What is included in the ACE Teaching Fellowship?
In addition to an incomparable experience of teaching and mentoring, ACE Teachers will…
- Earn a rigorous and competitive graduate fellowship culminating with a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame
- Obtain a teaching license in Indiana, which has reciprocity with many other states
- Receive a stipend of approximately $12,000 a year and affordable housing arranged by the (arch)diocese in which an ACE Teacher serves
- Obtain eligibility for student loan deferment
- Receive cost-free room, board, and parking during the summers
- Potentially qualify for an Education Award worth approximately ~$5,700 from the Corporation for National and Community Service
- Have support of a pastoral team member, an academic supervisor, and a community with whom the teacher lives at their placement site
- Deepen their faith and prepare to be a spiritual leader in their school
What do you look for in a candidate?
ACE seeks energetic, passionate leaders who welcome the challenges of beginning teaching, who can maintain a sense of perspective throughout the two-year experience, and who are able to create community both where they live and in the schools in which they work. ACE Teachers must demonstrate maturity, leadership skills, openness to spiritual growth, and the ability to work independently. Strong candidates for ACE will display an excellent work ethic, a solid academic record, and experience in service and extra-curricular activities.
Still, ACE Teachers don’t fit into a mold – there’s no “typical” candidate for the program. ACE has welcomed graduates from nearly every academic discipline and from nearly 200 colleges and universities around the world.
What is the application timeline? What is the timeline for accepted applicants?
The 2017-2018 timeline is as follows:
- September 6: Applications available
- January 23: Application deadline
- March 14: Notification letters are sent
- March 26: Commitment deadline
- April 13-15: Orientation Retreat
- June 1-3: Opening Retreat
- June 4: First day of classes
Do I apply to both ACE and the Notre Dame Graduate School? Is the GRE part of my application?
When a candidate applies to ACE, he or she automatically applies to Notre Dame’s Graduate School. The GRE is a required component of the application.
Does ACE offer an early admission process? What if I have been accepted into another program but I really want to do ACE?
ACE is happy to work with applicants to conduct an early interview process if another job offer conflicts with the current ACE timeline. ACE will need written documentation of the offer and its deadline. If applicants think this scenario may arise, they are encouraged to contact Michael Comuniello (, 574.631.6561) as soon as possible.
What kind of professional support can an ACE Teacher expect?
All ACE Teachers have at least four support resources at their disposal throughout their two years in the program: an academic supervisor from the Faculty of Supervision and Instruction, a Pastoral Administrator, the school principal, and a designated mentor teacher in their local school.
Principals provide ongoing formative and summative evaluations of the ACEr’s teaching, community, and spiritual formation. Mentor Teachers serve a non-evaluative role by helping ACE Teachers orient to their new city and school, conferencing with them about instructional and curricular goals on a regular basis, and reflecting with the ACE Teacher about successes and struggles in and out of the classroom.
Local support resources also include other school faculty, the diocesan superintendent, former ACE Teachers who may remain in the area, and Notre Dame alumni club members who welcome the ACE Teachers to their local communities.
Are there opportunities to coach and lead extracurriculars while teaching in ACE?
Yes, ACE Teachers will regularly assume leadership positions throughout the school, offering their time and talents in areas such as athletics, student government, Campus Ministry, and many others.
What opportunities for spiritual growth do ACE Teachers have?
As Catholic school educators, ACE Teachers will have the opportunity to form and guide their students in their faith lives, which in turn will shape their own. Summers at Notre Dame offer a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth including retreats, liturgies, and prayer services. All ACE Teachers will take one of two classes – Introduction to Teaching Religion or Teaching in Catholic Schools – to better prepare them to serve as a spiritual resource for their students. Members of each ACE community together develop their spiritual and prayer lives, embracing personal experiences and inviting each other to grow in faith. In addition, ACE Teachers often find spiritual support, direction, and challenge from the pastoral team.
I am not Catholic. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes! ACE invites all applicants for service to Catholic education. All participants should demonstrate a lived commitment to their faith tradition and should be willing to live and work in community, as well as contribute to the spiritual formation of their students.
What can I do as an underclassmen to prepare for ACE?
ACE encourages underclassmen to speak with current or former ACE Teachers, members of the ACE staff (most of whom are graduates of ACE), and others who have a strong understanding of the program. ACE also encourages prospective applicants to gain experience working with students (e.g., through tutoring, coaching, or mentoring programs), seek leadership roles at their colleges and universities, and engage in faith-based service. Underclassmen may also consider attending ACE functions on their campuses, such as information sessions or post-graduate volunteer fairs.
What do ACE Teachers do after graduating from ACE Teaching Fellows?
ACE Teachers have gone on to become physicians, entrepreneurs, engineers, financial leaders, attorneys, Fulbright scholars, law review editors, university professors, superintendents, leaders of scholarship foundations, presidents and principals of schools, priests, and national science grantees. Others continue to teach. From whatever professional or personal path they pursue, ACE graduates continue to advocate for Catholic schools and for the needs of children in low-income communities.
Don't see your question above? Please contact Mike Comuniello at or 574-631-6561.