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Congratulations to The Aspire Program for receiving $25,000 from the Palmer Foundation!

MAP (My Aspire Plan) logo The Aspire Program’s purpose is to help students prepare for careers throughout their time at Carthage. Between finding internships, on-campus jobs, and defining career goals, The Aspire Program is the key to it all.

Thanks to the generous grant by the Palmer Foundation, The Aspire Program was able to renew their partnership with Suitable, a software platform that hosts the My Aspire Plan (MAP). MAP is a four-year career and life navigation tool that is integrated into The Aspire Program. As students progress through The Aspire Program, they develop competencies in nine areas that are most needed in the workforce and graduate schools:

  1. Vision and purpose
  2. Creative and critical thinking
  3. Intercultural development
  4. Reflection and growth
  5. Digital fluency
  6. Collaboration and teamwork
  7. Getting connected
  8. Communication
  9. Contribution

By completing MAP activities on the Suitable app, students can track their progress toward these nine professional competencies, and earn stickers and achievement badges that will demonstrate their accomplishments.

Carolyn Serdar, Carthage’s executive director of career and professional development, states, “With the generous support of The Palmer Foundation, The Aspire Program will continue to offer Suitable, which is the technology platform behind the My Aspire Plan (MAP).”

The Aspire Program was created in 2019 and automatically enrolled incoming first-year students to engage them with career development from their first days on campus. Aspire’s goal, according to Carolyn, is to “provide Carthage students with a unique experience to reflect on their experiences both in and out of the classroom, which will help them develop a life of purpose.”

Now in 2024, the entire student body is enrolled into The Aspire Program and able to access career development assistance both through one-on-one meetings with career specialists in The Aspire Center and through the Suitable app. With 98 percent of Carthage alumni reporting that they’ve secured a job or are continuing their studies by six months after graduation, it is clear that The Aspire Program’s approach is working.

With this grant from the Palmer Foundation, The Aspire Program can continue its work in preparing students for purposeful lives and career success long after graduation.

For more information, contact:

Katharine Keenan, Sr. Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations: