Expansion of the Academic Excellence (ACE) Program

The UC Santa Cruz Academic Excellence Program (ACE, ace.ucsc.edu) is an academic support program that is dedicated to increasing the diversity of UC Santa Cruz students earning bachelors' degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. ACE is a community of scholars who strive for and commit to academic excellence. ACE offers Problem Solving (PS) sessions that are supplementary to the gateway math and science lecture courses and provide an active and collaborative learning environment for students pursuing STEM degrees.

The student success funds allowed the ACE Program to expand, increasing from 48 PS sessions in 2015-16 to 68 PS sessions in 2016-17 and provided over 500 new seats for STEM students to participate in the ACE community. The additional professional and student staff members hired, facilitated collaborative learning in the classroom and reduced the student to teacher ratio from 12:1 to 10:1. ACE Student Co-Leaders and Peer Mentors also serve as ACE ambassadors and encourage EOP and underrepresented STEM students to participate in the ACE learning community. ACE partners with Colleges (Crown, Merrill, and Oakes Science Learning Community), MESA Engineering Program, Learning Support Services, EOP, and the Ethnic Resource Centers for recruiting purposes as well.

The ACE Program also collaborated with the Student Success Evaluation and Research Center (SSERC) and GSR, Brandon Balzer Carr to develop a survey of ACE students’ STEM self-efficacy and sense of belonging. To understand the ACE Program’s effect on STEM persistence and graduation, GSR, Brittany Young, and Brandon Balzer Carr launched a STEM Persistence and Graduation Report. Both the Survey and the Persistence and Graduation Report suggest that participating in the ACE Program contributes to students’ self-efficacy, sense of belonging, STEM persistence, and graduation with a STEM degree from UC Santa Cruz.

Collaborators: UC Santa Cruz Colleges (Crown, Merrill, and Oakes Science Learning Community), MESA Engineering Program, Learning Support Services, EOP (SEMILLA), SSERC, and the Ethnic Resource Centers   

Lead Contact Name: Nancy Cox-Konopelski & Carrie Haber
Lead Contact Email: nancyck@ucsc.edu & carrie@ucsc.edu
Theme: Promoting Academic Excellence