ASPIRE CONFERENCE HANDBOOK
• The Annual Conference shall rotate among the six states in the following order: Utah, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
• Because the Annual Conference is a Regional Conference and is a significant source of income for ASPIRE, the Board has ultimate responsibility to select a site and facility in the host state that best serves the needs of the entire region.
• The host State Association shall submit a proposed conference site in addition to one or more alternate sites to the Board for consideration no later than the January Board Meeting no less than two years prior to the conference to be hosted in their state [5/15].
• The facility must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and must provide necessary accommodations.
• The minimum criteria for selecting a conference hotel site are 250 sleeping rooms; one ballroom that will hold a minimum for 350 persons seated at rounds and is not counted as one of the minimum numbers of meeting rooms, and a minimum of seven meeting rooms that cumulatively accommodate 300 persons using a combination of theater and classroom-style seating. Other considerations include the number of current ASPIRE members and attendance at recent ASPIRE conferences. The Conference Chair should determine on an annual basis whether the above numbers are appropriate given the current number of ASPIRE members and ensure that these numbers are updated in the Operating Guidelines.
Conference Registration Fees
• Registration fees will be charged to cover the costs of conference facilities, speakers, supplies, etc. The Board has the authority to set such registration fees as are determined necessary.
• Until the Board determines that it is necessary to revise registration fees, conference registration fees shall be as follows: [5/15]
Registration Fee Chart [5/17]
Registration Fee Chart [5/17]
Regular Registration Fee (Before Aug 15)
Late Registration Fee (After Aug 15)
ASPIRE Professional Member
ASPIRE Region Conference
ASPIRE Leadership Institute (ALI)
ASPIRE Professional Member
ASPIRE Project Member
• Pre-Conference workshop rates are free to all staff of a project with a paid project membership. For projects without a paid project membership, fees are $200 per person for regular registrations and $250 for late registrations.[4/19]
• Fees may be charged to cover expenses associated with materials used during pre-conference workshops. [5/12]
(Conference - Policies and Procedures); Appendix C – Additional Responsibilities for Conference Committees, Conference Chair; Appendix D – Generic Conference Agenda; and Appendix E – Sample Conference Calendar [5/15].
Subcommittees may include, but are not limited to, the following:
[Made up of a Chair appointed by the ASPIRE Board, and representatives from all six states, each appointed by the
State Presidents by November 15th.] [1/18]
The Awards Subcommittee is responsible for the selection of the recipients and purchases of all ASPIRE Awards including Membership, Retirees, Friend of ASPIRE, Rising Star, Art Quinn Memorial, Champion of TRIO, and any other awards identified in the Operating Guidelines.
Section 11.6 (Finance and Budget Policy, Travel Policy) and Section 7.2.3 (Conference – Policies and Procedures, Fees, Conference Guests and Presenters) [4/18];
(Conference - Policies and Procedures); Appendix C – Additional Responsibilities for Conference Committees, Agenda Subcommittee; Appendix D – Generic Conference Agenda; and Appendix E – Sample Conference Calendar [5/15].
Agenda Ads Subcommittee
The ASPIRE Region Conference Advisory Subcommittee will include former ASPIRE Region Conference Chairs to provide assistance to future Conference Chairs. The knowledge and experience from each conference will be shared.
• Meals Only fees will be based on fair market price and recommended by the Conference Chair to the Board for approval.
• Registration packets, name tags, and other registration materials will not be issued to persons for whom a registration fee is not paid without the approval of the Conference Chair.
• If registration is made prior to the regular registration deadline (August 15), payments must be received within 30 days of registration.
• If registration is made after the regular deadline, payment is due at the time of registration.
• If payment is not received within the stated guidelines, registration will be withdrawn.
• Registration fees will not be waived, nor will special consideration fees be approved, except as otherwise specified in the Operating Guidelines, without the approval of the Conference Chair and Board.
• Registration fees paid in advance are refundable less a processing charge of $100 if written notice of cancellation is received 30 days prior to the conference. After 30 days, requests for refunds may be considered due to extenuating circumstances as determined by the Board. There will be no refunds for the ASPIRE Leadership Institute or pre-conference sessions. Refunds will be mailed following the conference. Requests for refunds should be sent or faxed to: the address/number listed on the conference registration [5/15].
• Conference fees may be waived for special guests and guest presenters at the discretion of the Conference Chair and approved by the Board [5/15].
• The Director of Federal TRIO Programs shall be invited to represent the U.S. Department of Education At the Annual Conference each year.
• A list of the waived registration fees will be given to the Treasurer and the Registration Subcommittee Chair before the conference.
• Political and Educational Speakers: ASPIRE may provide travel, meals, lodging, and honorarium. No registration fee charged.
• Out-of-Region Workshop Presenter: ASPIRE may provide travel, meals, lodging, and honorarium, if requested. No registration fee charged.
• COE President or representative: ASPIRE may provide travel, meals, and lodging. No registration fee charged.
• Out-of-Region COE Board Member: Guests pay for Meals Only; no registration fee charged.
• COE Board Chair: ASPIRE may provide travel, meals, and lodging. No registration fee charged.
• The Board may solicit non-TRIO Workshop Presenters: ASPIRE may provide travel, meals, lodging, and honorarium. No registration fee charged.
• TRIO or ASPIRE Workshop Presenters: No honorarium is paid to TRIO or ASPIRE personnel for workshop presentations. Registration fees are not waived for TRIO or ASPIRE presenters.
• TRIO Achievers: No registration fee will be charged unless the Achiever is eligible to be an ASPIRE Professional member in which case the Achiever’s project is expected to pay the registration fee and all expenses to attend Conference. See Operating Guidelines, Section 11.6 (Finance and Budget Policy, Travel Policy).
• Special guests at luncheons or banquets may include only the following:
o Spouse or one guest of TRIO Achiever for TRIO Achiever meal;
• Special guests such as legislative aides, elected officials, college presidents, corporate CEO’s, etc, as approved in advance and in writing by the Conference Chair.
• Credit for complimentary hotel rooms should be utilized for the cost of rooms for which ASPIRE must absorb the expenses, such as TRIO Achievers, speakers, hospitality room.
• ASPIRE funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, specifically for purposes of the “hospitality suites” at the annual region or state conferences. See Operating Guidelines, Section 11.13 (Finance and Budget Policy, Unallowable Costs) [5/15].
• Ads may be sold to underwrite printing of the conference agenda at the following rates for camera ready copy:
ASPIRE Member Non-Member
1 Page $100 $175
½ Page $60 $100
• Additional fees will be charged to the purchaser for any additional costs incurred by the region for inclusion of the ad to be determined by the Conference Chair.
• Each State Association is responsible for purchasing at least one page of ads each year.
• Vendors, travel agencies, or other organizations which provide special consideration to ASPIRE, i.e. donated goods for fundraising, may be provided a free ad of not more than one page in the Annual Conference agenda, at the discretion of the Conference Chair.
• The Treasurer shall prepare, send, and monitor all unpaid ads and other bills for the Annual Conference in accordance with Operating Guidelines Section 2.6.2 (Board of Directors, Treasurer, Responsibilities) and Finance and Budget Policy.
• Non-ASPIRE fundraising and sales during Annual Conference:
-Non-ASPIRE is defined as any group, organization, or individual which does not represent ASPIRE and for which profits from any sales will not be donated one hundred percent to ASPIRE.
• The following guidelines apply to fundraising and sales during Annual Conference:
-Exhibitors (non-sales and sales) or fundraisers shall submit a letter or application to Conference Chair stating purpose and nature of sales, exhibits or fund raising;
-Exhibitors shall pay at least a $200 exhibitor fee.
• Those who are donating profits to ASPIRE will not be charged an exhibitor fee
• At the discretion of the Conference Chair, potential exhibitors may submit a letter of application to provide a concurrent session if the hotel does not allow exhibitors. For-profit businesses conducting these sessions will be charged a fee of at least $300, plus any other technology or other fees incurred as a result of the session. [5/12]
• Fundraisers or exhibitors may petition the Board for a fee waiver.
• Exhibitors or fund raisers shall observe any guidelines established by the Conference Chair regarding time or place of sales or fund raising activities during the conference.
• TRIO Associations from other regions: Sale of items by other regions shall not be allowed at the Annual Conference unless one hundred percent of profits support ASPIRE.
• Table sponsorship at the Annual Conference banquet can be sold to non-ASPIRE entities for no less than $500 per table. [5/12] The table sponsorship includes an ad in the program and eight dinners at the banquet. ASPIRE state associations are encouraged to purchase tables as well.
• The Annual Business Meeting of the membership of ASPIRE shall take place during the Annual Conference at such time as determined by the Conference Committee.
• As described in the Operating Guidelines, Section 2.2.1 (Board of Directors, President, and Authority), and the President shall preside at all Business Meetings of ASPIRE.
• As described in the Operating Guidelines, Section 2.2 (Board of Directors, President) and Section 2.6 (Board of Directors, Treasurer), the President and Treasurer shall prepare and present an Annual Report of ASPIRE to the membership during the Business Meeting. [5/12]
• As described in the Operating Guidelines, Section 2.5.2 (Board of Directors, Secretary, Responsibilities), minutes of Business Meetings of ASPIRE shall be disseminated to members of ASPIRE.
Evaluation forms for the Annual conference will be determined by the Conference Chair.
• To avoid the high cost of copying at the hotel site, the Conference Chair will negotiate a rate and charge account at a convenient copy business.
• The Conference Chair and President will designate authorized users on the charge account.
• Each person with responsibilities for duplicating large jobs for conference, Board business, or other ASPIRE business shall use the copier business which offers the most reasonable cost. This does not preclude using an institution’s facilities.
ASPIRE awards shall be presented at the Annual ASPIRE Conference. In the event an award recipient does not attend the Annual ASPIRE Conference, the award shall be presented in the manner deemed most appropriate by the ASPIRE Board.
Award recipients, who ordinarily would not be in attendance at the Annual ASPIRE Conference, shall be notified by the Conference Chair and invited to attend the awards ceremony to receive the award, specifically TRIO Achievers Awards, Retirees Recognition Awards, Friend of ASPIRE Award, and Champion of TRIO Award [5/15].
ASPIRE is not responsible for expenses of any award recipient with the exception of TRIO Achievers Awards.
With the exception of State Meetings at the Annual ASPIRE Conference, State ASPIRE Associations shall present their awards at an event other than the Annual ASPIRE Conference.
Responsibility for selection of award recipient(s) is indicated in brackets following the award title.
ASPIRE members may submit nominations. A maximum of three ASPIRE TRIO Achievers shall be selected by the TRIO Achievers Subcommittee. All ASPIRE TRIO Achievers will receive an ASPIRE plaque at the Annual Conference.
Guidelines for expenses for TRIO Achievers to attend the ASPIRE award function from Operating Guidelines, Section 11.6 (Finance and Budget Policy, Travel Policy) are as follows.
• One ticket to the TRIO Achiever function for a guest of the TRIO Achiever;
• A complimentary one year Friends and Alumni Membership to ASPIRE to each TRIO Achiever who is not otherwise eligible for Professional or Associate ASPIRE Membership as defined in Section 4.1 of the Bylaws (Membership, Membership Types); [5/12]
• Annual Conference registration fee unless the Achiever is eligible to be an ASPIRE Professional Member in which case the Achiever’s project is expected to pay the registration fee.
1. The TRIO Achiever candidate must be a former TRIO Project participant who was enrolled in and successfully completed a TRIO program in the ASPIRE region.
2. The TRIO Achiever candidate must have enrolled in and successfully completed a post secondary program of study resulting in a baccalaureate or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
3. The TRIO Achiever candidate must be a person of high stature within his/her profession or has received recognition for outstanding academic achievement.
4. The TRIO Achiever candidate must currently be employed above the entry level designation for his/her profession or enrolled in a program for a degree above the baccalaureate degree.
5. The TRIO Achiever candidate must have made significant civic, community, or professional contributions.
6. Participation in the TRIO project must have had a significant impact upon the candidate in obtaining his/her educational and/or professional objectives (as acknowledged by the participant).
TRIO personnel who have retired since the last Annual Conference or will be retiring before the next Annual Conference shall be identified by the Awards Committee and typically receive a plaque.
Recipients must have worked in TRIO, paid ASPIRE membership appropriate for their position for a minimum of 10 years [10/15], and must be members at the time of retirement.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for five years typically receive a pin.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for ten years typically receive a paperweight.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for fifteen years typically receive a plaque.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for twenty years typically receive a desk pen set.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for twenty-five years typically receive a clock wall plaque.
• Recipients who have been ASPIRE members for thirty years or more typically receive a plaque. [5/12]
ASPIRE members at an institution with a COE Institutional Membership may submit nominations. The recipient typically receives a plaque.
Nominees must be a President, Vice-President, Dean, or other non-TRIO individual at the institution or community who has demonstrated support of TRIO.
ASPIRE members may submit nominations. The recipient typically receives a plaque.
Nominees must be an ASPIRE member; must have been an employee in a TRIO program for three years or less at the time of their nomination; and must have excelled in providing services to TRIO and/or ASPIRE at the institutional, state, and/or regional levels. [1/16]
An award or gift shall typically be presented to the outgoing President by the President Elect at the Annual Conference awards banquet.
ASPIRE Board members may submit nominations. The recipient shall be selected by the ASPIRE Board and typically receives a plaque.
At the presentation of the award, the previous recipients shall be named.
Nominees must be an ASPIRE member, or in the case of a retiree, an ASPIRE member at the time of retirement; must have been employed in a TRIO program for 10 years or more; must have excelled in providing services and/or support to TRIO and/or ASPIRE at the institutional, state, and/or regional levels; and must have demonstrated a sincere desire to assist students beyond the general expectations of the project guidelines.
ASPIRE members may submit nominations. The recipient shall be selected by the Awards Committee and approved by the ASPIRE Board and typically receives a plaque at the Annual Conference. If the winning nominee is not at the Annual Conference, the award may be presented at the COE Policy seminar.
This Award is given each year that appropriate nominations are received and approved by the Board.
Nominees must be elected public officials (includes Tribal Council Members); must serve constituents within the ASPIRE region; and must have demonstrated active support and advocacy of TRIO students and programs.
ASPIRE Development Awards are based on Fair Share and personal donations.
Recipients shall be identified by the ASPIRE Development Committee on the basis of monetary support of ASPIRE by TRIO personnel and programs.
Time frame for the awards shall be from September 1 through August 31 with awards being made at the annual regional conference will take place in October.
Recipients shall be awarded tokens of appreciation as appropriate to be determined by the ASPIRE Development Committee with consultation with the Executive Board.
1. Friend of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of between $25 and $49.
2. Advocate of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of between $50 and $99.
3. Council of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of between $100 and $249.
4. Patron of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of between $250 and $499.
5. Champion of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of between $500 and $999.
6. Benefactor of ASPIRE shall be for contributions of $1000.
Most Supportive Project and Honorable Mention for Most Supportive Project Award Recipients typically will be awarded plaques. These awards shall be determined on the basis of total monies contributed to ASPIRE as Fair Share and personal donations by the project at the institution.
Moneys contributed by personnel identified as staff in more than one project shall be divided equally among the projects and moneys contributed by personnel not identified as staff in a specific project shall be divided equally among all projects at the institution.
These awards shall be determined on the basis of total monies contributed to ASPIRE as Fair Share and personal donations by all projects and personnel at the institution, and shall be determined by dividing the total moneys by the number of projects at the institution. Plaques shall typically be presented to each project Director of projects that contributed.
These awards shall be determined on the basis of total monies contributed to ASPIRE as Fair Share and personal donations by all projects and personnel in the state, and shall be determined by dividing the total moneys by the number of projects in the state. Plaques shall typically be presented to each program/institution in the state that contributed.
These awards shall be determined on the basis of continual annual project membership, in five year increments, to ASPIRE. Tokens of recognition shall be determined by the ASPIRE Development Chair in consultation with the board.
Generic Conference Agenda
Board Meeting & Special Sessions (Typically Friday evening/Saturday)
Pre-Conference Workshops (Typically all day Saturday and Sunday morning) 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (ASPIRE Leadership Institute, Proposal Writing, etc.)
Day 1 (Typically Sunday)
Noon - 8:00 p.m. Conference Registration
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Conference Committee Meetings (Mentors/Moderators/Hosts Meeting) 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Business Meeting I (Nominate Candidates for Officers)
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. State Meetings
7:00 p.m. - Welcome/President’s Reception/Other as Determined by Conference Committee
Day 2 (Typically Monday)
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Conference Registration 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Newcomers Welcome
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions I & II 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. TRIO Achievers Luncheon 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions III & IV 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Candidates’ Forum
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Past Presidents’ Social
Day 3 (Typically Tuesday)
8:00 a.m. - Noon Conference Registration
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions V & VI 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Business Meeting II
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. State Meetings II
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Banquet/Awards/Installation of New Executive Board/Entertainment/Dance/Other as Determined by Committee
Day 4 (Typically Wednesday)
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Development Awards
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Plenary II – Dept. of Ed Update 11:00 a.m. – Close of Conference
Sample Conference Calendar:
-Present the budget to the Executive Board
-Request the Executive Board to select a conference theme
-Contact COE President and Department of Education personnel (include both a representative from Washington, DC and the regional representative) by February 15.
-Confirm who will be attending from COE and Department of Education.
-Mail the first Call for Proposals/Presenters
-Arrange prizes for the raffle
-Present tentative educational and political speakers obtained from the Agenda Chair and menus obtained from the Logistics Chair to the Board
-Return date for the first Call for Proposals/Presenters
-Send the second Call for Proposals/Presenters
-Confirm activities available to conference participants
-Mail tickets to all TRIO Program Directors and ASPIRE Members
-Contact Council for Opportunity in Education President and Staff, Department of Education personnel and Legislative Aides
-Send guidelines pertaining to Agenda Ads from the Operating Guidelines to the Agenda Ads Chair
-Finalize the selection of workshops.
-Return date for the second Call for Proposals
-Confirm with to Council for Opportunity in Education President and Staff, Department of Education personnel, and Legislative Aides
-Notify the Agenda Chair of Legislative Aides
-Contact the ASPIRE Development Chair and confirm arrangements for the distribution of ASPIRE Development Awards with the Agenda Chair
-Obtain a biographical sketch and photograph from Council for Opportunity in Education President and staff, and Department of Education personnel for the Agenda Chair
-Finalize the design for conference materials
-Confirm speakers, facilitators, workers, presenters, and the Proposal Writing Workshop, if appropriate
-Obtain a biographical sketch and photograph from workshop presenters, facilitators, speakers, TRIO Achievers, and Retirees
-Finalize and send the tentative agenda and Proposal writing Workshop information to the Registration Chair
Agenda Ads Chair
-Send information to solicit ads to all TRIO Program Directors
-Provide information for the pre-registration mailing to the Registration Chair
-Obtain information on the ASPIRE Leadership Institute from the chair for the committee for the pre- registration mailing
-Obtain information on the Silent Auction from the Silent Auction Chair to include in conference promotional materials
-Recruit Volunteer Moderators
-Confirm travel and lodging arrangements for Council for Opportunity in Education President, and Department of Education personnel
-Compile a list of special guests whom registration fees are waived and send to the Treasurer/Registration Chair
-Compile a list of guests and speakers and the date and time of their arrival for the Guest Chair
-Purchase packets, bags, or folders for registration materials
-Confirm audio visual needs for workshops and all sessions
-Confirm travel and lodging arrangements for workshop presenters and speakers who are not ASPIRE personnel
-Obtain a letter and photograph from the President and President Elect for the conference agenda
-Obtain a list of Moderators to assign to workshops from the Moderators, Chair
-Coordinate room assignments
-Return date for agenda ads and payment
-Confirm Presider and introduction speakers for Plenary Sessions, Receptions, and meals with the Head Table Chair
-Send the Moderators Chair a list of workshops; workshop descriptions; location, date, time of workshops; presenters and biographical sketches; audio visual equipment required; and assigned Moderators
-Obtain ads from the Agenda Ads Chair
-Send a list of contributors to the Agenda Chair for the agenda
-Obtain seating arrangement for head tables from the Head Table Chair
-Coordinate audio visual needs
-Promote conference mail conference pre-registration
Head Table Chair
-Arrange seating for head tables and secondary head tables
-Identify a Presider for Plenary Sessions, Receptions, and meals
-Identify a person to introduce speakers at the Plenary Sessions and meals
-Confirm guests that should be seated at head tables with the Guest Chair
Corporate Development Chair
-Sell tables at annual banquet to corporations, foundations, and state associations
-Notify guest speakers of the date and time of their presentation
-Confirm arrangements for the ASPIRE Development Awards with the Logistics Chair
-Send information on speakers to Head Table Chair
-Confirm COE’s President’s attendance at the Newcomers Reception with the Newcomers Chair
-Complete the program for meals and Welcome Reception
-Identify individuals to check meal tickets
-Confirm the set-up for the Silent Auction with the Silent Auction Chair
-Develop "function sheets" for each session
-Provide the hotel with a list of rooms, times, and set-ups for all sessions
-Inform presenters, speakers, and facilitators of the date and time of sessions
-Finalize the agenda
-Identify and assign hosts/hostesses for guests and speakers
-Confirm with the host/hostesses the person they will be hosting, the arrival date and time, and the procedures
-Return date for conference pre-registration
Head Table Chair
-Send guidelines to Presiders
-Send speaker bios to each of the individuals that will introduce them
-Have place cards for head table and secondary head tables
-Confirm responsibilities with individuals seated at the head tables
-Notify Moderators of the date and time of workshops
-Obtain evaluation forms from the Evaluation Chair
-Select Mentors from the resource pool and/or personal contact
-Send letter to Mentors
-Have packets, bags, or folders for conference materials to the Registration Chair
-Submit agenda f or the registration packets to the Registration Chair
-Finalize arrangements for audio visual equipment
-Submit information for the registration packets to the Registration Chair
-Inform Newcomers Chair who has registered as a Newcomer
-obtain the Annual Report for the registration packets from the President
-obtain information on the site of the next conference for the registration packets from the State President from that state
-Identify a facilitator for the Newcomers Reception
-Select hors d'oeuvres for the Newcomers Reception
-Confirm the set-up and arrangements for the Newcomers Reception with the hotel and Logistics Chair
-Contact newcomers prior to conference welcoming them
Head Table Chair
-Check head table set-up prior to the beginning of each event Guest Chair
-Have gift baskets for guests and speakers Moderators Chair
-Distribute packets to Moderators Evaluation Chair
-Arrange for completion of the overall conference evaluation
-Oversee the Newcomers Reception;
-Receive all raffle monies and turn them in to the Treasurer
Silent Auction Chair
-Arrange to receive the items for the auction, set up items for the auction, and oversee the silent auction
-Compile the evaluation results prior to the first Executive Board Meeting
-Send a letter, Newcomers Handbook, and ASPIRE brochure to Newcomers who do not attend the Newcomers Reception
-make thank you notes available to subcommittee chairs and ensure they are sent as appropriate.