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Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

College Adopts ACE Program

Information: 610-359-5276
July 13 2010

Delaware County Community College Adopts Innovative Program for Underprepared Students

The Academy for College Excellence is an award-winning community college program that prepares students for success in both college and career

Delaware County Community College has entered an agreement to bring the nationally-recognized Academy for College Excellence (ACE) program to the College. ACE is an advanced learning community-based program that targets underprepared students from all backgrounds and seeks to reignite their passion for learning. In one intensive semester, students typically accelerate to college-level performance and learn valuable skills for success in the technology-driven economy. The College plans to enroll students in the ACE program for the Fall 2010 semester.

Students begin the semester with a two-week intensive course that addresses personal development, communication skills, and learning styles. Following the Foundation Course, students begin their Bridge Semester—a full-time schedule that includes courses in Math, English, Computer Science, Body and Mind, and Career Planning. A Team Self-Management Course further develops students’ motivation to succeed and solve life problems; it also helps them work in the team environments so common in most modern careers. At the center of the Bridge Semester is the Social Justice Research Course, in which students conduct primary research on local social issues and report their findings.

According to Dr. Virginia Carter, College Provost, faculty at the College continually try to address the problem of student success. “Instead of viewing the summer as time off,” she said, “faculty apply themselves to finding solutions.” ACE participating faculty have undergone an intensive training program focused on the educational, social and psycho-dynamics of the program as experienced by the students.

Founded in 2002 by Diego James Navarro at California’s Cabrillo College, ACE has since transitioned more than 1,500 students into full-time college course loads. Influenced by Navarro’s experience in corporate management and graduate studies, the curriculum provokes students to examine the personal challenges that have influenced (and impeded) their academic history. Designed to “light the fire within,” ACE offers a supportive structure that gives students the groundwork and self-confidence to accelerate to college-level courses.

Funded by numerous prestigious grants (including the Gates Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Irvine Foundation) ACE is growing rapidly and by the end of 2010 will be operating in seven community colleges nationwide.

For more information about the national ACE program visit the website www.my-ace.org. For more information about Delaware County Community College, visit the website www.dccc.edu.


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