About Us

We are your local resource for continued education support in Ashtabula County.

ACCESS is a 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 1999 and began serving students in the 2000-2001 school year. In 2005, ACCESS was part of a federal GEAR UP grant in which Ashtabula County was one of eight sites across Ohio that came together for one state grant program. This grant provided direct student services in the areas of higher education, career early awareness and preparation for high school and middle school students in the Conneaut School District, which later expanded to other school districts in the county.


Lessons were developed that aligned with the goals of GEAR UP and also met the standards of each grade level and subject area. The ACCESS/GEAR UP Advisors presented the lessons and workshops to students and parents. Since establishing a productive program, ACCESS has expanded services and successfully provided one-on-one student sessions to more than 100,000 middle and high school students in Ashtabula County since 2000.

Our Mission

The Mission of ACCESS is to present Ashtabula County students with the information, strategies and resources that are essential for progression through an educational pathway that leads to a career.

Our team strives to meet our mission by integrating into the students day to day education.  We have ACCESS advisors placed in each of the Ashtabula County public high schools; each student is guaranteed a meeting with their school's advisor.  By maintaining a regular presence in the schools our advisors are able to provide a secondary source for career guidance focused exclusively on developing individuals plans for after graduation.

Executive Director

Emily Dobran, Ph.D.



Program Coordinator

Andrea Sullivan, M.Ed.


ACCESS Advisors






Richard Slusher 

ATECH Advisor








Erin Smolinski

Grand Valley High School Advisor




Jeremy Stiles

Jefferson High School Advisor



Erin Smolinski

Pymatuning Valley High School Advisor





Glenda Betteridge

Edgewood High School Advisor





Andrea Sullivan

Geneva High School Advisor



Janet Gerdes

Conneaut High School Advisor



Andrea Sullivan

Lakeside High School Advisor



Board of Directors

Kaitie Park, President

Prevention Coordinator 

Ashtabula County MHRS Board

Irene Skleres, Vice President

Senior Advisor/Career Advisor/College Credit Plus Advisor

Kent State University Ashtabula

Amanda Friday, Secretary

Youth Services Coordinator

Conneaut Public Library

David Thomas, Treasurer

Ashtabula County Auditor

Ashtabula County Auditor's Office

Paul Brockett


Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus

Ed Brashear 

Plant Manager

Gabriel Chemical, INC

Mike Candela

Ashtabula County Educational Service Center Superintendent


Richard Jackson

EVP Operations

ASHTA Chemicals, INC

Kellie McGinnis

Registered Nurse

University Hospitals of Cleveland

Tim Neal, Ed.D.


Conneaut High School