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Advancing Clark Excellence: A Pre-Orientation Program for First-Generation College Students and Students of Color

What is the ACE Summer Institute?

The Advancing Clark Excellence (ACE) Summer Institute is the University’s free, four-year support program for students who identify as first-generation (those who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree) or domestic students of color (African-, Latinx-, Asian-/Desi-American, Native/Indigenous- American, Middle-Eastern, Pacific Islander, and/or Multiracial), which starts with a summer institute in August and continues to provide you with resources throughout your college career.

During this program, participants will take a .5-unit college math course and a .5-unit college writing course while participating in leadership and College 101 workshops to maximize their success. During ACE participants explore the community, connect with faculty and administrators at Clark and build friendships that will last a lifetime. This is a great program for someone who wants to get a jumpstart on their college career and is ready to work hard and play hard as part of a community of scholars.

When is ACE?

All ACE students will be expected to move on campus Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. The program itself will run Aug. 1-18, 2021.

ACE continues on campus throughout your years at Clark.

Who is considered a first-generation college student?

First-generation college students include any student who will be the first in their family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. If you have siblings who have graduated, you are still eligible.

Who else can apply for the ACE Institute?

U.S. citizens, DACA recipients, permanent residents, and undocumented students are encouraged to apply. We urge international students to participate in the International Student Orientation, sponsored by the Office of International Students and Scholars. If you are unsure which is right for you, feel free to contact the International Center.

How might ACE change due to the pandemic?

Due to public health recommendations, we have temporarily changed the format of ACE to allow you to obtain support and resources in the safest way possible. ACE will occur via a hybrid modality.

Please note that based on the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, changes to the ACE Summer Institute may occur.

What are the benefits of ACE?

Through ACE, you will receive a bunch of benefits such as:

  • Coaching on strategies for academic, leadership, and professional success through College 101 and leadership workshops
  • Community-building with other first gen students and students of color
  • Academic credit
  • A peer mentor who will share their knowledge to help you navigate your first year at Clark
  • Writing support
  • Connecting with faculty and staff who identify as first generation or people of color
  • Learning about identities and social justice
  • Building your leadership skills through interactive activities
  • Make friends and receive continued support during the rest of your college career (monthly small group meetings and semester check-ins during your first year; ongoing opportunities for student engagement; workshops and meetings with the program director annually)

The Office of Multicultural and First-Generation Student Support provides ongoing opportunities for student engagement as well as student success workshops on various topics, including internships and résumé writing. Students are expected to attend to ensure they are supported throughout their transition to Clark.

Is there a fee to attend ACE?

ACE is free to all selected participants.

How many students are selected for ACE, and how do I apply?

Approximately 25 students are selected to participate, so apply early! Applications should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Apply Now

Who do I contact if I have questions?
For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Multicultural and First Generation Student Support Email ACE

Can you give me an idea about the schedule?

Here is a sample schedule:

  • 1 p.m. — Check In
  • 1:30 p.m. — College Success Activity (Example: Panel with First Generation Faculty and Staff with breakout sessions)
  • 2:30 p.m. — Break
  • 3 p.m. — Interactive Activity (Example: Virtual Scavenger Hunt)
  • 4 p.m. — Mentor Small Group Meetings with Q&A
  • 4:45 p.m. — Optional 1:1s with MFGSS Director to ask questions or get support

Student Perspectives

View a short video on what our students think about our ACE Program.

Contact Information

Dean of Students

Office Information
Office Hours
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Monday through Friday