Project aspire trio


Project ASPIRE (Academic Support Program to Increase Retention in Education) is a federally funded, TRIO Student Support Services grant designed to help students succeed in college. You may qualify for Project ASPIRE if you are a first-generation college student, meet federal income guidelines or have a federally recognized disability. You are a first generation college student if your parents did not complete a bachelor degree. You probably meet the income guidelines if you qualify for a Pell Grant.

The goals of Project ASPIRE are to help students:

  • stay in college,
  • be academically successful,
  • graduate and possibly transfer to complete a bachelor degree
  • and become better managers of money.

Why Apply?
Project ASPIRE staff will meet with you to develop your individual success plan (ISP). This plan, along with the College Student Inventory (CSI) and a one-on-one interview, helps identify services and supports you may need to be successful at college. Project ASPIRE is designed to help you build upon your academic strengths and have a successful educational experience at Gateway. All services and field trips are FREE to program participants.

Project ASPIRE Services



Each semester Project ASPIRE offers in-person or online workshops in a variety of topics, such as reading comprehension strategies, reducing test anxiety, habits of the successful college student, tips for taking tests, money management and strategies to achieve life balance. Additionally, Project ASPIRE collaborates with Gateways Center for Academic Success, Ready to Work, Work and Learn, and Student Resources to offer some of the workshops or to offer different topics to our participants.

Cultural Enrichment

Project ASPIRE offers participants the opportunity to attend events on and off campus that stimulate thought and promote cultural appreciation. ASPIRE participants do not pay a fee to attend these events!

Career Information

If you are undecided or need help changing your major, we have a career interest inventory available to assist you in clarifying your career goals. We also provide coaching on job interview skills, resume writing, writing a cover letter, completing job applications, etc.


We offer our participants short-term academic, career, and personal counseling. We strive to help you define goals and maximize success in all areas of your life. We also offer referrals to outside resources when appropriate.

Financial Aid

Project ASPIRE offers assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We help you understand and navigate the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) process.


In collaboration with the Center for Academic Success, tutoring is offered to promote your educational success. Tutoring may be offered in a small group setting or on an individual basis. We also provide workshops in study skill techniques, test preparation, and organization along with writing support and proofreading papers. Please check the tutoring schedule for the currently available dates and times.

Personalized Academic Advising

Project ASPIRE staff works with your advisor to help you understand degree requirements, get course descriptions, and map out a single or multi-semester plan to achieve your goal(s).

Transfer Counseling

Project ASPIRE staff can help you decide the right college to meet your academic and career needs. If there is enough student interest, we will plan a campus visit of course, free to our participants. ASPIRE can help you with completing the application and finding ways to pay the fees.

Peer Coach

A Peer Coach is a Project ASPIRE participant who offers all the services of a Gateway Peer Mentor along with support to help you get back in good academic standing.

Manage Your Money

When you're a student, it can feel like money is always tight. You've got bills, rent, and tuition to pay, and you want to have enough money for fun, too. So how can you get on the right path to a great financial future, while making your money count today? CashCourse is your real-life guide to taking charge of your money. It has online personal finance tools to help you build real-life-ready financial skills. Project ASPIRE also collaborates with community partners to provide financial literacy seminars.

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements
Project ASPIRE can only serve up to 200 students per academic year. The ideal ASPIRE participant is seeking an associate degree at Gateway, taking at least nine credit hours per term and in good academic standing at the college. Participants must meet the following U.S. Department of Education guidelines:

  • be an U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States AND
  • meet federal income guidelines and/or
  • be a first-generation college student (neither parent has completed a bachelor degree) and/or
  • have a federally-recognized disability.

Complete this online form and an ASPIRE staff member will contact you!

Participant Requirements and Assessment
The Project ASPIRE Director will contact you by e-mail if you are accepted as a participant. Each new participant completes an Individual Success Plan (ISP) and the College Student Inventory (CSI). This process encourages you to set educational/career goals, reflect on barriers you may face to completing your education and craft plans to overcome those barriers A Project ASPIRE staff member will support you and track your progress as you achieve your academic and personal goals.

Project ASPIRE Office
Two Rivers Building, room 214

Sherry Feitz-Parsons
Counselor/Transfer Consultant

Angie Brinkman
Academic Success Coach

Anita Adkins