Our Story

Milestones in our first 5 years

  • Developing over 20 local and statewide projects in education, child development and health and wellness, including two statewide training centers (CASE and CBTI)
  • Supporting the launch of two new ECE teacher education models: Wheelock TeachBoston and the Wheelock-Catholic Schools ECE Teacher Partnership
  • Designing Wheelock's first fully online courses (STEP), and first fully online, state-approved professional teacher licensure courses
  • Expanding partnerships to over 20 agencies and organizations 
  • Collaborating with over 30 Wheelock faculty

Click here for a comprehensive overview of the Aspire Institute.

Goals and Accomplishments

Children celebrating

The Aspire Institute was founded in 2007 to serve as an "innovation lab" for Wheelock College. Wheelock President Jackie Jenkins-Scott created Aspire to:

  • Mobilize faculty and external partners to test new ideas and program models for addressing social and education challenges in our communities, locally and nationally
  • Respond quickly to these challenges by moving nimbly, creatively and  efficiently from issue to action
  • Partner within the Wheelock community-with staff and faculty-to explore different learning models, in areas such as continuing and adult learning,  teacher education, and online learning

Over the next several years, Aspire will continue to explore and expand what's possible - both within Wheelock and with our community partners. The mission is still relevant, and the work continues.



  • Dr. Kenann McKenzie joins as Executive Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Aspire hosts Family Engagement Summit


  • Wheelock and Aspire collaborate to host the Curiosity and Learning Conference, inspired by the David and Frances Hawkins Exhibit
  • College Access and Success report published


  • Teacher Support Project launched
  • CBTI launched Higher Education Institute on the Pyramid Model
  • Mattahunt Wheelock Partnership becomes a program of the Aspire Institute 
  • 1st cohort of Lynch Catholic scholars graduate from program
  • College Access and Success report developed 
  • 1st U.S Army CYS train-the-trainers developed and delivered by CBTI


  • Report on Boston Family Engagement Partnership released
  • Partnership with Wheelock MSW Department launched
  • DESE state mentoring program launched
  • BPS Teaching All Learners Pilot Professional Development program launched


  • Successful STEM App launch
  • Rollout of OST Science Inquiry module
  • Center for Assessment Screening and Excellence (CASE) reaches milestone of:
                         1. Training to 3100 providers
                         2. 900 CEUs granted
                         3. 80 MKEA districts received assessment training
  • Family engagement app launched
  • 5oaks program launched
  • Aspire hosts Boston Compact
  • 5 year celebration! 


  • Center for Assessment and Screening Excellence (CASE) launched
  • Boston Family Engagement Partnership launched
  • STEM Teacher Enhancement Project (STEP) launched
  • 3rd Annual Pre-STEM Summit
  • Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant State Leadership Retreat


  • Child Assessment Institute & QRIS coach program for ECE leaders
  • Connected Beginnings Training Institute joins the Aspire Institute
  • Online QRIS course (7 languages) launched
  • Educator Mentor Corps expands to provide mentoring to ECE providers
  • 2nd  Pre-STEM Summit


  • Foundation for the Future: Strengthening STEM Education in the Early Years report released
  • The Higher Education Access Project launched to build college pathways for ECE providers
  • 1st Pre-STEM Summit to elevate STEM in ECE and OST settings


  • Educator Mentor Corps Pilots
  • Cambridge Middle School Plan released


  • Role, Relevance, Reinvention: Higher Education in the Field of Early Care and Education report release
  • Former Executive Director Jake Murray assumes leadership of Aspire


  • Aspire Institute Founded

inspire a world of good

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Contact Us | 617-879-2000

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