Advanced Course-related Experience (ACE)
What is ACE?
ACE creates a mechanism for providing academic credit for learning outside the classroom which is done in conjunction with a classroom course. The credits are pass/fail. ACE provides students an opportunity to get real world experience related to a course they have completed or in which they are currently enrolled. These credits allow students to create their own learning opportunities as an extension of a law school course. The student’s proposal must be approved by the faculty member who taught the course related to the proposed experience. That faculty member assumes responsibility for monitoring the students’ activities and determining if credit should be awarded at the conclusion of the experience.
In addition to providing learning opportunities for individual students, ACE may be used by a faculty member to enhance classroom learning by designing a lab component to a course for which students may earn additional credit for participation in representation or a project designed by a faculty member. Some projects may present opportunities for collaboration between faculty teaching clinical and classroom courses. ACE also may be used to provide opportunities for students to assist faculty with pro bono representation of community groups or clients.
The flexibility of ACE allows students and faculty to design specific experiences which are time sensitive and which do not need to become permanent additions to the curriculum. The following requirements are designed to assure the quality of the experience and provide standards for awarding credit.
What are the Requirements for Earning ACE Credits?
- A plan for an experiential based activity related to a classroom course. ACE must be done in connection with a classroom course. It is not appropriate to do ACE in connection with an externship/internship course.
- Approval of the faculty member who teaches the course related to the experience. If the professor who taught the course to the student proposing the experience is not available to supervise the proposal another faculty member teaching that course may approve and supervise the project. The faculty member approving the project is responsible for monitoring the student’s learning, completion of the project and awarding of credit.
- Students are expected to spend 60 hours working on the project for each credit hour earned. A student may not earn more than two ACE credits in connection with any one course. ACE credits are subject to the restriction on the number of non classroom credits which may be counted to satisfy the credit requirement for graduation.
- Neither the student or supervising faculty may receive financial compensation for work done on an ACE project. ACE projects may not be done at a student’s place of employment.
- If the project involves placement of the student with an agency or office outside the
law school, the student, faculty member and agency must enter into a signed agreement concerning the project. The agreement must describe the type of work to be done by the student, the amount of supervision the student will receive, the assumption of the placement’s liability for the work done by the student and an agreement that neither the student, faculty member nor supervisor will receive financial compensation in connection with the work done by the student;
- ACE may not be used to create an extern/internship program. Regularly offered programs for more than one student at placements outside the law school must be separately approved as extern/internship course offerings by the faculty.
- ACE may not be used to award law school credit for courses taken at other professional schools.
What are the Procedures for Applying for ACE?
- Propose your idea for ACE to a faculty member teaching the course under which you would like to do an ACE.
- Prepare a description of your proposal and its relation to the course and how you plan
to execute our proposal. If an outside supervisor is involved, create an agreement with that supervisor to be signed by the outside supervisor, faculty member and student.
- Complete an ACE application form (copy attached) and submit the application signed by yourself and the faculty member approving and monitoring the proposal along with your learning plan to the Director of Clinical Programs and Externships or designee. The plan should include the following:
- Willingness of the faculty member teaching the course to approve an experiential component.
- A plan for experiential learning which provides the student with a reality-based learning experience.
- A plan for monitoring the experience, including a time-table and goals.
- Adequate supervision for the student work.
- A method for final evaluation by the student and faculty member.
- The Director of Clinical Programs and Externships or designee will review the proposal to determine if it satisfies the requirements for an ACE credit. If the Director is satisfied that the requirements are met, the plan will be approved and notification of approval will be sent to the sponsoring faculty member, student and Registrar so that the student may register for the course.
What are the Requirements for Receiving ACE Credit?
- Completion of 60 hours for each credit hour earned which have been approved by the faculty member approving the project.
- Written approval of the faculty member approving the project that you have successfully completed the project.
- Submission of a signed statement that the plan has been completed to the satisfaction of the sponsoring faculty member and a summary of the project and evaluation of its successes/failures to the Director of Clinical programs. After reviewing the documentation, the Director of Clinical Programs and Externships or designee will review the documentation and record the student’s grade.
What Types of Experiences Might be Appropriate for ACE?
- Placement of an individual student with an office or program which addresses a specific issue related to the course. The student should prepare a learning plan and agreement for the office as described above.
- Work on a particular case, proposed legislation, or regulation related to the class.
- Pro bono representation of a client under the supervision of the faculty teaching the course and/or a member of the Clinic faculty.
- A factual research project to gather data concerning a legal issue related to the
For further information about ACE, contact professor Carrie Hagan.