ACE Parents

Welcome Parents!

Thank you for your interest in the Accelerated Collegiate Experience at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Explore our pages to learn more about your important role.

Ace Students

How can I support my child in college?

 If your child expresses interest in the ACE program it is a good time to discuss what college life will be like.  The ACE program is not a “simulated” activity, but a real college experience with the joys, challenges, stressors and effort that comes with scholarly work. 

There is much more to the learning process in college than what is gained through coursework.  Educators call this the “hidden curriculum”.   ACE students learn professional protocol, leadership skills, collaborative skills and more.  While ACE students will surely be accelerating academically, it is important that they also “accelerate” in their maturity and professional development. 

Here are some recommendations for how you can support any soon to be student-scholar in college:

Don’t do things for them.  It is probably the best gift you can give your child.  This includes completing applications, setting appointments, contacting testing agencies, submitting documents, requesting transcripts, registration for events, etc.  If your child is having difficulty with these tasks, help them find the appropriate office or individual to contact for help. 

Become knowledgeable about the college experience.  There are many resources both on and off campus to help you get familiar with what is happening in higher education today.  Attend ACE Orientation!  Remember, that a high school student will have a slightly different experience. 

Give your child the room to choose their own career.  A lot of exploration needs to occur, even if they have “declared a major”.   Students often change their majors numerous times. 

Encourage your child to think beyond what they want to “be” in their career to what their “purpose” is for wanting that career.  Questions such as “Beyond money, why do you want to be a [doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.]?  These kind of questions can help the student think more deeply about their values and can help them confirm or dis-confirm their passions and purpose.      

Let them fail. Support them with unconditional love.  While there may be consequences, few “failures” in college lead to life altering outcomes in the end.   The value of failure is what we learn from it!  Help them seek to understand what needs to change to be successful.

No doubt, you will be concerned about how your child is doing in class.  Rather than focus on specific grades your child is earning, find out what they are learning by asking questions such as “What specific events are you discussing in American History?”  This may lead to a broader discussion about how your child is handling the class content.   

The ACE staff are more than happy to assist with concerns about student achievement.  They can be reached throughout the year for consultation.   


The Accelerated Collegiate Experience allowed me to collaborate with influential peers and professionals to maximize my academic goals at Florida Gulf Coast University. ACE allowed me to participate in cutting-edge research, lead an international medical service group for three consecutive years, and complete multiple internships in my field. ”

Rachel Walter

Biology, B.S. 2017; Graduate Student, Environmental Studies

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

  • How do I know if my child is a good candidate for the ACE Program?

  • Will my child have to declare a “major” area of study?

  • What if my child is currently home-schooled?

  • My child is currently enrolled in a private school, can they apply to the program?

  • Can my child apply to the program if the family is in the process of moving to Florida?

  •   Will FGCU accept college credit awarded through other programs?

  • Is my child able to take Florida Virtual School (FLVS) while in the ACE Program?

  •   Can my child participate in educational experiences and/or other certification programs outside of FGCU while in ACE?

  • Can my child take classes at FGCU during the summer while in ACE?  

  •   Can I pay for dual enrollment classes so that my child can take summer classes while in ACE?

  •   Will University faculty and others outside of the ACE program know that my child is in high school?

  • Will my child receive special treatment because they are still in high school?

  • What if my child is not eligible to drive to campus?  

  •   How will I know if my child is admitted to the ACE program?

  •   Do I have to attend ACE Orientation? What if I have to work?

  •   If my student is not admitted to ACE for their junior year, may they re-apply for the senior year?

  • What is the class registration process if my child is admitted to the ACE Program?

  •   What will my child’s class schedule look like?

  •   May I attend academic advising sessions with my child?

  •   Who is responsible for making sure my child meets Florida high school graduation requirements?

  •   When and how will my child’s school receive their grades?

  •   How will I know if my child is achieving successfully in their classes?

  •   May I contact faculty regarding how my child is doing in their class?

  •   Can my child withdraw from a class in which they are not doing well?

  •   Can my child repeat a course while in the ACE program?

  •   How will my child be able to meet other ACE students?

  •   Can my child participate in high school activities?

  •   Are there areas of study (major) that my child cannot pursue while in the ACE Program?

  •   Can my child live in campus housing while in the ACE Program?

  • What restrictions will my child have as an ACE student on the FGCU campus?

  •   Can my student earn the A.A. degree?

  •   What are my financial obligations for this program?

  • Should my child work while in the ACE program?

Experience FGCU