Welcome to ACE

Academic Civic Engagement

Academic Civic Engagement

Global perspectives start local

We ask: What can Oles do to make a positive impact in our community?
Then we see it through, using what we’re learning in the classroom to devise and implement real-world solutions.


Students take an ACE course each year


Of students take an ACE course by the time they graduate


Community partners engage in ACE courses each year


Start your journey. Learn about courses with an academic civic engagement component.

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Get your course ready to the next level. Everything about ACE in the classroom.



We are glad to be your partners! Find resources and information here.


Guiding Principles of ACE and Study Abroad/Away (5 C's)

Deliberative dialogue work

What are the benefits of being engaged with the community through a class?

National research and studies of St. Olaf students show that benefits include greater self-awareness, increased self-efficacy, and increased ability to apply academic knowledge to achieve community goals.  Other benefits include becoming better able to communicate with a wider variety of people who are different from yourself, such as in age, culture, or socioeconomic status.

Each course with an integrated component of academic civic engagement is expected to address specific learning outcomes.

How does the community benefit?

The community benefits in myriad ways that depend on the project’s goals.  Project goals are determined by a combination of community needs and learning outcomes of the course.  Students have created valuable products such as marketing plans, grant proposals, statistical analyses, public art, and educational materials, to name a few.  Other examples of benefits to the community include service-related help such as tutoring, wellness improvement, and enrichment experiences.

Watch this video of students in Mary Carlsen’s directed undergraduate research ACE course, “Living and Dying: Explorations with Young Adults” from Spring 2019 about the work they did with Honoring Choices MN and the impact the course had on them.