Academy for College Excellence

At a Glance

National Office: 
PO Box 1253
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1253
Phone: (831)531-7237

Christopher Shockey
People Served: 
4,590
Year Founded: 
2002
Tax ID: 
13-3615533

Focus area(s):

Teacher & Principal Training
College Access
Personal & Leadership Development

Description

The Academy for College Excellence (ACE) is dedicated to ensuring that America's community colleges create a supportive and empowering learning environment for their most vulnerable students — those with a deep desire for a college education but who may not be prepared academically and emotionally to get it.  These are young adults who have tremendous capacity to survive the worst circumstances and have unique strengths to contribute to the 21st Century workforce.

Impact and Outcomes

40% of ACE students complete their transferable English course within two semesters after attending the ACE program, compared to 16% for their peers.
65% of students complete their transferable Math course within two semesters after attending the ACE program, compared to 6% for their peers.

Mission & Goals

At the Academy for College Excellence our mission is:

  • to give under-prepared community college students the opportunity to better their lives by helping them develop the academic qualifications, professional skills, and personal attributes necessary to succeed.
  • to “bridge” students into regular community college courses via one full-time, semester-long transformative learning environment focused on academics and self-efficacy.
  • to increase the number of students who emerge from community college prepared for a knowledge-work professional career with a future.

Program

The ACE model recognizes that all students can benefit from experiencing a stronger foundation for success based on its approach and has adapted its methodology to serve the range of learners found in community colleges. The ACE model offers colleges the opportunity to choose from a variety of program variations based on each institution’s unique completion goals and the specific target populations it seeks to serve. These different program variations can be used with college-ready, transitioning, CTE and basic skills students and can be applied to support existing learning communities or success initiatives. While key components of each program variation can vary by its target population, all approaches have the same common interests:
  1. helping students learn 21st century skills
  2. developing their affective domain
  3. drawing on learners’ experiences and interests as a catalyst for learning
  4. building community among participants. 

Table 1 below highlights these different program variations, including the population each targets and the programmatic components each includes.

Table 1: ACE Program Variations

Impact

Since its inception in 2002, the Academy for College Excellence (ACE)—formerly called Digital Bridge Academy (DBA)—has been rigorously evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively. Ten independent external evaluations have been conducted, all demonstrating significant impacts on vulnerable students and community college faculty.
 
 
The two key findings of two longitudinal evaluation studies of the ACE Program—the Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC) study published in 2009 and the MPR Associates (MPR) study released in December 2012—are:
  1. The ACE academic outcomes are replicable at colleges adopting the ACE model; i.e., the academic outcomes produced in the CCRC study are replicated when the ACE Program is implemented at multiple colleges where some of the colleges are scaling to serve over 350 students per year.
  2. The ACE accelerated math approach shows strong results when integrated with the ACE social justice primary research course, and the accelerated math approach is successful when combined with accelerated English in the same semester.

 

ACE Bridge Semester Student Outcomes from MPR Study

Growth Plan

Over the last two years, the Academy for College Excellence has moved beyond piloting its solutions to devise strategies for scaling, the ultimate goal of which is to serve thousands of disadvantaged community college students across the country.  ACE is now implementing key elements of its strategic plan as part of a capacity-building phase.  The two-year goals of this stage of growth (which ACE aims to complete by the end of 2015) are:

  1. Deepen and expand partnerships with community colleges and other organizations in order to provide ACE solutions to approximately 3,000 students each academic year.
  2. Provide transformational professional development services to approximately 1,000 community college faculty and administrators each academic year.
  3. Refine an earned income model, primarily based on expanding professional development services, to produce $1 million annually in earned income.
  4. Identify strategies to firmly establish the Academy for College Excellence as a recognized resource to community colleges in key regions and states.
  5. Forge partnerships with state agencies, community colleges, and nonprofit groups to begin additional statewide expansions.
  6. Disseminate findings from ongoing research on: (1) why and how the Academy for College Excellence's approach works, and (2) how ACE can manifest change at community colleges so that they become more adaptive institutions that better serve disadvantaged students.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
PO Box 1253
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1253
Phone: (831)531-7237
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$289,700
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$5,000
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$585,651
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$880,351

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$434,734
Occupancy: 
$539
Travel & Entertainment: 
$34,785
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$9,720
Telephone & Communications: 
$2,943
Payments to Affiliates: 
$68,540
Other Expenses: 
$72,007
Total Expenses: 
$623,268

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$257,083

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$1,025,001
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$6,000
Program Services Fees: 
$258,029
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$4,350
Other Revenue: 
$1,357
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$1,294,737

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$951,911
Occupancy: 
$1,980
Travel & Entertainment: 
$37,855
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$17,357
Telephone & Communication: 
$5,084
Payments to Affiliates: 
$79,401
Other Expenses: 
$135,294
Total Expenses: 
$1,228,882

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$65,855

Major Funders

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

David and Lucille Packard Foundation

James Irvine Foundation

National Science Foundation – Advanced Technological Education

Walter S. Johnson Foundation

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation