program, Baumgardner said she feels just as much pride and excitement for her students as they feel for themselves. Recent graduates have attended college in counseling, journalism, health care, and some transitioned directly into the workforce.

The Aspire program also offers a Bridge program, for students who have already completed their high school diploma or High School Equivalency, but still need some remedial courses to transition to college. Bridge classes are offered at the Scioto County Career Center, in Lucasville, and Shawnee State University, in Portsmouth.

“Through our partnership with Scioto County CTC, we also offer an Adult Diploma Program,” Baumgardner explained. “The ADP is for people who do not have a high school diploma, but they do have to be age 22 or older to be accepted into this program. The Adult Diploma Program provides job training and a new pathway for adults to earn a high school diploma – not a High School Equivalency – and a certificate in a selected field through Scioto County CTC. They can walk away with two credentials.”

The Aspire program offers classes with flexible locations to meet diverse needs.

“We offer day and evening classes, so it’s flexible with their schedule, or we can offer distance education,” Baumgardner said. “And that seems to help with students who live out in rural areas who do not have reliable transportation. They can do it online. However, if students choose to do distance education, I encourage them to keep in touch with their instructor. It is imperative to have that contact if they want to be successful in reaching their goal.” 

Aspire also provides services for workplace literacy, corrections education, and transition services. The programs are helpful to students of all ages.

For more information about the Aspire program, contact them at 740-354-0219, or visit one of their many locations – at the ESC in New Boston, the Scioto County Career Technical Center in Lucasville, or at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. The program works around the student’s schedule and can be as quick or as long as the student needs to complete. Distance learning opportunities are also available for some programs, if the student is unable to travel. Day and evening classes are available, and all classes are free. The student only pays for the cost of the High School Equivalency test itself, and the Aspire program offers assistance with that fee.

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