Someone recently asked me if I thought ACE would prepare their child for college and I had wondered about that myself before switching our school over to the ACE curriculum. In short, I would say the answer is “Yes!” But allow me to give you four reasons why a child who uses PACES will be ready for college.
The first reason is that college success is more dependent on skill than knowledge gained in high school. An ACE student will have learned how to manage his time, breaking up big goals (like finishing twelve PACES per subject per year) into daily goals like specific page numbers and tasks. College professors assign big projects, like papers or reading assignments, and make them all due at the end of the semester. Students who have not learned to manage their time will procrastinate and not perform as well.
A second advantage ACE students have is that more and more colleges are encouraging students to take independent study and distance-education courses, or at least are offering them. My own daughters found that they could easily handle several online courses at the same time, meeting deadlines, passing tests, and doing outside reading because of their experience with the ACE curriculum. Their college adviser said most freshmen should only try one online course because it is so different from their class room experience.
A third advantage for ACE graduates is that they have been doing a lot of reading in their PACES and increasing their vocabulary with each grade level. Much of college learning comes from textbooks and outside reading and not as much from lectures.
Fourthly, I would say that the academic foundation laid in English, Science, Math, and History will do the graduate well. If they finish the curriculum they will not have academic gaps moving into college. We have had students graduate from our small Christian ACE high school and pursue college in the fields of engineering, medical, accounting, teaching, etc – all with great success.
Will there be adjustments going from PACES to college? Absolutely!
- Students will need to listen to lectures and take notes about key ideas. So I would suggest having your teen take sermon notes at church, enroll in a class of some type and take notes, or buy a “Great Courses” course with lectures and learn to organize her thoughts on paper.
- The PACES are a work-book style, finding short answers to questions, while college courses assess based on tests and essays and projects.
- College will require much more writing, and of a longer nature, than the PACES require. The last two English PACES at both the 11th and 12th grade levels do walk students through the term paper writing process. Be actively involved in that process and even involve the help of an objective third-party grader to give feedback.
- Colleges put a big emphasis on students working together on projects which develops team-work, assigning of tasks, and cooperating. The PACES of course focus on individual achievement. I would recommend finding ways to have your teens collaborate with other teens to do a presentation at church or youth group, or in the Christian school.