Cleveland Clinic ASPIRE Pathways

Learn more about the ASPIRE Pathways.

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Sponsored by The Howley Foundation in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic

Calling all high school juniors who aspire to a career in healthcare: This program is for you!

The ASPIRE Pathways is an enrichment program sponsored by Cleveland Clinic and The Howley Foundation in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College and Kent State University. This enrichment initiative is designed for high school juniors interested in pursuing careers in Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology or Sterile Processing.

The ASPIRE Pathways focuses on providing participants with career options and critical skill sets to support their transition through higher education, entry into the workforce, and beyond.

Applications are now being accepted with a deadline of 11:59 p.m. November 18, 2022.

A $500 monetary stipend will be awarded upon successful completion of the program. Select participants will be invited to return for a second year as mentors, as well as to build on the foundation of skills and concepts learned in junior year. Returning seniors will have the opportunity to earn a scholarship to attend Cuyahoga Community College or Kent State University to complete a 2-year degree in Respiratory Therapy or Surgical Technology, or to receive on-the-job training and certification in Sterile Processing from Cleveland Clinic.

This 12-week hands-on enrichment program will offer instruction to high school juniors to develop their understanding of careers in Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing. Students can expect to be enlightened on, but not limited to:

  • Healthcare Careers at Cleveland Clinic
  • Family Engagement
  • Personal Brand
  • Simulation Skills Lab Experience
  • Health Literacy/Medical Terminology
  • CPR Certification/Heart Saver and Mock Code
  • Shadow Experience
  • Healthcare & Technology
  • Diversity & Cultural Competence
  • Surgical Technology: A Day in The Life of a Surgical Technologist
  • Research and Evidenced-Based Practice
  • Professional Communication/Presentation Skills
  • Respiratory Therapy: A Day in The Life of a Respiratory Therapist
  • Sterile Processing: A Day in The Life of Sterile Processor
  • Assessment for Senior Year Pathway
Application Process

Application Process

  • Now accepting applications!
  • All applicants will be notified via email in a timely manner and provided next steps in the process.
  • Cleveland Clinic will make the final selections based upon the strength of the student’s entire application, including GPA, transcript, written essay, letters of recommendation, and interview.
  • Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. November 18, 2022. Late applications will NOT be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: Cleveland Clinic does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ethnicity, ancestry, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, Cleveland Clinic administers all programs and services without regard to disability and provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled individuals.

Student Eligibility

Student Eligibility

  • Be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent resident.
  • Enrolled in the 11th grade during the 2022/2023 academic year.
  • Hold a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater on a 4.0 scale (as demonstrated by an official transcript).
  • Hold a cumulative GPA of 2.0 - 2.4 on a weighted 4.0 scale (with an additional letter of recommendation from high school guidance counselor, coach, or manager/supervisor).
  • Ability to attend all 12 Saturday sessions.

Students must also meet two of the following three criteria: 

  • Underrepresented minority in healthcare.
  • Would be the first generation in their family to go to college or obtain certification.
  • Demonstrate financial need. Use the following link as a guideline: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.
    • Students can initially self-report family income levels if they apply to the program. However, at a later date students accepted into the program may be asked to provide documentation. Acceptable forms of documentation will be communicated upon acceptance.
Program Info

Program Info

  • The Aspire Pathways sessions may be, in-person, virtual, or a hybrid of both. We follow all CDC and Cleveland Clinic recommended safety guidelines related to Covid-19.
    • Facial masks will be provided, hand sanitizer will be readily available, there will be social distancing in learning environments, hand washing stations will be available, and surfaces will be disinfected regularly.
  • Students selected to participate must complete Cleveland Clinic onboarding process, (including obtaining ID badge) prior to the first Saturday session.
  • Program hours are 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each Saturday. Students are expected to attend all 12 sessions to meet successful completion (extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on an individual basis).
  • Meals - Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all participants. Students or their guardians will need to report any special diet requests, i.e. food allergies, religious restrictions, etc.
  • Transportation - Bus passes will be provided, round trip if needed.
  • Professional Appearance - Students are expected to dress professionally in proper program attire. Proper program attire consists of an ASPIRE polo shirt and khaki, black, or navy slacks. No jeans or leggings are permitted. Students must attend sessions in uniform, neat, clean, and well-groomed.
  • Students who successfully complete the program will receive a $500 stipend.


General Program Information FAQs:

What is the selection process?

The selection process is a balance of student experiences, attributes, and academic metrics. Selection is based on, but not limited to, the following criteria: review of high school transcripts, grade point average of 2.5 or greater, or 2.0 with adittional letter of recommendation from a highschool guidance counselor, coach or manager/supervisor, extracurricular activities/experiences, PSAT (or ACT) results (if taken), recommendation letter(s), sufficient financial information to determine financial need, interview, and subjective evaluation. This holistic process is designed to consider a broad range of factors reflecting the participant's contribution to the incoming class and potential for success both in college and/or as a professional Cleveland Clinic Caregiver.

When does the program start and end?

The program starts February 25, 2023 and ends May 20, 2023.

What are the start and end times?

Sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

How many students will be selected?

There will be up to 50 students selected for the junior cohort.

Is transportation provided?

Yes, students are provided round trip bus rides or parking passes if needed.

Are meals provided?

Yes, if the students are on Cleveland Clinic’s campus, breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided.

Are provisions made for students with special dietary needs?

Yes, accommodations are made for food allergies and restrictions for religious purposes.

Is there a dress code/uniform for the program?

You are expected to dress professionally in proper program attire. Proper program attire consists of an ASPIRE polo shirt and khaki, black, or navy slacks. No jeans or leggings are permitted. Students must attend sessions in uniform, neat, clean, and well-groomed.

If I am selected, does that mean I get to continue in the program as a senior?

Senior selection is dependent on meeting all junior program requirements and evaluation from the ASPIRE Pathways team.

Is there any additional course work required for the program?

There are no additional courses required for junior year.

For returning seniors interested in careers in respiratory therapy or surgical technology, it is highly recommended for students to complete pre-requisite classes through College Credit Plus (CCP) prior to college entry. Ohio's College Credit Plus can help you earn college credits by taking free college courses from community colleges or universities while attending high school. The ASPIRE Pathways team will assist in enrollment if the student has not started the process.

If I am selected to participate, how do I get my $500 stipend?

Stipends are awarded after successful completion of the junior curriculum at the final ceremony.

What if I am sick on one of the Saturday sessions?

Students are expected to attend all 12 Saturdays. Extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Is time away allowed during the program?

Students offered placement in the program are expected to make a commitment to the full program, which consists of 12 consecutive Saturdays, February - May. We encourage students to consider all of their options and choose mindfully before applying.