What does ACE do?

ACE is a learning community program that places cohorts of up to fifteen freshmen into clusters of two general education courses with a one-credit integrating seminar (CAS 110). CAS 110 is facilitated by an upper-division peer mentor who is trained to lead students through a number of topics and activities, including critical thinking, problem solving, development of academic success strategies, and community service. Peer mentors receive ongoing training through a four-credit course (CAS 301).

What kinds of course combinations does ACE offer?

ACE links introductory courses together to provide students with an array of options that will help them start on their general education requirements while exploring possibilities for their major. Many clusters are thematically focused and help students with prerequisites for specific academic disciplines, such as business, education, and medicine.

What does being involved in ACE as a faculty member entail?

ACE faculty are asked simply to agree to saving seats in their general education courses for ACE freshmen. The ACE office works hand-in-hand with department chairs, department secretaries, and faculty members to carve out a small section in larger classes for ACE students. See below for specific details. Faculty members are not asked to make any changes to their curriculum or to give ACE students any “special” consideration. Faculty may be invited by their ACE students to meet with the ACE cluster informally outside of class as part of the “Take Your Professor to Lunch” activity.

For the most part, faculty find that ACE students tend to be more engaged and ready to participate productively in large classes than their non-ACE peers. ACE peer mentors work with their students to encourage them to make direct and personal contact with their faculty as needed. The ACE program coordinator and staff are always available to assist with concerns that may arise.

How are seats “saved” for ACE students?

The ACE program staff begins contacting departments in January to request the use of seats in specific classes. Once the department has given its approval, ACE staff work with the Scheduling Office to “save” the seats by adjusting the maximum enrollment numbers. For example, if your course’s original maximum enrollment is 60, ACE will reduce the maximum enrollment to 45 to save 15 seats for ACE students. Throughout the summer, ACE markets to incoming freshmen and signs students into the clusters. At any point during the summer, departments and faculty can contact ACE to find out how the enrollment for the ACE sections is doing. In early August, ACE works with the Records Office to place the students into the saved seats; once they have been registered, ACE raises the maximum enrollment back to its original so that new and continuing students can regain access to any unused seats.

ACE is as committed to working in ways that benefit departments as it is positively impacting new UH freshmen. ACE staff is always on hand to work with you to ensure that your course enrollments are not negatively impacted by your involvement with our program.