Fall Conference

November 1, 2019: REGISTER TODAY!

The ASPIRE Fall Conference is an opportunity for ASPIRE volunteers, coordinators, staff, counselors, and other community partners to come together for a day of learning and collaboration focused around supporting students for success after high school.


  • Parking will be available for free near the event.
  • Free continuing education credits will be available for attendees. (Attendees will need to submit the appropriate paperwork at the event.)
  • There are a limited number of seats for this year's event, so register early!
  • If you are having trouble registering, please contact our office and we'll help you as quickly as possible.

breakout Sessions

FAFSA Plus+ Training

FAFSA Plus+ is a year-round program that provides student-level FAFSA data with high schools, Tribes, TRiO programs, GEAR UP, and other eligible community based organizations. Attend this session to learn more about the program and get some technical training on how to access and use the data.

Presenter: Kristin Vreeland (OSAC)

Exploring Pathways to Careers and Colleges

ODE education specialists will provide you with roadmaps to the multiple Career and College paths available to young people. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of the various pathways, how they are connected, and how you can be a GPS for students when they approach roadblocks on their journey.

Presenters: Jim Taylor, Gabby Nunley, Beth Wigham (ODE)

How Oregon Savings Network Can Help You and Your School

Staff will explain how the Oregon College Savings Plan and the ABLE program work. The information here will help volunteers and coordinators ease concerns of students and their families about the financial demands of a post-secondary education.

Presenter: John Valley (Oregon Savings Network)

Community Conversations: Engaging Families to Ensure Student Success

Community Conversations demonstrate how educators can work collaboratively with students’ families and community members to strengthen student academic engagement and educational achievement. We will discuss how to move away from the educator-as-expert meeting model and create intimate community gatherings where dialogue embraces the thoughts and experiences of students' families.

Presenter: Abril Hunt (ECMC)

Myth-Busting the Oregon Promise Program

OSAC staff will dispel some common misconceptions related to Oregon Promise, so you can educate students and families about the program. In this interactive session, you will learn how and when students apply, who is eligible, how much funding students can receive, key resources, and more.

Presenter: Amy Holland (OSAC)

Helping Undocumented & DACA-mented Students Apply for Financial Aid

Join us as we delve into in-depth issues to help you support undocumented and DACA-mented students in navigating the financial aid process. Learn tips, resources, and special considerations related to: how to submit the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), scholarship applications and more! Bring questions!

Presenters: Amy Holland (OSAC), Jennifer Satalino (ECMC)

Building Community Among Mentors, Students, and Staff

Mentors don’t just line up to participate in ASPIRE. They must be recruited, trained, inspired, and supported. Learn from a coordinator who has built up multiple ASPIRE sites and retained numerous volunteers year after year.

Presenters: Ann Voorhees (Beaverton School District), Lisa Brookshier (ASPIRE)

OSAC Scholarship Application

This workshop will review all of the most recent changes in the OSAC scholarship program. Learn how to help students submit a complete application to compete for OSAC scholarships and general tips for “telling your story” using the personal statements and activity chart.

Presenter: Lacie Tolle (OSAC)

Financial Aid Offer Challenge

In this session, you’ll work in teams to complete the Oregon Goes To College Financial Aid Offer Challenge. This interactive activity compares financial aid awards from four different fictional colleges for one student. Discover how to use it with students and families so they can learn how to read their own award letters to make informed choices.

Presenters: Adrienne Enriquez, Dana Beck (GEAR UP)

Talking to Students about College Credit in High School

Participants will be provided a brief overview of the paths available for students to earn college credit while still in high school. Through the use of case studies, role play, and advising tools, participants will then be better prepared to make recommendations to students.

Presenters: Pandie Anderson (ODE), Eric Juenemann (HECC)

10 Ways to Help Oregon Go To College

Oregon Goes To College is a one-stop shop that has what you need to support students from middle school through college in accessing and succeeding in postsecondary education. Discover resources you can use to help students and families prepare for education after high school.

Presenters: Adrienne Enriquez, Dana Beck (GEAR UP)

Ford Family Foundation Scholarship Programs: Helping Students Achieve their Potential

Through OSAC, thousands of students apply to be a Ford Scholar each year. Around 100 Oregonians receive the scholarship which supports 90% of a student’s unmet need. We'll look at how applications are reviewed, what volunteers look for when reviewing applications, and what students selected for an interview can expect in the interview process.

Presenter: Jeff Strickland (The Ford Family Foundation)

Writing Meaningful and Effective Personal Statements

This session will explore the DOs and DON'Ts of college essay writing, while explaining the impact of personal statements from the reader's perspective. Real examples of particularly effective essays will be shared by an admissions office member with a wealth of experience.

Presenter: Sue Corner (Willamette University)

Latinx Parent & Family Engagement: A College Access Case Study

Willamette Academy is a college access program at Willamette U that serves 150 students and families from historically underrepresented communities in Salem-Keizer. We'll unpack the barriers facing Latinx parent and family involvement, discuss best practices in family outreach, and hear how institutions can partner with access programs.

Presenters: Delia Olmos-Garcia (Willamette Academy), Adriana Escorcia-Lopez (Willamette University)

The Alliance Panel Discussion: Accessing Oregon's Private Colleges

16 small, liberal arts colleges in Oregon may seem out-of-reach, but for some students it is the best option. Learn about private colleges' institutional aid impacts sticker price vs. net price, their focus on student support services, and their time-to-degree completion. Ask questions!

Moderator: Lori Silverman (Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities)

Their will be additional sessions from: Suislaw MS/HS, ASPIRE staff members, Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), and Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA).