ACE Experiential Learning Institute (FELI)

The ACE Experiential Learning Institute (FELI) is five-day professional development experience designed for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.  The FELI is an experiential workshop involving more than fifty exercises and activities.  Each FELI group is capped at 25 participants to ensure time for each participant to be heard. Read more...

See dates and register for Upcoming Events.


ACE Executive Leadership Institute (ELI)

The ACE Executive Leadership Institute offers two sequential workshops for college presidents and high-level administrators. These workshops guide the leadership team at your college to assess and evaluate the implementation of a specific project of your choosing. ACE presents tools and techniques for assessing and improving the quality of relationships at all levels of the college. Through project analysis, professionals begin to understand the cultural changes they need to implement to improve the outcomes for college stakeholders: the leadership team, administrators and staff, and the students at the college. 

The two 2.5 day workshops are most effective when held within 6 months of each other. Read more..


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No webinars currently scheduled. Please check back with us soon. In the meantime, please see our recorded webinars below. 



Student Engagement and Support (Re)defined: Tapping the Power of the Affective Domain

This webinar was co-sponsored by the Michigan Center for Student Success and the ACE Center to explore the opportunity of a Michigan-wide adoption of the ACE model. (02/28/14)

Affective Domain Series

In this FREE webinar series, Diego Navarro, full-time faculty member at Cabrillo College and founder of the Academy for College Excellence, discusses:

  1. Evidence that shows the importance of the affective domain in helping community college basic skills students become academically successful
  2. Teaching to the affective domain
  3. Rethinking Orientation to Community College


Webinar 1 – Affective Domain: Precursors to Academic Performance

    Part A: Why Affective Learning is Important & How to Measure Affective Precursors (11/20/12)
    Part B: Who Benefits from Affective Learning? (12/7/12)

In this two-part webinar from the ACE Affective Domain Series, ACE founder Diego Navarro discusses the role of the affective or non-cognitive domain in meeting the needs of developmental education students in higher education and why it is an important precursor to academic performance. Diego will discuss ACE's measurement approach and the evidence collected over two years from six colleges.

View the recordings!


Webinar 2 – Teaching to the Affective Domain  (12/7/2012)

In the second webinar from the ACE Affective Domain Series, ACE founder Diego Navarro talked about teaching to the affective domain and what you can do in the classroom to meet the needs of your students. Diego also outlined the professional development workshops and curriculum ACE has developed that prepares community college faculty to meet the affective, non-cognitive needs of community college students.


Webinar 3 – Rethinking Orientation to the Community College (2/1/13)

In this webinar from the ACE Affective Domain Series, ACE founder Diego Navarro discusses the need for an intensive introduction to community college that shifts the students’ mindsets and behaviors toward improved academic performance.  He discusses curriculum that addresses and evidence that shows shifts in student’s affective factors.

View the recording!


Webinar 4 – Supporting the Students of the Future: Retention of Vulnerable & Tentative Students (3/23/12)

In this webinar, ACE Founder Diego Navarro delves deeper into the concepts he presented in his Change magazine article “Supporting the Students of the Future”  and engages participants in an interactive discussion.

View the recording!  


Note that this recording is delivered by CCC Confer, so a java playback app will be installed on your computer.


Presentations & Conferences




  • RP Group for California Community Colleges published Rethinking Entry to College by Rose Asera and Diego Navarro in their January 2013 Newsletter.

  •  A.C.E.American Council on Education in Washington, DC  Presentation Topic"They Said It Couldn’t Be Done: Partnerships and Initiatives that Foster Academic Success for Minority Males"  March 5, 2013

  • DeAnza College Partners in Learning Conference Keynote Address by Diego Navarro

  • WASC Western Association of Schools & Conferences & Colleges Workshop: "Increasing Student Success, Support and Retention through Instruction: Introducing an Intrinsic, Curriculum-Based Model of Student Engagement" by Diego Navarro

  • AACCAmerican Association of Community Colleges in San Francisco, CA "Role of the Community College in the Age of MOOCs: Is a New Approach to Developmental Education Our Competitive Advantage?" Monday April 22, 2013


coming soon



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Staff and Administrative Professional Development

ACE provides professional development workshops for intact work teams of Student Services staff and administrators, as well as for those who work in one or two-person offices and have regular contact with students. These events help prepare professionals to understand and effectively support the needs of students enrolling in community college–for example, Admissions & Records administrators, Financial Aid staff, Student Coordinators and Supervisors.

Workshops for Work Teams

  • Communication Workshop – PD 1
    The Communications Workshop is a two-day intensive that focuses on teaching work teams effective techniques to improve their communication.

  • Strengths & Styles Workshop – PD 2
    The Strengths and Styles Workshop is a two-day intensive that supports members of a work team as they discover their personal strengths and identify their working styles. This workshop builds on the results of the Communication Workshop, deepening the quality of relationships–with the goals of improving team outcomes and morale. 
  • The Communication Workshop and Strengths and Styles Workshop are most effective when held within 6 months of each other.


ACE Professional Development Brochure PDF

Experiential Learning Workshop

The Experiential Learning Workshop offers a two-day taste of fun and experiential exercises that enhance effective communication for college staff and administrators. The workshop employs concepts used by corporate management programs, offering an opportunity for members of the college community to experience the same approach used in the ACE Five-Day Experiential Learning Institute (FELI) for faculty and administrators, and in the ACE Foundation Course (FC) for students. 

Experiential Learning Workshop participants learn a lot about each other, and gain a deeper understanding of concepts that faculty learn in a FELI and that students experience while attending the ACE semester long program. Graduates of this workshop will be better equipped to make informed decisions about which ACE model(s) will best support successful retention and completion for students at your college.

Specifically for Instructors

  • Behavior System & Integration Workshop
    This workshop explains the principles of the ACE behavior system and how it is effectively implemented, as well as how to integrate courses and coordinate assignments for a more successful semester.


Community of Practice (CoP)


The Community of Practice (CoP) is an opportunity for the ACE community to come together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. It is a day when ACE instructors and implementers can share their innovations around every aspect of the program; from recruiting students, to teaching, or institutionalizing ACE at a college. The goal is to not only build community and share knowledge, but also to capture great ideas to further strengthen this program and better help our students.


Who Should Attend

The CoP is open to anyone interested in ACE.



The agenda for each CoP is unique, and is revealed in the event announcement.



The CoP is a day-long event and is held at least twice annually, in Spring & Fall. See the Upcoming Events page to find out when the next CoP is being held.


Event Resources

  • Rose Asera's Becoming an ACE Teacher (full report pdf)
  • Slide Show from Fall 2012 Community of Practice
  • Video from Fall 2012 CoP of IScS: Lighting the Fire for STEM
  • Read Reflections from the Bay Area Spring 2011 Community of Practice!


Measuring Instrument (CSSAS)


ACE has developed an instrument—the College Student Self-Assessment Survey (CSSAS) that measures how the affective realm of emotions and feelings impacts learning and student achievement. Designed with ACE by MPR Associates and social science researcher, Martin Chemers, the CSSAS is an on-line survey that integrates into existing assessment processes, so colleges can obtain more complete information on the varying levels of need of their incoming student population.


Become a Participating Partner College

ACE offers a comprehensive methodology to help colleges increase retention and completion rates of students who leave before, during or after their first semester.


Benefits of Adopting CSSAS at Your College

By using the CSSAS, colleges will have new information they can use to:

  • Identify levels of student vulnerability at your college
  • Understand your college’s population of incoming students
  • Position your college to be more competitive for grant opportunities that increasingly require effectiveness metrics, by providing detailed data on student vulnerabilities
  • Recruit students who are a good fit for various programs at your college
  • Provide counselors with affective-domain information useful for counseling students
  • Provide the ability for students to self-identify suitable programs based on their assessment results
  • Assess your college’s current programs and how they address your vulnerable student population segments
  • Gain new information that you can use to make better decisions about allocating scarce resources in developmental education at your college


How CSSAS Works

The CSSAS asks quantitative multiple-choice and demographic questions, and qualitative open-ended narrative questions. The questions are designed to measure academic behavior, academic confidence, motivation and self-awareness.

Students complete an Intake Application that surveys for risk factors, and in the course of their ACE semester students participate in four CSSAS measurements that act as snapshots of their academic goals and personal development over time.
The CSSAS survey measures changes over time in psychological traits:

  • Academic Behavior
  • Academic Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Self Awareness

"Development of CSSAS and Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of CSSAS- excerpt from MPR Evaluation of the Academy for College Excellence - December 2011 (pdf)


CSSAS Logistics

ACE provides IT support to help your college’s IT group integrate the CSSAS online survey into your existing assessment process, new student orientation, or other suitable intake process at your college.
The ACE Intake Application can be filled-in online in twenty minutes. The CSSAS on-line survey can be completed in twenty minutes. Both tools can be integrated with a college’s current academic assessments.




Foundation Course (FC) Practicum

The FC Practicum gives instructors the tools and techniques for successfully teaching the ACE Foundation Course, and occurs simultaneously with a live Foundation Course.

Experiential Learning Institute (FELI) Practicum

The FELI Practicum gives instructors the tools and techniques for successfully facilitating a FELI, and occurs simultaneously with a live FELI.



Mentoring Sessions for Instructors


Social Justice Research Course (SJRC) Mentoring Sessions

These mentoring sessions, led by an SJRC Master Mentor, provide structured support for instructors who are delivering SJRC.

Team Self-Management (TSM) Course Mentoring Sessions

These mentoring sessions, led by an experienced TSM Master Mentor, provide structured support for instructors who are delivering the TSM Course.

Faculty Cohort Mentoring Sessions

These mentoring sessions provide structured support for ACE Faculty. 


Curriculum Support


Links for Student Surveys and Assessments

  1. ACE Intake Application
  2. Pre-ACE Survey: College Student Self-Assessment
  3. After the Foundation Course: Post-Foundation Self-Assessment 
             see also 01952 End of Foundation Course Survey 
  4. After the Bridge Term: End of Bridge Term Survey (EBT)
              12345 End of Bridge Term Survey exercise
  5. ACE Student Exit Report for students who leave their ACE courses before completing the semester

Access to ACE Curriculum in

Curriculum Version Info for ACE Signature Courses

The Latest Version of Curriculum for any ACE course – in – includes ALL updates for the course.

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*Please destroy all versions of the TSM Instructor Disc earlier than 20110201, and delete all "Learning to Learn" related files from your computer.

  • Version is a complete scheduled release of the curriculum for a course, i.e. an Instructor Disc with a date. For example: FELI Instructor Disc-20130101.1. ACE includes an instructor disc with each new Instructor Kit we ship.
  • An Update is a release of an interim file or files - to support changes required for a specific Version of curriculum for a course, when needed.


Videos are available for ACE Partner College Faculty who teach in ACE Cohorts.

Faculty Support

Contact Christopher Shockey: christopher (at)