About ACE

About the ACE Program

The Maricopa ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program is nationally recognized for its proven success in motivating underrepresented students to complete high school and continue on to complete a college degree by helping students make smooth transitions between three facets of the educational pathway: high school, community college, and university.

The ACE Program’s success lies in the use of the following nine essential elements: 

  1. Creation of student cohort groups. Students enter the program during the summer before their junior year of high school.
  2. Focus on at-risk students The ACE program recruits students who fit at least one of the following criteria: 3 First generation college student 3 Works 10-30 hours per week 3 From a single parent home 3 Underrepresented group 3 Environmental factors (foster care, teen parent, etc.)
  3. High academic standards ACE students are concurrently enrolled in college courses while in high school. Maricopa faculty teach all ACE college courses and students must complete placement testing prior to enrollment and meet prerequisites for all courses.  
  4. Non-threatening environment  
  5. Continuous contact with students  
  6. Family involvement  
  7. Strong collaboration between institutions  
  8. Long overlap of transition points (e.g., high school to community college)  
  9. Scholarship and Financial Aid information