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Advancing Clark Excellence

A pre-orientation program for first-generation college students* and students of color

Beginning virtually in August 2020 and on campus throughout your years at Clark

The 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.

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. The program will begin virtually in August, and continue in person once students return to campus.

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 from Professor Jie Park
• 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)

All for FREE!

All ACE students will be expected to hold the hours of 3:00pm to 5:00pm on Tuesdays and 1:00pm-5:00pm EST on Wednesdays in August, with more updates on program schedules to follow. If you need to work in August and are concerned about finances, please apply anyway and be sure to indicate those concerns via the application. Limited scholarships may be available.

Approximately 25 students are selected to participate, so apply early! Applications should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Fri., May 29, 2020.


*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.

**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 Susannah Marcucci.

Sample Schedule

  • 1:00 pm Check In
  • 1:30 pm College Success Activity (Example: Panel with First Generation Faculty and Staff with breakout sessions)
  • 2:30 pm Break
  • 3:00 pm Interactive Activity (Example: Virtual Scavenger Hunt)
  • 4:00 pm Mentor Small Group Meetings with Q&A
  • 4:45 pm 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 Location
  • 2nd Floor,
    Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center
  • 1-508-793-7423
Office Hours
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)