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Students anticipate ACE program placements

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Students arrived back on campus this week to receive the final decisions on their pending acceptances into the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.This year, 360 students applied to the ACE program. Currently, 85 provisional acceptances have been distributed. Seniors with a variety of majors and backgrounds were encouraged to apply to the ACE program. “They don’t look for a cookie-cutter person,” said April Garcia, an ACE applicant. John Staud, ACE director, said it is hard to predict which majors and backgrounds will be needed from year to year. The ACE program is unique because it is responsive to the needs of the Catholic schools for which it provides teachers, Staud said. Candidates are only admitted into the program if they match the request of a specific school. “We encourage everyone to apply who has an interest in service through teaching,” Staud said.Students apply from all the colleges at Notre Dame, Staud said. The College of Arts and Letters, however, has the highest number of applicants. Math, science and foreign languages are usually areas that are in high demand. Staud, however, stressed the importance of encouraging students with diverse backgrounds to apply.The ACE program considers each applicant’s major, background and work with ethnic and service groups. All Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are guaranteed interviews. “We try to look as broadly as possible,” Staud said. The 85 students accepted have provisional acceptances, which means the schools to which they have been assigned have the right of refusal. Staud said that a rejection is uncommon, however. Tonight at 7 p.m. students will find out the details of their assigned positions. They will acquire information including location, school name, grade and assigned subject. After learning this information, students have the opportunity to accept or reject their placement.Garcia, a management major, was notified Monday of her acceptance into the program.”I am just really happy to have gotten in,” she said. Garcia enhanced her business major with education classes at Saint Mary’s. She would like to obtain a Masters in Education. After taking the GRE, Garcia decided the provisions of the ACE program fit her best. “Traditional graduate school was not the best choice for me,” she said.As a long-term goal, Garcia plans to become a principal or superintendent.”I went to a public school my entire life,” said Garcia. “I never would have expected to teach in a Catholic school.”Maya Noronha, a psychology major with experience in social work and diverse communities, was also provisionally accepted into the program. “I have wanted to go into education for a long time, and this seemed like a great way to do it and still attend Notre Dame,” she said.Noronha will find out today where she will be placed. “I would prefer to be within driving distance of my family so visiting them wouldn’t get too expensive,” she said.