What is the ACE Program?
The ACE Program has been an integral component of the Service-Learning Program since the year 2000. The ACE Program provides Advocates for Community Engagement, or ACEs. These undergraduate students serve as liaisons between IU service-learning students and faculty, and local nonprofit agencies. The ACE Program supports service-learning partnerships by providing essential communication, facilitation, and coordination.
What is an ACE?
The ACE Program is supported by a gift from the estate of Jesse and Beulah Cox, and as such, all ACEs are recipients of a Cox Scholarship and are also known as Engagement Scholars. The Cox Scholarship is a working scholarship, and ACEs are placed in local community agencies, serving as part-time employees, in order to fulfill their scholarship requirements. As part-time employees for these agencies, ACEs facilitate service-learning partnerships with IU faculty while also engaging in the daily life of the agency.
Students enter the program as freshmen and exit as seniors, gaining a four-year developmental experience. As a part of the Cox Scholars Program, these students are focused on hard work, education, and community engagement. ACEs receive extensive training throughout their four-year experience, designed to facilitate the development of professional, advocacy, communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills.
ACEs can assist with a variety of service-learning related tasks:
- Partnership development and negotiation (collaborate with agency staff and faculty to determine appropriate agency tasks, responsibilities for all parties, connection to course content, etc.)
- On-site training and orientation of students (provide education to students re: agency mission, vision, values, policies, procedures, etc.)
- On-site management and coordination of students (provide support to students including supervision, peer support, hours tracking and reporting, communication with faculty, problem-solving, etc.)
- Guided reflection (co-facilitation with faculty and agency staff, connecting course content to agency work and relevant social issues)
- Evaluation (debrief partnership, develop plan for improvement and building on partnership success)
Who to Contact?
The ACE Program Coordinator supervises and supports all ACEs, along with their agency-specific supervisor. If you would like to discuss your experience of working with an ACE, or if you’d like to know more about working with the ACEs, please contact the ACE Program Coordinator, Sarah Le.