The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

New progam works to help unprepared students

History, English, Math, Computer Science, physical education, and health science are six departments that will work together for a new program aimed at helping some students make an easier transition into college starting at DVC in the fall of 2011.

The Academy for College Excellence (ACE) pilot program is designed for entering DVC students who assess one to two levels below transfer in both English and math.

“The ACE program will have a two-week period to build community, unlike current classes where you might have five to 10 minutes in the first class,” said Heidi Goen-Salter, an English professor who will be teaching ACE classes.

By linking these six  courses in an intricate learning community, they hope to help entering DVC students complete remediation courses in an accelerated, well-supported way.

“In the ACE program, the teachers will work together on curriculum; all of the classes in the Ace program will be integrated,” Irene Menegas, an English professor who will be teaching ACE classes, said.

The first class will have 30 students, and it will grow in the semesters following based on interest. Other schools have started this program and it has consistently helped more students stay in school and pass their classes.

The mission of ACE, according to their website, is to “target the needs of underprepared students, while equipping them to succeed in the technology-driven, 21st-century economy.”

This program has had great success elsewhere including Cabrillo College where Andres Medina-Huezo was an ACE student and said on the website “I saw I was worthwhile and I could do something for myself and family… I didn’t know that I had that. [ACE] gave me the opportunity for me to grow personally and learn what I’m good at… I’m learning how to be a strong leader.”

DVC had a program called CARRERA which was similar to the ACE program. The program was on funded by a grant and had to be cut when the money ran out.

Menegas worked on the CARRERA program and says that from what she can tell, “ACE seems to be a better-formulated program.”

 Despina Prapavessi, the mathematics department chair, is heading the math portion of the program and says she is “really excited, and there is a lot of faculty interest.”

Prapavessi also said, “Our goal is to improve the success in entry level students and change the way we teach.”

There have been studies that show that students retain more when subjects are put into context. ACE takes this to heart, and in the first semester will be relating all classes to social justice. “

Most students who start at community college and must take remedial classes don’t finish, or obtain their goals, Prapavessi said.

“We are trying to improve their success rate by making them feel more comfortable,” she said.

“ACE will change the atmosphere in the classroom for the positive,” says Goen-Salter.


Staff writer Stephen Langsam contributed to this article.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Scott Annis
Scott Annis, Staff member
Staff member.

Comments (0)

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.
All The Inquirer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Activate Search
New progam works to help unprepared students