Notre Dame ACE Academies Scholarship Expansion
In an effort to expand and enhance the Notre Dame ACE Academies network’s capacity to provide a high-quality Catholic education to as many at-risk children as possible, the PEA helps lead Notre Dame ACE Academies scholarship tax credit fundraising initiative. This effort is presently focused on leveraging Notre Dame networks in the corporate community to maximize corporate participation in the Arizona tax credit program, but will expand according to tax credit opportunities in new Notre Dame ACE Academies sites. This support is primarily in the form of corporate prospect research and cultivation and formalizing partnerships with relevant STO’s (including CTSO, ASCT, and Yo Creo).
Choice Implementation Initiative
In response to requests from policy makers, school leaders, and allies of the school choice movement, the PEA and ACE Consulting have developed a portfolio of services to support Catholic school systems participating in a voucher and/or tax credit program. The objectives of this initiative are: 1) to ensure Catholic schools’ prudent long-term participation in public funding programs, and 2) to improve overall school quality and the capacity to provide the highest quality Catholic education to as many children as possible.
A team of ACE Consultants leads a diagnostic intervention in a cluster of schools in a given region. This intervention focuses on six areas critical to school success: 1) Catholic identity, 2) school culture, 3) governance, 4) financial management, 5) advancement (recruiting and fundraising), and 6) academic programming. Data is collected in a variety of ways including a survey of relevant stakeholders, classroom observations, focus groups, demographic review, and interviews.
This process takes approximately four months and results in the publication of a concise report that is shared with school leadership. This report includes recommendations on the most effective means of leveraging participation in the local choice program to: 1) ensure academic excellence, 2) develop an intentional school culture of success, 3) promote effective enrollment management, 4) improve development and financial practices. In Spring 2012, ACE Consulting launched a pilot of this initiative in 5 Catholic schools in Indiana.