Step 1: Program Overview


How does the program work?
ACE Learning Communities offer a combination of three general education courses and a small group, 1-credit integrating seminar (CAS 110: Access to the College Community). Courses are grouped to provide freshmen with an introduction to various academic perspectives while fulfilling graduation requirements. CAS 110 is led by an upperclassman peer mentor who supports freshmen cohorts in their new learning environment. Successful college students themselves, peer mentors assist with the development of successful academic strategies, creation of social and interpersonal networks, and involvement in a variety of campus events. ACE espouses a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to college education. Freshmen who are eager to learn, enthusiastic about making friends while increasing independence, and excited about getting involved will benefit from what ACE has to offer.



What is CAS 110?
CAS 110 is a small group, one-credit integrating seminar in which you meet weekly with your fellow ACE students and your peer mentor. This course receives a letter grade (A-F). Some of the essential components of this seminar include:

  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Learning about campus resources
  • Connecting with faculty
  • Exploring different major and career choices
  • Developing successful studying strategies
  • Organizing and completing a service learning project

Throughout the semester, students will submit brief journal reflections and small writing assignments. As part of their career exploration project, students will have the opportunity to share a short presentation on a career area of their choice.
In addition, out-of-class activities will be offered to help students get to know one another better. Many ACE students elect to form study groups and attend faculty office hours and tutoring sessions.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are most ACE learning communities only 8 or 9 credits? I need 12 credits to be full-time.
Learning communities take up approximately ¾ of a full-time schedule. This allows you to take one additional class of your own choosing. Many students in ACE supplement their cluster with a Freshman Seminar.


2. Do I have to take placement exams?
To learn more about placement exams for Chemistry, Math, and foreign languages, please click on this link and/or contact the individual departments.

UH Manoa Placement Exams:


3. How do I register for the learning community classes?
Once you have been accepted into an ACE learning community, we will register you for those classes. Seats in these classes have already been reserved. After you receive a confirmation letter, you are guaranteed admittance into the classes, except in cases where placement is required; students will not be officially admitted into learning communities with “Placement required” classes until they have received placement.


4. How do I register for a Freshman Seminar course?

Classified freshmen can follow normal online course registration procedures. When registering, please select the appropriate Freshman Seminar course section.
Note: All Freshman Seminar section numbers are 300+ in order to be identifiable.


5. Is there a waiting list?
No. Acceptance into learning communities and Freshman Seminar courses are on a first-come, first-served basis. Classes fill fast; register online today!


6. Do I have to list a 2nd or 3rd choice if I only want to apply for one specific Learning Community?
No. If you are not interested in any other class cluster options, simply leave the 2nd and 3rd choice option lines blank. However, we encourage all applicants to consider every learning community option before leaving the 2nd and 3rd options empty as several of our learning communities are filled early in the summer.


7. Can I choose the day and time of the class in the cluster? 
No. Seats have been reserved for learning community use in only the sections we have indicated.


8. Do I have to take all of the classes in the learning community cluster?
Yes. A learning community needs to have all the students taking the same classes, under the same instructor, with the same assignments, due dates, and classmates. Learning community students have the most success when they are in the same situation and face the same challenges.


9. Do I have to join a learning community?
No. Learning communities are an optional means of enhancing your college experience.


10. When can I register?
May 23rd – July 15th through


Let’s continue on to STEP 2 to learn about the different learning communities (clusters) offered: