The new year is a time for new resolutions to better yourself and set personal goals. The Scioto County Aspire program at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, is ready to help you cross one item off your list – helping you get your High School Equivalency!
Scioto County Aspire offers a variety of educational programs – including High School Equivalency testing and Adult Diploma services.
“For students who are 16 years of age or older and are not currently enrolled in school, can earn the HSE (High School Equivalency, formerly known as the GED),” said Aspire Coordinator Paula Baumgardner. “The Adult Diploma Program is for people who do not have a high school diploma, and are age 22 or older. The Adult Diploma Program provides a new pathway for adults -- job training certification and a high school diploma through Scioto County Career Technical Center. They can walk away with two credentials.”
Kellie Clay, of Wheelersburg, had worked in fast food for more than 20 years. Now she said she wanted to do more. She enrolled in the Adult Diploma program in October 2019, and hopes to begin additional courses at the Scioto County Career Technical Center soon.
“It’s hard to go back to school. I felt like giving up, but I was not going to,” she said.
Her goal, she said, is to start a career at STAR Community Justice Center with her sister.
Baumgardner said students are always scared at first, but the Aspire staff does whatever they can to support and encourage them to continue.
“We’re not just instructors, we’re like counselors,” Baumgardner said. “If we can just knock down that last barrier, the whole world opens up for them.”
With flexible hours and five convenient locations – the ESC in New Boston, the 17th Street Learning Annex in Portsmouth, South Webster High School, Northwest Middle School, and Shawnee State University – students move through the program at their own pace. Distance learning opportunities are also available 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.
The Aspire program also offers a Bridge program, for students who have already completed their high school diploma or HSE, 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.
“I would tell people to give it a try. I would encourage them. I came back to school. It’s hard but I would encourage them to keep pushing forward,” Clay said.
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. For more information about the ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.