Can A.C.E. help students to get where they want to go? There is a myth that you need a school certificate to succeed in life, and that A.C.E. is American, out of date and out of touch. This is not the experience of students who use it today.
Here are some authentic comments from parents and students, about A.C.E. and how it can prepare children for life, educationally, personally and spiritually...
From a Year 12 Graduation Speech...
I have been home schooled from the very beginning using A.C.E, for which I am very thankful. This taught me to be self-motivated, set and accomplish goals, understand written instructions, and many other things.
My favourite subject would have to be English, not only because it was an interesting subject, but also because of the biographical sentences about the lives of famous Christians that were interwoven into the PACE text. The WISDOM pages were a blessing also. They showed me how a Christian should talk and discuss Biblical topics, and I also gleaned many things from the topics discussed.
Probably the best thing about a Christian education is that you can never get away from hearing about God. You are learning Scripture, reading Scripture, learning character from comics, and even in Maths you are reading quotes or verses. My mind was constantly turned back to God and I was challenged to live my life for Him.
NO SAT OR STAT - My Journey to University
Graduated in 2015 as a homeschooling student with SouthEast Home Education
I decided to not take the SAT test any other form of tertiary entrance test as l wanted to prove that it could be done. My justification was that I had worked just as hard as anyone at school. I had stressed just as much as anyone studying at school, and therefore my form of education should count just as much as anyone studying at school. l thought it was unreasonable that all of my studies I had undertaken would be deemed irrelevant when it came to gaining a higher education. So I applied for universities with nothing more than my A.C.E. certificate.
l have been accepted into Bachelor of Liberal Arts with Campion College on a scholarship. l also have been accepted into Bachelor Health UTAS, and Diploma of Health Science, University Western Sydney, which guarantees me entry into second year Bach Para-medicine. I was offered Foundation years also.
I have accepted the Campion College offer and deferred the offer from UTAS, to keep my options open. My aim is to study Para-medicine or Medicine eventually. I accepted the Liberal Arts as I love those subjects, but also because I think it will round off my education thus far. I want to be able to think critically and have a well rounded outlook before I proceed to further studies. l have the option of completing three years to obtain a Diploma at the end of the first year.
My advice to all future graduates of SEHE is work hard. Achieve good results that educational institutions can find minimal fault with. Gain a 95% or above average. Apply to more than one university. You can apply directly to Notre Dame, Campion College, and University of Tasmania.
You can still apply through UAC, SATAC, QTAC, VTAC, etc, but they are not the only way to access university study. If you apply directly to the university, you may be required to write an essay or have an interview with them, but this gives you more options.
Furthermore, be prepared to put in some extra work or take on some extra subjects. One university accepted me for a bachelor degree with no conditions. That was University of Tasmania. The other offers received were just as gracious, but their offers were not really the courses l was seeking.
I really hope that this article will encourage future and current students to do their best and to have confidence that the A.C.E. certificate can open doors for them.
A.C.E's biggest fan!
Paul, the [Board of Studies] assessor, was very positive towards A.C.E., and expressed the BoS desire to work with A.C.E. to develop a curriculum that satisfies the A.C.E. philosophy and meets the BoS guidelines. He said that he has been impressed by those he has spoken with from A.C.E. and is confident that the A.C.E. curriculum will be seen as a highly credible learning tool, as it is already gaining much popularity in Australia.
He mentioned the 'American' content and I showed him the social studies PACEs on Australia. This was a point of criticism at my last appointment: the lack of Australian studies in A.C.E. I mentioned this, and pointed out that I chose to use A.C.E. because it has 'Australianised' its maths content...and I have found that has been consistent across all subject areas. He was highly impressed by the Australian PACEs [that I showed him]. So, hopefully he has left with an even greater respect and appreciation for A.C.E. And, he gave me two years registration!!!
A big thank you for all the wonderful aspects of A.C.E...I'm sure that I am your biggest fan!!!
Distinctions and High Distinctions in Essay Writing
Alex is studying a Liberal Arts degree at Campion College Sydney. He completed the Year 12 English PACEs up to 1144. At College, he has been writing essays, discourses and arguments (using the Platonic and Aristotelian method) and achieving Distinctions and High Distinctions on average. He is sure that the emphasis on grammar, logical construction of paragraphs and outlining methods have really helped him achieve these grades. He is competing against high achievers who have written essays for years so, initially, he was concerned about how he would compare. In fact, many of the Lecturers (all of whom have Masters and/or PhD degrees) have commented on his mastery of Grammar and History- both of which he studied through the A.C.E. curriculum.
From Year 10 to University
... just to give you an update on where Antoinette is...
You may recall, when Antoinette attended the ceremony in Cooma (for her Year 10), she had just started studying subjects through Open universities Australia (at age 15). She started with an individual science unit, and this last year completed ¾ of her first year of the Bachelor of Applied Science degree. The degree program is through RMIT, however, a number of the subjects have also been through Murdoch University. She studied a mixture of chemistry, maths, biological sciences and scientific skills and communication. I think that part of the reason she excelled in the study was due to the wonderful foundation she had with A.C.E.
As her pet love is horses she knew that she wanted to study something related to Equine science. So, she applied herself and applied through UAC to study the Bachelor of Equine Science at Charles Sturt University. She was accepted into the course, and having just turned 17, she is off to Wagga Wagga for the next three years.
I truly believe that A.C.E. gives students such a wonderful foundation, not only in the content, but also the learning tools for students to apply to whatever area they wish to specialise in.
Many thanks for all of your help when we were with South East Home Education.
ACE English excellent preparation for essay writing
I finished A.C.E. only to year 11, but English to year 12 (1121). I believe A.C.E. English gave me a great foundation for a smooth transition into tertiary study. I was accepted into Laidlaw College as a 20-yr old, and took three papers part-time over two years while working to pay for my study. This was with the intent to eventually apply for the full-time Counseling degree programme. The first paper I took was recommended to me by the head of the Counseling school as a good way to assess whether Counseling was the right thing for me. What I didn't realize was the paper was a 2nd/3rd yr level paper. It being my first step into tertiary study, I found it very daunting at first; there was a very high standard of essay writing required to pass the paper. However, my A.C.E. training saw me through and I coped fine and actually passed with a high average. The same was true of the next two papers I took. All three papers were without exams and graded entirely on the ability to write a good essay. The grading criteria includes, "ability to construct a logical, well-argued point backed by proper research, depth of treatment, research skills, flow and clarity of essay, grammar and style." Most of these things are grounded on being able to write proper sentences and paragraphs, and that is where I believe the strength of the A.C.E. English lies. The focus on correct sentence and paragraph structure gave me the best preparation for writing academic papers. A.C.E. also covered learning how to write a Bibliography, which is an important skill for tertiary study.
Laidlaw College has a week-long summer school programme for new students and students straight from high-school. I had been planning to attend this, but my older sister had attended one previously and said I wouldn't need it as all they covered was the most basic English grammar that was already covered in the A.C.E. PACEs.
I have now been accepted into the full-time Counseling degree starting in March this year. Although I didn't enjoy all aspects of A.C.E., I am certainly grateful for the English skills which will stand me in good stead throughout my life.
Tessa McGeorge, New Zealand