ASPIRE Project

Accelerating Student Progress and Increasing Racial Equity

Each year, up to 60,000 Illinois students—disproportionately low-income and students of color—place into remediation to improve basic academic skills and more than 80 percent never complete their programs. The Accelerating Student Progress and Increasing Racial Equity (ASPIRE) Project is a collaboration with 10 Illinois colleges intended to increase equity, access, and success in in higher education so more women, families, and communities can thrive.

Our goals are to: (1) accelerate students’ progress through remedial education; (2) increase racial equity and inclusion; (3) provide opportunities for colleges to learn from one another; and (4) use what we collectively learn to inform the field and inform Women Employed’s policy agenda.

Participating colleges set institution-specific goals for advancing improvements in remedial education designed to improve student outcomes and accelerate more students toward a credential or degree. No single design or model drives this work. Each campus’ efforts reflect their own education pathways.

ASPIRE Project Partner Colleges

  • Black Hawk College: Moline
  • Heartland College: Normal
  • Illinois Central College: Peoria
  • Kaskaskia College: Centralia
  • Lake Land College: Mattoon
  • Lewis & Clark College: Godfrey
  • Prairie State College: Chicago Heights
  • Richland College: Decatur
  • Shawnee College: Ullin
  • Waubonsee College: Aurora
ASPIRE Map

Learn More

Watch this video to hear WE’s Senior Program Manager for the ASPIRE Project, Christina Green, give an overview of the project during our first ASPIRE Project convening on September 17, 2021.

Read the press release announcing the ASPIRE Project.

Learn more about our work to advance racial equity in higher education.