SSCC AOC hosts Aspire, Graduation Alliance programs


Area residents who passed the General Education Development (GED) test or completed the Adult High School Workforce Diploma Program were honored recently at the 34th annual Adult Opportunity Center’s Recognition celebration at the Southern State Community College Central Campus in Hillsboro.

For the 2022-23 academic year, the Adult Opportunity Center served 165 students. Of those students, 141 enrolled in one of the AOC classes and almost 50 percent improved at least one academic level.

The ceremony began with a welcome provided by Southern State President Dr. Nicole Roades. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by 2023 graduate Betty Lou Simpson of Clermont County. Special speakers included 2023 graduates Ashley Parker of Clermont County and Tara Knisley of Highland County.

Special awards were presented to the following:

* Any student who successfully passed the GED received a Trustee Scholarship for a three-credit hour SSCC college class.

* The student from each county achieving the highest total GED score received the Trustee Honor Scholarship. Awardees were Levi Harris of Brown County, Connor Wagner of Clermont County, Michael Blanchard of Clinton County, Austin Randolph of Fayette County and Kyle Snider of Highland County.

* Friends of Aspire awards were presented to the Clinton County Resource Center and Laurel Oaks Career Campus for outstanding partnerships with the Adult Opportunity Center.

Both the Aspire program, directed by Susan Armstrong of the Adult Opportunity Center, and the 22+ program, coordinated by Anya Brennan of Graduation Alliance, provide adult education opportunities through Southern State Community College. All books and materials are provided, and a choice of morning or evening classes focusing on adult literacy, GED preparation, college refresher courses, workforce education, and basic reading, writing and math skill improvement are available.

Southern State’s Aspire and Graduation Alliance programs are state and federally grant funded and offered free of charge to participants. For more information about the Aspire program, visit For more information about the Graduation Alliance program, visit

To speak to someone directly, call Southern State’s Adult Opportunity Center at 1-800-628-7722, ext. 2687. Anyone wishing to enroll in classes should call the number listed above. A new class will be starting in July, 2023.

Submitted by Elizabeth Burkard, director of marketing, SSCC.

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