NDCOC & The ACE Program

Feb 29, 2020


One of the NDCOC’s major community service programs is its support for the University’s nationwide Alliance for Catholic Education (“ACE”) program here in Orange County. 

The aim of ACE is to sustain, strengthen and transform Catholic K-12 schools and to ensure that all children, regardless of background, have the opportunity to experience the gift of an excellent Catholic education. Catholic schools have a proven record of producing young men and women who are more likely to graduate from high school, engage in the political process, and give back to society through charitable activities. The University of Notre Dame, through its ACE Program, is committed to doing everything it can to achieve this goal. 

How does ACE do this? Through innovative practices in four realms integral to school transformation: forming talent; expanding access; enhancing school vitality; and conducting research on school improvement. ACE fulfills its core teaching mission through its Teaching Fellowship program, which seeks to develop a corps of highly motivated and committed educators to meet the needs of our country's most underserved elementary and secondary schools. 

Since its inception in 1994, ACE has commissioned nearly 2,000 teachers to serve Catholic schools --- annually serving more than 13,000 students in over 120 Catholic schools in 35 communities. ACE recruits talented graduates from colleges and universities across the country and provides an intensive two-year fellowship in which participants teach in an under-resourced Catholic school while also earning a cost-free Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame. ACE Teaching Fellows represent a broad variety of undergraduate disciplines, with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. By forming a new generation of committed, faith-filled Catholic school teachers, ACE aspires to sustain and strengthen Catholic education

The NDCOC, through the ND2OC Foundation, has provided financial support and other resources for ACE Teaching Fellows here in Orange County since 2013. Currently there are five Teaching Fellows in Orange County who serve at St. Justin Martyr School (Anaheim), School of Our Lady, St. Anne School, St. Joseph School, and St. Polycarp School (all in Santa Ana). In keeping with the pillars of the ACE program, these five Teaching Fellows live together in a restored turn-of-the-century home located adjacent to St. Joseph School.  As part of the NDCOC’s support, alumni and other volunteers recently provided hours of time, labor and money for a much-needed renovation of the home’s interior. The NDCOC also tries to involve the ACE teachers in Club activities, and camaraderie with local ND alumni and friends.

More  information can be found at:  https://ace.nd.edu/teach/santa-ana


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