Overview of Programs & Services
The following is an overview of ACE's academic programs, professional services and outreach.
Service through Teaching (STT)
The foundational program of the Alliance for Catholic Education, ACE Service through Teaching is the nation's largest program forming talent specifically for Catholic elementary and secondary schools. It combines an intensive schedule of academic classes, held during the summer at Notre Dame, with two years of applied learning teaching in classrooms in under-resourced Catholic schools, especially in the South. Excellent academics preparation combined with community-building and spiritual growth form the foundation that supports approximately 180 teachers in more than 100 elementary and secondary Catholic schools in over 30 cities each year. Those selected through the highly competitive application process can earn a cost-free Master of Education degree, preparation for teaching licensure, and a stipend toward living expenses. ACE teachers, who live in ACE community houses in their apprenticeship areas, represent a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and undergraduate academic disciplines.
Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program (RLP)
In response to the critical need for transformative school leaders in Catholic schools across the country, and supported by a generous endowment from Mary Ann Remick, the Leadership Program develops aspiring Catholic school principals through a 26-month formation program in the context of community and spirituality. An academic internship offers valuable leadership experience, supplementing classroom and online learning, and the program culminates in a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration. The Remick Leadership Program has become the largest of its kind in the United States and has prepared over 230 educators who now lead Catholic schools in 41 states and 65 dioceses.
English as a New Language (ENL)
A one-year, 18 credit hour certification program at the University of Notre Dame, the English as a New Language program seeks to answer Christ's call to welcome the strangers among us by increasing the number of Catholic school teachers with expertise in teaching students who speak a language other than English at home. Combining on-campus and online learning and culminating in a specialized endorsement from the State of Indiana, the ENL program prepares Catholic school teachers to support English language learners by promoting cultural inclusion, implementing innovative teaching strategies, and making lesson and assessment modifications, all while retaining their positions during the academic year.
Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC)
Recognizing the need for Catholic schools to serve the needs of all children, the Alliance for Catholic Education developed Teaching Exceptional Children, a one-year certification program for teachers who wish to develop skills to meet the needs of children with mild to moderate disabilities in an inclusionary classroom. TEC provides teachers with an additional license from the State of Indiana as a teacher of students with exceptional needs: mild interventions, combining classroom learning during the summer and online coursework during the school year while teachers retain their current positions.
Through research-based consulting, professional education, and strategic professional services, ACE Consulting creates new possibilities for schools. It enhances the viability and vitality of Catholic schools by addressing areas critical to school success and offering strategies to benefit from public and private resources to promote institutional advancement. Services are custom-designed to enhance the capacity and accelerate the strategic goals of the leaders and institutions that it serves with a special focus on enabling children attending Catholic schools to receive access to federally funded benefits to which they are entitled. These services include viability assessments, strategic planning initiatives, development of new school models, and evaluation of equitable participation of schools in federal grant programs.
Notre Dame ACE Academies
The Notre Dame ACE Academies establishes an in-depth partnership between ACE and at-risk urban schools, based on an innovative model of structure and support. Each of the schools — three in the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona and two in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida — implements structural features that facilitate school improvement and share a common Catholic ethos. Teachers and principals at the schools receive support from Notre Dame faculty and staff while participating in ongoing professional and personal formation, and together they strive to offer a Catholic education of the highest quality to as many children as possible.
Play Like a Champion Today (PLC)
As its name suggests, Play Like a Champion Today utilizes the well-known motto of the Notre Dame football program as a basis for the innovative coach and parent education program that frames coaching as a character-building enterprise. In order to help youth and high school sports programs reflect Gospel values and promote moral character development in children, PLC offers an athlete-centered, research-based approach while encouraging participants to see athletics as an avenue of growth toward personal integrity and moral leadership for young people. More than 18,000 coaches and parents have participated in PLC workshops and now shape the lives of approximately 500,000 elementary and secondary school athletes nationwide.
ACE Collaborative for Academic Excellence
In order to strengthen the academic excellence of Catholic schools, ACE designed a series of intensive workshops and comprehensive materials that enable K-12 teachers and principals across a diocese to collaborate with one another on improving curriculum, instruction, and assessment. This sustained professional development approach builds on the use of community — a hallmark strength of Catholic schools — to improve academic learning in schools and dioceses.
Strategic Intervention Teams (SIT)
Designed to meet the needs of children with academic and behavioral challenges, the Strategic Intervention Team initiative brings together educators from partner dioceses to provide increases skills and strategies to best support at-risk students. To date, SIT services have been implemented in more than 50 schools.
Outreach & Engagement
Catholic School Advantage Campaign
Based on the findings of the Final Report of the Notre Dame Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools, ACE launched the Catholic School Advantage campaign, a national movement aimed at dramatically expanding access to Catholic schools for Latino and other at-risk, under-served children over the next decade, providing a faith-filled educational pathway to fuller participation in America's civic life for a greater segment of the country's population. Seven dioceses have partnered with the Alliance for Catholic Education to pursue innovative interventions in their schools and parishes.
ACE Advocates for Catholic Schools
ACE Advocates works to organize and mobilize ACE graduates and Catholic school supporters to make a lasting impact in areas with critical need, including school, diocesan, and philanthropic leadership, parental choice policy, and Catholic identity. Born out of the conviction that ACE graduates have an opportunity to provide much-needed leadership and entrepreneurial innovation for Catholic schools, ACE Advocates provides regional action networks in 25 cities, which serve as hubs for a movement of Catholic school supporters. It also offers a vairety of formation programs and spiritual resources aimed at developing a new generation of transformational leaders.
Program of K-12 Educational Access (PEA)
The Program of K-12 Educational Access is a multi-disciplinary enterprise dedicated to empowering low-income families with sustainable financial access to a quality Catholic education. Developed at the invitation of Church leaders, education reform scholars, policy makers, and Catholic school officials, PEA facilitates meetings of bishops and other leaders nationwide to promote innovative strategies for enhancing K-12 Catholic education, and hosts workshops to explore the moral, legal, legislative, and political dimensions of the modern parental choice movement.
ACE Press seeks to disseminate scholarship along with educational and spiritual texts and resources in support of the Alliance for Catholic Education's mission to sustain and strengthen Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Established in 2006, more than twenty published titles include current research by ACE faculty and national authors, the reports of the Catholic School Advantage campaign, and instructional texts and prayer resources for teachers and administrators.