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Get a Jumpstart on College

Are you looking to understand how college works and how you can be supported?

Consider applying to the Advancing Clark Excellence (ACE) Summer Institute, the University’s free, four-year support program for students who identify as first-generation or as domestic students of color. The program begins with a summer institute in August, and will continue to provide you with resources throughout your college career.

Take a .5-unit college math course and a .5-unit college writing course while participating in leadership and College 101 workshops to maximize your success. Explore the community, connect with Clark faculty and administrators, and build friendships.

Frequently Asked Questions

First-generation college students include any student who will be the first in their family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Students are eligible even if they have siblings who have graduated from college.

Domestic students of color (African-, Latinx-, Asian-/Desi-American, Native/Indigenous- American, Middle-Eastern, Pacific Islander, and/or Multiracial) are encouraged to apply. They may be U.S. citizens, DACA recipients, permanent residents, or undocumented students.

International students do not attend ACE; instead, they participate in the International Student Welcome sponsored by the International Center.

If you are unsure which program — ACE or International Student Welcome — is right for you, contact the International Center.

You will benefit from:

  • Coaching on strategies for academic, leadership, and professional success through College 101 and leadership workshops
  • Community-building with other first-generation students and students of color
  • Academic credit
  • A peer mentor who will share their knowledge to help you navigate their 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
  • Making friends and receiving continued support during the rest of your college career (monthly small group meetings and semester check-ins during the first year; ongoing opportunities for student engagement; workshops and meetings with the program director annually)

The Office of Identity, Student Engagement, and Access (ISEA) provides ongoing opportunities for student engagement as well as student success workshops on various topics, including internships and resume writing. You will be expected to attend to ensure that you are supported throughout your transition to Clark.

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
  • 4:45 p.m. — Optional one-on-ones with the director of Identity, Student Engagement, and Access (ISEA) to ask questions

Have More Questions?

Contact the Office of Identity, Student Engagement, and Access (ISEA).

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Identity, Student Engagement, and Access

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