Program Descriptions

One of the biggest goals of ACE is to get students thinking about their future expectations.

ACE programs are designed to open students' minds to the idea of college in their future and to help them begin to dream about what kind of career they would like to have.
Events are provided throughout the school calendar year including the following summer and are hosted by the various schools and Colleges in the ACE consortium.  

Just because a student isn't planning to attend one of our four consortium colleges is no reason not to go to a particular event there.
Each of the four colleges host ACE events.  These are ACE events and are in no way intended as a "recruitment tool" for that campus.
Whether it be at a high school or a college, the workshop is what is important, not where it's hosted.

The programs are each designed for specific ages/grades to attend throughout high school.
Some programs are designed for 'students only' while the majority are specifically designed for both students and their parents to attend.

The more events you attend, the more you benefit from being in the ACE program.

How much you benefit is completely up to you!

ACE Events


For New ACE members. Once you have formally joined ACE (by attending an Information Night at your school and/or returning your commitment form) your school will send us their list of new ACE students. Our office will then send you a flier/invitation about the ACE Welcome.

You will need to CONTACT the ACE Office, not your school, to register for the "Welcome" program. This is the FIRST ACE Event and is for both students and parents.
(It is not the same as the 'Info. Night' which you may or may not have attended.)

After an inspirational keynote address, students and parents are separated.
Parents attend an informative workshop and will interact with other parents. They are also given information on upcoming ACE events and can take the opportunity to ask any other questions or concerns about the ACE program.
Students are divided into two groups and attend two workshops. They will have a fun, hands on, team-building activity; and also chat with a panel of  ACE 12th graders and College students. They have the opportunity to hear first-hand from ACE students and College students, and ask any questions about the ACE program and/or the college experience. This informal interaction is a great ice breaker for them, helping students become more comfortable with being in the ACE program and more positive about their educational futures.

Campus "Visits"
- one per grade
- grade specific

School Field Trips hosted by the local campuses: Not just a campus tour, 'Campus Visits' include an Educational Program designed to involve students in a variety of aspects regarding higher education at each grade level.

Over time, students also benefit by visiting and experiencing first hand different types of campuses: private, state, community and Ivy League.

Campus Visits are in no way intended as a "recruitment tool" for that campus.
Each of the four colleges hosts a visit for one grade only.
Each program is different. For example:

  • 9th graders visit Ithaca College for a program on Career Education.
  • 10th graders visit SUNY Cortland for a program on How and why/why not to select a major and a selected class.
  • 11th graders visit Tompkins Cortland to experience our Dollars and Sense program.
  • 12th graders visit Cornell and experience workshops dealing with aspects of College Life.


  • Going to each "Campus Visit" during their high school years allows students to get a feel for different types/sizes of college campuses and helps them decide what type they're comfortable with. They also help make the thought of going off to college not so intimidating.
  • Just because a student isn't planning on attending one of  the four college is no reason not to go on a  particular Campus Visit field trip. The workshop is what's important, not where it's hosted.
  • In addition to the program, most Campus Visit field trips also include a campus tour because kids really enjoy seeing the various campuses and dorms.
  • They are not simply "campus tours". (Some think if they aren't going to those college or are familiar with that campus, they needn't go. Thus they miss out on the experience of some great programs.)
Campus "Events"
- one per grade
- grade specific

Conference Events for students in grades 9th-11th AND their parents. Hosted each year by one of the four colleges in the ACE consortium. Each program has different grade-specific activities to involve both students and their parents in the college process.

9thgraders and their parents should attend "Spirit Day" at SUNY Cortland; Career and Goal Setting workshops. A fun program, it includes physical activities as an icebreaker in getting students and their parents on the same "team".

10th graders and their parents should attend "Dream and Achieve" at Cornell; Hands on activities designed to open the lines of communication between parents and their students.

11th graders and their parents should attend "Making Choices" at Ithaca College; Answers questions/concerns about college selection, financial aid, the application process, etc.

Regional Institutes

A 2-hour program with your choice of workshops for students AND their parents.
All ACE 9th-12th graders and their parents are encouraged to attend as many Regional Institutes as they can fit into their schedule.  
Offered at different high school locations twice each fall and twice each spring, they consist of a keynote speaker, followed by your pre-selected choice of any one workshop.
These workshops are not only informative but very interesting and enjoyable. The selections vary at each Regional Institute.

  • Some workshops appear regularly at multiple Reg. Insts. so you won’t miss out, and/or so you may repeat them at a later time.
  • For each Reg. Inst. students and parent(s) register for one workshop each from a selection of five to six.
  • Because of time restraints, you can only do one workshop per Regional Institute. However, you are free to attend as many different Reg. Insts. as you like.

Examples of past workshops are:

  • Life on the College Campus
  • Financial Aid
  • How do I Learn Best...
  • College Admission Essays
  • Study Abroad
  • Partying and College
  • I Am How I Am
  • College Admission Tips
  • Attitude
Dollars and Sense: For 10th, 11th and 12th graders

School field trip: A unique program which utilizes area business leaders and Ithaca College students. This program is tailored for individual students and designed to give information on salaries and the expenses of "living in the real world" with a "chosen" career.
(This event does not occur every year.)
Space is extremely limited. Students MUST see their liaisons to register.
Cornell Field Trip: For 10th graders

An interactive field trip with entertaining and educational experiences.

Note: Field trip subject varies each year- usually the program will be:

  • Hospitality Industry/Hospitality Education: This is a unique and interactive visit to the Statler Hotel School on the Cornell campus. Students will learn about the hospitality industry and the many related careers.

Space is very limited: See Your Liaison for this field trip

  • Gallery Talk and Tour: An exhibit of art works by SUNY Cortland Students will be on display. Drawing, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics and other media will be featured. The Dowd Fine Arts Gallery Director and art students will be on hand to conduct a guided tour and answer art-related questions.
  • College Night: Learn a little about a lot of colleges at Tompkins Cortland's College Fair. Admission counselors from over 100 colleges will be set up and available to distribute info. and answer questions.
  • Pizza and Bowling: 9thgraders and their parents (only) are invited for a special evening of fun at Cornell.
  • College Theater: Every Fall and Spring, compliments of ACE, students/parents are able to attend selected theater productions at SUNY Cortland and/or Ithaca College. (Check to see if there is room, Siblings may also attend if there is space.)
  • College Visits: Sophomores and Juniors who go on college visits with their parents may take along the "College Visit form" to have the Admissions rep. sign for an ACE credit.

Offered on all four campuses for ACE students only.
These programs are for ALL current ACE Students in 8th-12th grades. They vary in length from  half-day programs to multiple full-day workshops.

Most workshops are designed for specific grade levels. A separate mailing is sent out in early summer.

Past Summer Programs have included:

  • Writing Process–2 day program
  • College is in Your Future–1/2 day program
  • What's the Science Behind our Food Science–1/2 day program
  • Study Skills–2 day program
  • Career Explorations–1/2 day program
  • World Wide Webucation–3 day program
  • SAT, PSAT, etc. -1/2 day programs: Test Prep and/or Practice Tests
Read more about Summer Programs
Path of Success (Note: Does not occur every year.)
The Path of Success is a free Academic & Leadership seminar.
This is not an ACE event, but a free public event for high school students. However, because it is such an enriching and beneficial program ACE will give full credit to those who attend. 
It is an all day seminar designed to empower its participants with the principles of truth, character and success. It "equips students with the skills necessary to set high goals and achieve success in their relationships, academics and future careers."
The workshops are engaging, informative and provide for group interaction as well as personal reflection.
Do NOT register with ACE. You must register directly with "The Path of Success" organizers. When registering, let them know you are with ACE.
See your liaison for more information.


Fall Programs:

Nov. 30
Regional Institute
Homer H.S.
6:30-8 p.m.
Agenda/Workshop list
Register here

Dec. 1
9th Grade ACE Campus Visit
Ithaca College
See your ACE Liaison

Dec. 1
College Theatre
SUNY Cortland 8:00 p.m.
"Little Women"

Check the Newsletter and Calendar for more ACE info.

ACE Office
Cornish Hall, Room 1312B
SUNY Cortland
Cortland, NY  13045
Phone: 607-753-5662
Fax: 607-753-5561
Email Us:
Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. M-F

Jane Manning, ACE Coordinator
Lisa Petracca, ACE Clerk