How ACE Works


The Academy for College Excellence (ACE) has identified several practices that help students learn & boost student success.

Student Cohort

You’ll take all of your ACE classes with the same group of students (or cohort) for the whole semester. After spending so much time together, you’ll really get to know one another, and the friendships you form will help support you through the program. Many ACE students report that their cohort ends up feeling like a family.

Interactive Learning

If your idea of college is suffering through long, boring lectures, think again. ACE instructors are going to be constantly engaging you, and asking you what you think. Many exercises are hands-on and get you interacting with your classmates. ACE is fun!

Integrated Classes

ACE classes are integrated, which means that behind the scenes your ACE instructors are meeting together and coordinating assignments. This means you’ll never have major assignments due at the same time, which will make being a successful full-time student much more possible. Your ACE instructors work together to maximize your probability of success.

Just-In-Time Learning

As soon as you learn a new skill in an ACE class, you will immediately put it to use. For example, if in one class you are asked to create a spreadsheet, a few weeks before you will have learned how to use necessary computer program.

This way, you can apply what you learn right away, and always have a sense that what you are learning is actually useful.

The Nuts & Bolts

Part 1: The Foundation Course

You begin the semester with a 2-week intensive course where you really get to know yourself, your classmates and your learning style, while improving your communication skills and gaining a new perspective on your education.

Part 2: The Bridge Semester

After completing the Foundation Course, you begin a regular full-time course schedule. The courses you take depend on the type of cohort you choose, though every cohort takes a Team-Self Management course. In this course, you’ll learn self-discipline skills such as time management and organization. Other possible courses include:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Community & Social Issues Research Methods
  • Career Planning
  • Movement (stress-management)

Some colleges offer special ACE cohorts geared toward students on a specific career path, such as nursing or a technical career. See your college for details.