Academic Collegiate Excellence (ACE)

Academic Program

A  cornerstone of the ACE program is your enrollment in courses specific to your  admission. All ACE students will enroll in the following courses their first semester at St. Cloud State:

  • COLL  150: Discovering the College Experience (2 credits)
    Explore the possibilities of a university education and work closely with an instructor and peer mentor to create your own roadmap for success in both college and life. This course uses interactive exercises, seminar discussions, guest lecturers and application assignments to study topics of relevance to new students.
  • COLL  110: Reading/Study Strategies (2 credits)
    Discover how to uncover, define and achieve your own best experience of learning. This course helps you structure your resources, background knowledge, memory and curiosity to become a more effective students. Through application of problem solving strategies, study strategies, note-taking and test taking students are better prepared for college course work.

COLL 150 and COLL 110 count for St. Cloud State elective credits.  These credits count towards your semester total for financial aid and full-time enrollment status, as well as toward your overall degree completion plan.

In  addition to your COLL courses, students will enroll in additional coursework through the Liberal Education Program, pre-major/minor courses and/or developmental coursework as determined by placement testing and ACT scores.

ACE  Learning Community Options

The Department of Academic Support offers a variety of Learning Communities designed to support new students in making vital connections and a successful transition to university life. For Fall 2018, we are offering four Learning Communities which extend your supported transition experience to include a Liberal Education Program course or two:

American Government Community

Are you considering a career in public service as a teacher, peace officer, social worker, foreign service officer, or public administration? Are you interested in informing yourself to become a better voter? Our American Government community will help you to think more deeply and critically about the way that public policies are determined and executed. American Government is supported by study skills and college experience courses. Two goal areas (5 and 9) are covered with this learning community.

Students take: POL 111: American Government (Goals 5 and 9) along with their ACE course, COLL 110 and COLL 150

Geology Community

Ever wonder why rivers change course over time? Thinking about owning your own home in the future and want to understand the influence of landscape on energy and water use? Whether you are nervous about taking a lab science course or excited about the history of the earth, this course will introduce you in a thoughtful manner to the concepts of earth science, while finding support from faculty and classmates in study skills. So if science “isn’t your thing,” this could be a great opportunity to earn credit for goal 3 (Natural Sciences) and the required lab course credit, within a supported learning environment of study skills and college experience courses.

Students take: AHS 109: Introduction to Environmental Geology (Goal 3, Lab course) along with their ACE course, COLL 110 and COLL 150

Coming of Age Community

Did you love Harry Potter? Or Katniss Everdeen?  Or just stories of people your own age as they go through the complex challenges of young adulthood? Connect your college story to the epic tales of great literary adventurers! Through readings in the Introduction to Literature course, all three courses in this learning community will guide you through your own unique journey. A unique culminating project spanning the three courses makes this a truly comprehensive learning experience in under the supportive guidance of caring faculty in small classes.

Students take: ENGL 184: Introduction to Literature (Goal 6) along with their ACE course, COLL 110 and COLL 150

Critical Thinking Community

Written Communication and Critical Thinking are two core general education goal areas that build an important foundation for college success. Complete both goal area courses in this supported learning community while reflecting on your own place in the broader community and the world.  Experience hands-on research as well as library research that support your writing, develop critical reading skills that support your research savvy, and produce not only academic writing, but videos and visual assignments that create the rhetorical narratives of the 21st century.

Students take: ENGL 191: Introduction to Rhetorical and Analytical Writing (Goal 1) and LIB 280: Critical Thinking in Academic Research (Goal 2) along with their ACE course, COLL 110 and COLL 150

Some students in our program will need to complete developmental courses in Math and/or English, which can be taken during your first year at SCSU, including:

  • Math Skills Center  - MATH 070 Basic Math Concepts and MATH 072 Intermediate Algebra
  • ENGL 190 Introduction to Analytical & Rhetorical Writing, with supplemental tutor support
  • COLL 120 Power Reading