2020-2021 ASPIRE Welcome Letter to Coordinators

Welcome to the 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 everything you need to make this unusual year a success.

For those of you who are new with ASPIRE, a special welcome to you! For further guidance, connect with your Access Specialist.

Annual Tasks

  • 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.

  • 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 students under 18 years old who meet with a mentor (volunteer or staff member) in-person or virtually. The PDF form is fillable without printing and can easily be emailed to parents/guardians.

  • Fall Conference: ASPIRE’s annual event went virtual this year! Catch up at

2020 ASPIRE Updates

  • 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 on the new reporting process will be available soon.

  • 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; or (d) no mentoring at all. This will vary from site-to-site.

  • ASPIRE Staff In-Person Events: At this point, state workers are not able to travel unless it's determined that there is no other option to ensure the work is done. Technology allows Access Specialists to virtually attend events and give presentations. Please reach out to request virtual presentations. Our most popular presentations (Finding Funds, etc.) are on our YouTube Channel, which you can show any time.

  • Monthly Coordinator Calls: We encourage all of you to join us on our monthly ASPIRE coordinator calls for professional development and to learn from fellow coordinators. We will automatically add you to the invite list. Attend as many or as few as you'd like!

  • 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 has new formatting.

2020 OSAC Updates

  • OSAC & ASPIRE Publications: Order free OSAC Publications to share with your students and families. OSAC has posters, brochures, handouts, and more. We will not automatically send out materials this year. Please complete this form to order your materials.

  • Standard Student Budgets for Oregon Postsecondary Institutions for 2020-21

  • Oregon Public University Requirements for 2021-22

  • OSAC has a variety of presentations you can give yourself or that OSAC staff can give virtually (live or pre-recorded). Please contact us if you would like to schedule a presentation, so I can add it to our 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.

2020 Partner Updates

  • 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 (English and Spanish): Order free 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!