2020-2021 ASPIRE Welcome Letter to Coordinators
Welcome to the new 2020-21 academic year! It looks like it will be a virtual start to the school year for most of you, and we will be here with resources and support all year long. Check to see if your administration will allow electronic contact (email, text, phone call, or video chat) between students and volunteers. If not, we know you will be very busy meeting with students! Either way, we have updated the ASPIRE Toolkit and OSAC Website with resources to help you guide your students. Using a combination of checklists, webinars, videos, and virtual events, we hope to have what you need this year.
For those of you who are new with ASPIRE, a special welcome to you! Below is an overview of what’s new. Connect with me for further guidance.
ASPIRE Updates – many changes this year
Are you a new coordinator? Let’s schedule a time soon for our New Coordinator Training.
Do you have a new administrator/principal? Please send me their name, email, and phone, so I can contact them about ASPIRE.
Partnership Grants: The Partnership Grant Agreement is attached in this email. Please sign and send back to me as soon as possible. If your site is eligible for funding, we will process your award as soon as we have received your Agreement. Contact your Access Specialist for more information.
Site Visits: This year we will have 3 virtual site visits: fall, spring, and winter. I will connect soon to start scheduling.
Reporting: We have streamlined our reporting processes and are asking you for less data than past years. See the Progress Report Spreadsheet for more information. Training will be available soon.
COVID makes interacting with mentors difficult. How will you manage your volunteers this year? Ask your administration for approval for mentors to email, text, phone, or video conference with students. ASPIRE anticipates three ways to engage with volunteers this year: (a) Mentors operate as normal; (b) no outside volunteer mentoring, but staff will mentor students; (c) no in-person mentoring but virtual mentoring allowed; and (d) no mentoring at all
Volunteer Mentor Training: Training your volunteers or staff who are new to ASPIRE is required whether they are meeting with students virtually or in person. Please visit ASPIRE Volunteer Training to review.
ASPIRE Toolkit: Remember to check out the Toolkit and see the new changes we have made and will continue to make through the fall.
Student Permission Forms: Permission forms are still required for all mentored students under 18 years of age for both in person and virtual mentoring when a student meets with a mentor (volunteer or staff member). The form is fillable and can easily be emailed to parents/guardians. Fillable ASPIRE Permission form English | Spanish
ASPIRE staff Travel for FAFSA nights, college events, etc: At this point, we (state workers) are not able to travel unless it is determined that there is no other option to ensure the work is done. Technology allows access specialists to attend events and give presentations virtually. Please reach out to request virtual presentations. Also, you will find a link to our most popular presentations, such as Finding Funds, in static video format on our YouTube Channel that you can show at your convenience.
VIRTUAL ASPIRE FALL CONFERENCE – Live Event September 25, 2020
ASPIRE’s annual event is going virtual this year. It brings together ASPIRE site staff, ASPIRE volunteers, and career and college readiness professionals from across the state. The event is designed for attendees to collaborate, share resources, and learn the latest in college and career readiness. Sign up now to be a part of this exciting conference. For more information, visit https://www.aspireoregon.org/home/conference.
Monthly Coordinator Calls
We encourage all of you to join us on our monthly ASPIRE coordinator calls for professional development and to hear from others what is working and lessons learned. We will automatically add you to the invite list. Attend one or all if you are able!
OSAC & ASPIRE Publications: Order Free OSAC Publications https://oregonstudentaid.gov/publications.aspx to share with your students and families including: posters, brochures, handouts, and more. We will not automatically send out materials this year. Please complete this form to order your materials.
Here are two of our most requested documents: Standard Student Budgets for Oregon Postsecondary Institutions & Oregon Public University Requirements
The ASPIRE Volunteer Calendar has been renamed to the ASPIRE Career and College Calendar! This calendar will be used with a broader audience, includes grade-level checklists, and new formatting. This will be available on the ASPIRE toolkit on September 11.
We will have a variety of presentations available for you to give yourself, or that ASPIRE and OSAC staff can give either live (virtually) or by recorded video. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a presentation, so I can add it to my schedule before it fills up!
Oregon Promise: For students who graduate in March 2021 or later, OSAC has not determined if there will be an EFC limit. Please encourage your students to complete the Oregon Promise application. Visit Oregon Promise FAQs for all details and read the Oregon Promise Handout
The Eugene HECC/OSAC office has moved to Salem! Our new address is 3225 25th Street SE, Salem OR 97302. Our phone numbers will remain the same.
Oregon’s seven public universities will no longer require students to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission. Although a school may not require test scores for their admissions, they may require scores for merit aid awards or special programs such as honors colleges. If you have a student planning to apply to an out-of-state school or an Oregon private college, check their admissions website to see if test scores are required for admission and/or to access certain types of financial aid or special programs. Most students take the SAT or ACT during their junior year or in the fall of their senior year.
ECMC OPPORTUNITIES BOOKLETS – FREE in English and Spanish
Order ECMC Opportunities booklets for your juniors and seniors along with some additional copies for you and your volunteers. Be sure to select the “Oregon” versions.
Have a great start to your new year!!!!