Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE)
Pope Benedict XVI has urged Catholics in the United States to be good stewards of their elementary and secondary schools. “Do not abandon the school apostolate,” he said in Washington, D.C., during his 2008 apostolic visit. “Indeed, renew your commitment to schools, especially in poorer areas.”
The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) seeks to respond to this appeal in ever bolder and more imaginative ways. ACE, embodying the University of Notre Dame’s commitment to K-12 education, strives to sustain, strengthen, and transform Catholic schools through a variety of initiatives. This mission also reflects the education apostolate of the Congregation of Holy Cross, whose founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., directed his priests, sisters, and brothers to educate both the mind and the heart and to “make God known, loved, and served.”
Invited to deploy resources in dioceses and schools across the country, ACE prepares a new generation of teachers and school leaders; provides a range of professional skills and services; and stimulates partnerships, hope, and advocacy. The entire ACE community strives to ensure that none of today’s social and economic hurdles will keep any child from experiencing the gift of an excellent Catholic education.
Founded in 1993 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., ACE is best known for its innovative program of formation that has sent forth cadres of young teachers eager to serve in under-resourced Catholic schools. The pillars of that approach to formation—community and spirituality along with professional service—now inform not only the Service through Teaching program, but numerous kindred activities that have arisen to respond to emerging needs. ACE has become the nation’s premier provider of talent and resources to Catholic K-12 schools.
The programs and initiatives can be placed in four categories:
- Formation of faith-filled teachers and leaders through distinctive, degree-granting curricula and licensure programs that meet the needs of educators and children;
ACE Teaching Fellows; Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program;
English as a New Langauge; Teaching Exceptional Children
- Professional services that provide affordable management skills and solutions to Catholic school leaders confronting particular challenges;
ACE Collaborative for Academic Excellence;
Play Like a Champion Today; ACE RISE
- Partnerships that utilize long-term, in-depth structures of cooperation engaging diocesan and school leaders along with resources of ACE and Notre Dame;
Catholic School Advantage Campaign; Notre Dame ACE Academies
- Outreach and engagement opportunities to mobilize diverse constituent groups of Catholic school supporters, together constituting a movement in service to Catholic education.
ACE Advocates; Program for Educational Access;
International Initiatives (Chile, Haiti, Ireland)
ACE is at the forefront of today’s urgent issues: increasing access to a quality education for Latino and other children; generating alternative models to enhance school quality and sustainability; and recognizing the role of parental choice and other reforms as steps toward a better educated and stronger society.
- Carole Sandner Hall, at the heart of the Notre Dame campus, is the new home for ACE's growing team of staff and faculty.
- Numerous ACE activities, including courses for the four formation programs as well as conferences and workshops, take place on the Notre Dame campus during the summer.
- ACE formation program courses take place online throughout the year, and ACE teachers, faculty, and staff travel across the country year-round in service to Catholic schools.