ASPIRE Program Continues to Serve as Successful Platform for Adult Educational Opportunities

Through the development of personal growth and career/technical skills, Maplewood Career Center strives to prepare its students for graduation, higher education and/or employment by offering a wide array of courses.


Specifically designed to benefit adults, Maplewood’s ASPIRE Program (formerly known as ABLE) has been helping Portage County individuals achieve their educational goals for the past 30 years. The ASPIRE Program, which prepares individuals to enter post-secondary education, training or trade school offers flexible, free-of-charge courses that are available to students morning, afternoon and evening.

“The ASPIRE Program has friendly, qualified instructors,” said Laure Gauntner, an ASPIRE Coordinator at Maplewood. “Adults would be surprised to find out that it’s not a traditional classroom but a welcoming learning environment designed to help individuals reach their fullest potential.”

Beyond offering test preparation and courses for the GED and High School Equivalency (HSE) test, ASPIRE Programs cover material in basic skills (math, reading, English/language, life, computer literacy), medical and career readiness, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), resume/cover letter writing and test prep for RN, LPN, electrician and other professional/career exams.

Students also have the option to choose Distance Education, which allows them to work on their HSE/GED from home. Additionally, if a score of 155+ is achieved on the GED pre-test in any segment, Maplewood covers the charge when the student is ready to take the test.

“Most adults who are sixteen years and older and are out of high school are not aware that ASPIRE offers three formats of the High School Equivalency with possible scholarships upon completion,” said Gaunter. “The ASPIRE Program really is tailored to the students and their way of learning. We are fully invested in their idea of success and want to help them get there as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

For those interested in the ASPIRE Program, a three-day orientation is arranged prior to enrollment that introduces the Aspire Program, assesses their intended career pathway and outlines the skills and corresponding classes necessary to achieve their goals.

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