What Is Possible
Instructors at the Academy for College Excellence help students light the fire of intellectual curiosity. The ACE semester allows students to reclaim the educational experience as their own and gives them a secure foothold on pathways to knowledge-based careers. Most importantly, the ACE helps students take charge of their own learning through innovative teaching methods that create conditions supportive of learning in their minds, bodies and lives.
ACE instructors have the privilege and the challenge of being at the forefront of experimentation in acceleration. The ACE curriculum includes an array of proven and innovative strategies that give underprepared students the best chance to move successfully into regular community college academic programs. ACE’s accelerated curriculum and unique pedagogy help launch underprepared adult students into associate degree programs, including transfer degree programs in engineering, healthcare, information technology, counseling, social work, business, management and education.
The path to become an ACE instructor includes direct course work, practicum work, where teachers-in-training observe and assist in real student classes, teaching, working with a mentor, becoming certified, and participating in the ACE communities.
ACE Teaching Philosophy
The Academy for College Excellence is as much about teaching methods as it is about curriculum and content.
- Our central concept is “lighting the fire within,” helping students to reassess their educational experience and build self-efficacy and potential. Students with strong self-efficacy are highly motivated to persevere and eventually master difficult skills and concepts.
self-efficacy: an individual’s judgment of his or her ability to organize and execute the actions needed to achieve their goals.
- We believe that underprepared students can master new skills and accelerate to college-level performance when they see clearly what college-level expectations are - both academically and behaviorally - and when they come to realize the powerful effect a college education will have on their future chances in the world.
- We provide a safe and stimulating environment for students to explore, experience and understand their gifts and strengths, and to find their voices.
- Learning and growth sometimes come from making mistakes. Thus we deal with our students on an individual basis, understanding the circumstances which affect their behavior. This understanding sometimes causes us to interpret ACE and college policies and rules to take into consideration the complexity of students’ lives.
- We value building academic, personal and professional skills because students need knowledge and success in all of these areas.
- We treat our students with trust, respect, compassion and empathy while providing clear expectations and consequences.
- As a faculty, we operate as a team with shared responsibilities. We do what we say in order to provide a consistent operating environment for our students. This allows them to learn, take risks and build sufficient trust and confidence to become successful students and professionals.