About ACE

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What is ACE?

We are an academic support program dedicated to increasing the diversity of UCSC students earning bachelors' degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We are a community of scholars who strive for and commit to academic excellence.


How does ACE work?

We offer active learning problem solving sessions and peer mentoring for selected courses in biology, math, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Sessions meet twice a week throughout the quarter for 1 hour and 30 minutes per meeting. ACE students also attend a one-hour, small-group peer mentoring session each week.


Who can join?

Current UC Santa Cruz undergraduates with proposed or declared majors in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) who will contribute to a diverse and motivated learning team.

Priority is given to EOP STEM students. Each student is reviewed individually based on a combination of factors, including academic history, academic goals, disadvantage and a desire to work in groups.


Will participating in ACE really make a difference in my academic performance?

Helping you excel in introductory science and math courses is our focus. ACE students earn higher grades because of their personal commitment to learning. With the guidance from ACE Session Leaders and student co-leaders/mentors, you learn study skills and techniques that improve your academic success and boost your confidence! You achieve success through collaboration, community, and mentoring.


How can collaborative learning help me?

You can master your courses in problem solving sessions that supplement your large science and math lectures. We provide a group study environment where students learn by teaching each other. Collaboration enforces communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. ACE students share a commitment to achieving their personal best and helping their friends do the same.


How does ACE foster community?

We offer an informal setting where you are recognized as an individual on a large campus. The ACE staff members cultivate a friendly environment where students feel welcome and safe. At ACE you can make connections with other science and math students who have similar goals and aspirations. ACE is the place to grow and thrive in science and math throughout your undergraduate career.


How does ACE mentoring work?

ACE peer mentors are experienced students who help you integrate into the science and math community at UCSC. They share study strategies and course concepts as well as ways to get involved in opportunities beyond the classroom during weekly mentoring hours. 

ACE Session Leaders encourage you to consider opportunities outside the classroom. They advocate for you, writing letters of recommendation that support your applications to opportunities beyond your course work. Upper division students who participated in ACE continue to utilize ACE community resources throughout their undergraduate career. This relationship goes beyond graduation as students reconnect with ACE Session Leaders when looking for career or graduate/professional school advice or letters of recommendation.

ACE Session Leaders also mentor our student co-leaders/peer mentors. We provide ongoing training and development for our student staff throughout the academic year.


Does ACE open doors to additional research and academic opportunities?

ACE Session Leaders continually receive information about internships, fellowships, and research awards. We provide this information to the ACE student community and encourage students to apply for appropriate programs.

We are proud to honor students who have received prestigious teaching and research awards and fellowships at our Annual Year End Celebration.