Aspire - (Adult Basic Education & GED Prep)

Formerly know as the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE)

Ohio's New - Aspire program

The Ohio Department of Higher Education's Aspire program, formerly the Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) program, helps build the skills they need to become employed or pursue higher education or training. Aspire serves Ohioans who have less than a 12th grade education or the equivalent and who are beyond age 18. 

The Aspire program has been highly successful in Ohio for more than 50 years. Nonetheless, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) believes the program needs greater outreach and a fresh appeal to adults’ desires for personal and professional success.

Progress in this area is critical not only to individual success, but also to the state’s economic vitality. Estimates are that 65 percent of the state’s workforce will require training certifications beyond a high school diploma by 2025.

Adult learners stand to benefit most from the job readiness that high school and vocational credentialing demonstrate to employers throughout the state.

The ABLE name was changed to Aspire to better reflect the modern realities of educational needs today. Adult educational programs in Ohio will carry the name Aspire and accompanying tag line, “Learn more. Earn more.”

Aspire (former ABLE - Adult Basic and Literacy Education) is part of a statewide program that provides free instruction for adults who wish to improve their basic academic skills and/or prepare to take the GED (General Educational Development) tests, also known in Ohio as the Ohio High School Equivalence Diploma. Students study reading, math and language arts. There are also lessons in science, social studies, life skills, employability skills and basic computer skills.

Aspire classes are offered at the OhioMeansJobs - Athens County, 70 N. Plains Road, Suite C, The Plains and at Tri-County Career Center in Nelsonville.

The instruction is designed to go at a comfortable pace to best meet the needs of the student. We want our students to succeed, and we will do as much as possible to help you. All of the Aspire classes are offered for free.

Each spring, we hold a Commencement Ceremony for all of the GED graduates from the previous 12 months. All students who have completed their GEDs are invited to attend and to invite their family and friends.

For more information contact:

OhioMeansJobs - Athens County

70 North Plains Road, Suite C

The Plains, OH 45780

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Phone: 740-797-1405 Or Toll-Free: 1-877-351-0405

Tri-County Adult Career Center:

15676 Ohio Rt. 691

Nelsonville, OH 45764

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 740-753-5464 

Links to Adult Literacy sites:

Free GED Practice Tests

Since the switch in January 2014 to a computerized version of the GED test, many adult learners have found success in obtaining their GED. Students can take a free computerized practice version of the GED test before attempting the real thing. Contact the OhioMeansJobs - Athens County to begin the process.

Tri-County graduates redesign Aspire lab bulletin board


From left to right, Jody Donaldson, Christi Tinkham, Lori Guthrie, Charles Farthing and Cindi Farmer, graduates from the Professional Business Specialist program, pose in front of the Aspire lab bulletin board they helped redesign.

Graduates of Tri-County Adult Career Center’s Professional Business Specialist program recently redesigned the bulletin board in the Aspire lab located at the center in Nelsonville.

“They developed the ideas and created it using the skills they learned in the program,” said Sally Young, an instructor with the agency’s Aspire program. “The board is decorative and informational. It’s beautiful, motivational and cheery. It really dresses up the room.”

The students used a three-dimensional tree design as the background, and they included information about GED preparation, the Career Ready 101/KeyTrain Preparation Class and the Aspire lab.

The Aspire program, which stands for Adult Basic and Literacy Education, has labs in two locations – at Tri-County Adult Career Center in Nelsonville and at the OhioMeansJobs - Athens County in The Plains.

Sally worked with the students in her role as the instructor of the Career Ready 101/KeyTrain Prep class, an internet-based learning system. She oversees this class in addition to helping students and community members who wish to enroll in the Aspire/GED program.

The students’ bulletin board redesign was one of many professional development projects completed by this class.