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Thank you for your interest in the Accelerated Collegiate Experience at Florida Gulf
Coast University. Explore our pages to learn more about your important role.
How can I support my child in college?
If your child expresses interest in the ACE program it is a good time to discuss
what college life will be like. The ACE program is not a “simulated” activity, but
a real college experience with the joys, challenges, stressors and effort that comes
with scholarly work.
There is much more to the learning process in college than what is gained through
coursework. Educators call this the “hidden curriculum”. ACE students learn professional
protocol, leadership skills, collaborative skills and more. While ACE students will
surely be accelerating academically, it is important that they also “accelerate” in
their maturity and professional development.
Here are some recommendations for how you can supportanysoon to be student-scholar in college:
Don’t do things for them. It is probably the best gift you can give your child. This includes completing
applications, setting appointments, contacting testing agencies, submitting documents,
requesting transcripts, registration for events, etc. If your child is having difficulty
with these tasks, help them find the appropriate office or individual to contact for
Become knowledgeable about the college experience. There are many resources both on and off campus to help you get familiar with what
is happening in higher education today. Attend ACE Orientation! Remember, that a
high school student will have a slightly different experience.
Give your child the room to choose their own career. A lot of exploration needs to
occur, even if they have “declared a major”. Students often change their majors
Encourage your child to think beyond what they want to “be” in their career to what
their “purpose” is for wanting that career. Questions such as “Beyond money, why do you want to be a [doctor, lawyer, teacher,
etc.]? These kind of questions can help the student think more deeply about their
values and can help them confirm or dis-confirm their passions and purpose.
Let them fail.Support them with unconditional love. While there may be consequences, few “failures”
in college lead to life altering outcomes in the end. The value of failure is what
we learn from it! Help them seek to understand what needs to change to be successful.
No doubt, you will be concerned about how your child is doing in class. Rather than
focus on specific grades your child is earning, find outwhatthey are learning by asking questions such as “What specific events are you discussing
in American History?” This may lead to a broader discussion about how your child
is handling the class content.
The ACE staff are more than happy to assist with concerns about student achievement.
They can be reached throughout the year for consultation.
The Accelerated Collegiate Experience allowed me to collaborate with influential peers
and professionals to maximize my academic goals at Florida Gulf Coast University.
ACE allowed me to participate in cutting-edge research, lead an international medical
service group for three consecutive years, and complete multiple internships in my
The ACE program is rigorous and expects student engagement in scholarly activities
outside of class. Your child must not only be academically ready, but also mature
enough to make tough decisions, self-regulate, manage their time effectively and reach
out when help is needed. There is a great amount of independence being a full-time
college student. Acceptance to the University will start a permanent college record
that will follow the student for life. It is important that your child be mentally
ready to manage the stress inherent in college life.
Will my child have to declare a “major” area of study?
No. Often, college is the best place to learn about potential careers, but it is important
that your child be ready to explore. ACE students begin with general education courses
that can be applied toward any baccalaureate degree at FGCU. Some programs will require
a program track that begins the first semester so students are encouraged to discuss
any areas of interest with their academic advisor. Often, students will change their
major when exposed to other possibilities. Academic advisors at the University are
prepared to guide the student through these transitions.
Home-schooled students who reside in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry or Glades county
are welcomed to apply! Tuition and fees are waived, and the University currently provides
required textbooks and course materials. The University will provide a contractual
agreement outlining the program that both University administrators and the parent
of the home-schooled student must sign. A notarized copy of the home-school transcript
must be submitted as part of the application package. The parent of the home-schooled
student will act as the “school counselor”.
My child is currently enrolled in a private school, can they apply to the program?
An articulated agreement with the private school must be in place. The agreement will
specify that the private school must be responsible for the standard rate of tuition
which cannot be passed-on to the parent/student.
Can my child apply to the program if the family is in the process of moving to Florida?
It depends. The ACE application requires a permanent residency address in one of these
counties: Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry or Glades. The family need not be residing
at the residence at the time of application, but must be in residency at the time
of enrollment. Further, a student may not be admitted to the program until authorization
is received from the Florida public school. It is recommended that the student and
family work directly with the ACE director during the transition to Florida.
Will FGCU accept college credit awarded through other programs?
Probably. College credit earned at another accredited post-secondary school will be
reviewed. An official college transcript must be sent to the FGCU Office of Undergraduate
Admissions prior to review. Instructions for review of other advanced credit will
be provided by the academic advisor during intake.
Is my child able to take Florida Virtual School (FLVS) while in the ACE Program?
While it is not recommended while the student is enrolled in FGCU classes, a student
may take a Florida Virtual School course as long as the course is not offered at FGCU
AND approved by the ACE Director and/or academic advisor.
Can my child participate in educational experiences and/or other certification programs
outside of FGCU while in ACE?
Transportation to the FGCU campus is the responsibility of the student and/or parent.
It is extremely important that the student has reliable transportation that will allow
her/him to remain on campus for extra-curricular activities.
How will I know if my child is admitted to the ACE program?
ALL admitted ACE students must attend a one-day ACE Orientation with parent. A responsible
adult (aunt, uncle, grandparent, sibling) in the family (21 or over) may attend on
behalf of a parent. At orientation, your child will be introduced to University web-based
programs, will obtain their parking permit and University ID card, tour the major
resource centers and be introduced to key staff. A student risks disenrollment from
the program if they do not attend orientation.
If my student is not admitted to ACE for their junior year, may they re-apply for
the senior year?
After admission, the FGCU academic advising office will contact your child for “intake”,
which includes class registration. Registration is dependent on the submission of
immunization documentation and the completion of other steps provided by the advising
office. Your student will receive detailed instructions via e-mail from the advising
office shortly after admission to the program.
It depends! One thing is certain; it will not be like their high school schedule.
A student admitted to the program will work with an FGCU academic advisor regarding
their schedule. The advisor will advise regarding appropriate courses based upon remaining
high school graduation requirements and the student’s area of interest or major. Courses
are offered at different times and on different days, so usually the student is able
to build a schedule that works best for them. The high school counselor will receive
a copy of the schedule for approval.
May I attend academic advising sessions with my child?
It is not recommended. College provides an opportunity for your child to assume full
responsibility for their learning. However, if contacted, the academic advisors are
more than happy to answer your questions regarding the course schedule if your child
has indicated on the Third Party Authorization Form that you may receive this information.
While in the ACE program, at least one parent is required to be listed on the form.
Who is responsible for making sure my child meets Florida high school graduation
The high school counselor. ACE students are required to meet with their high school
counselor at least once every term. At that meeting, the counselor will complete an
updated High School Graduation Checklist which the student will provide to the FGCU
When and how will my child’s school receive their grades?
Student transcripts with course history and grades are sent to the dual enrollment
counselor at the high school from the FGCU advising office. Batch transcripts are
sent at the end of each term as soon as grades are officially posted to the FGCU record.
How will I know if my child is achieving successfully in their classes?
It is the responsibility of the student to inform you, the high school counselor,
and ACE staff if they are struggling in class(es). ACE academic advisors do not have
access to “in progress” grades. Advisors and ACE staff have access to the final term
grades only. The student may view and/or print their final grades and transcripts
directly from their Gulfline account. Many, but not all in progress grades may be
tracked through the Canvas system.
May I contact faculty regarding how my child is doing in their class?
No. After the first week of classes, a student may not withdraw from any class. However,
there may be extenuating circumstances (death in immediate family, extended illness,
etc.) in which the withdrawal of a course or courses will be in the best interest
of the student. This is always discussed first with the student’s counselor and a
“drop” will not be processed until the counselor has been notified and both FGCU and
the district administration are in agreement with the action. Any withdrawal must
comply with FGCU withdrawal policies which can be found in the FGCU Catalog.
Can my child repeat a course while in the ACE program?
No. As long as a student is in the ACE program, a course cannot be repeated. If the
student graduates from high school and continues their academic program at FGCU, the
course may be repeated for grade forgiveness. Students are advised to seek guidance
from their academic advisor and the FGCU Catalog regarding the process and criteria
for seeking grade forgiveness.
How will my child be able to meet other ACE students?
ACE students do tend to hang out together on campus. They begin to meet each other
at ACE Orientation. New ACE students are required to take the ACE Honors class their
first semester and may see ACE students in other classes, as most are taking similar
classes. About two weeks into the fall semester, the ACE Program hosts a “Meet and
Greet” in which all ACE students are invited to attend. Often, ACE students will form
study groups together, meet for lunch or arrange to have other ACE- only events, such
as movies, ice cream parties, etc. on campus.
Can my child participate in high school activities?
While the focus of the program is to engage ACE students in collegiate experiences
on campus, a student may participate in after-school activities at their home high
school if it does not interfere with coursework and activities at FGCU. Students are
advised to consult with their high school counselor regarding high school activity
Are there areas of study (major) that my child cannot pursue while in the ACE Program?
Yes. While ACE students may take general education music courses and may audition
for ensembles in the Bower School of Music, music majors have definitive performance
classes for which credit may not be applied to the high school transcript.
Can my child live in campus housing while in the ACE Program?
There are very few restrictions as an ACE student, but some are: no residence on campus,
no participation in Greek life, and no participation in NCAA athletics (intramural
and club sports are permitted). Permission from parents to utilize the services of
the Health Clinic and Counseling and Psychological Services must be given if the student
is under the age of 18. There may be other restrictions while the student is legally
“underage” such as study abroad.
Yes, if the student continues at FGCU to complete the baccalaureate after high school
graduation. Students are advised to inform their academic advisor early of their intention
to meet A.A. requirements. While in ACE, the student is “non-degree” seeking at FGCU.
Award of the A.A. is completed after graduation when the continuing student’s status
is changed to degree-seeking at FGCU. This happens in the fall semester following
high school graduation. Therefore, ACE graduates are eligible to receive the A.A.
if they remain at FGCU for at least the fall semester following high school graduation.
What are my financial obligations for this program?
Tuition and fees are paid for and/or waived for dual enrollment students. Students
enrolled in public schools will receive their required class materials and textbooks
from the school district at no charge. Home-schooled students will receive their required
class materials and textbooks from the University. A one-time $50.00 orientation fee
is required of all admitted students. All other expenses are “incidental” such as
transportation costs, meals on campus, non-required classroom materials, etc.
While it is highly discouraged, it is acknowledged that working part-time may be required.
Additionally, a student may learn valuable skills in their work setting. However,
ACE students are encouraged to think about the ROI (return on investment) of how they
spend their time. Long hours working in a job that will add little value to the student’s
future may not be worth it. Instead, the student may elect to spend that time in valuable
experiences on campus (research, active participation in professionally-aligned clubs
and organizations, leadership, high-impact service, etc.) that will build their collegiate
portfolio. Often these experiences will open doors for competitive scholarships, high-level
internships and other opportunities that will advance the student toward their academic
and career goals.
Not sure where to find important deadlines or directions to campus? Use the following
links to see the Calendar of Important Events or the campus map!