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ACE Blog

ACE is in the Family Way!

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ACE is in the Family Way!

Now that we have your attention, we’d like to tell you more about Family Saturdays, a new program we’ve launched this fall. Usually our “customers” are adults, but this project welcomes some younger members of the family – however you define “family.” If you’re always saying you want to spend more quality time with some kids – well, here’s a way to do it, one-on-one.

Here’s how it works: Any kid at least 10 years old can team up with an adult – the adult has to be at least 18 – for a few choice hours on a Saturday to laugh, learn, and grow together. We’re offering classes in everything from Sushi to Bead Stringing, and so far it’s a hit!

Some of our most popular instructors are on deck for this program, such as Bonnie Hammer, who usually can be found taking photos or teaching people how to use their smartphones. On Family Saturdays, she will teach Bike Maintenance, which is all about how to take care of your two-wheeled transportation, including on-the-road fixes, so you’ll never be stranded. You’ll also find Gary Patton, whose expertise is all things green and growing, and who will share his knowledge about Container Gardening. Students love his classes, because they always leave with free plants! A few other things family teams can learn about on Saturdays this fall include quick breads, jewelry-making, and collage. Read the full schedule of classes here. We’ll offer a new set of Family Saturday classes after the holidays, for Winter Term.

We’re thrilled that The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is helping to underwrite this new program, allowing us to cut our regular fees in half so more family teams can take part. Make your next Saturday a Family Saturday at ACE!

A Million Reasons to be Grateful

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As the administrator in charge of ACE, I am excited and humbled that we have surpassed the milestone of over one million dollars in class sales for the 2016-17 school year.  When you consider that many of our classes cost less than $50, this is an incredible feat that speaks to the quality of our community members.  It is apparent that our community is filled with those who love to learn, to grow and to expand their minds.  That's what lifelong learning is about - that and the desire to connect with like-minded individuals.

 

Having such a successful adult enrichment program that is housed within a K-12 school district is not common.  It is only possible when you have incredibly qualified teachers who love to share their passion, those who are willing to pay to learn and grow, and a school district that is willing to provide the needed support.  In Sarasota, the School Board recognizes the importance of lifelong learning as an important contributor to a quality community.  To this end, they provide ACE at Suncoast Technical College the space in which to hold classes.  The ACE program pays for all the costs of running the program: staff, instructors, registration system, equipment and supplies.  The money we bring in goes back out into the community in the form of teacher salaries, contracted services and the supplies we purchase from local vendors.  


ACE is known for its welcoming culture. We know we are lucky to have the students and teachers who make up our program.  Now we have a million reasons to be grateful.  Thank you, Sarasota.


Laura Kelley Trubac, MPA

Program Manager, Adult & Community Enrichment

Suncoast Technical College

Sarasota County Schools



Setting More Records for Lifelong Learning

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We ended up with 12,320 registrations for the year, which wrapped up on June 30th.  When you think about it, this is a staggering figure and proves that Sarasota loves lifelong learning!

 In my mind, we are asking folks to spend two valuable commodities to take a class: time and money.  Unlike a credit class, our students' objective is simply to learn something.  But there is much more to it than that - otherwise YouTube and Rosetta Stone would put us out of business!  What then?

My role as the administrator of the ACE program means I read a lot of your class evaluations.  Within the comments you make, we can see that not only are you learning, you are connecting with your teachers and your fellow students.  Thousands of you express gratitude for our existence, saying their class is the highlight of their week,  that they now have new friends, that they feel more interesting and interested, that they are tapping into their creativity.  This all spells self-fulfillment to me. 

I can tell you that the ACE staff truly enjoys working with you and helping you enrich your life.  Lifelong learners as a whole are delightful people.  So thank you for choosing ACE as your lifelong learning provider.  We are truly honored.

 

Laura Kelley Trubac, MPA

Program Manager, ACE

Suncoast Technical College

 

 

Record-Breaking Registration!

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Over 3600.  That's how many registrations ACE has processed already for the Winter Session.  And it isn't over - we have 100's of classes starting throughout January, February, March and April.  How can this be in the age of the Internet?  Because there is a synergy in a classroom full of life long learners that can't be duplicated by watching YouTube. 

ACE has hit the lifelong learning trifecta of great classes, great teachers and a top-notch facility - all at affordable prices.  Another factor in our success is our students.  Without those of you who want to continually learn and grow, we couldn't exist, let alone thrive.  So thank you for letting all of this be possible!

People always ask me what classes filled the fastest.  For the past few years, the answer is always Elaine Charney's wonderful watercolor classes.  In fact, her classes filled during our Patron Pre-Registration Day!  That led us to pull her class listings from our catalog - not wanting to disappoint potential students by listing classes that were unavailable.  The problem with that was many wondered if she still taught for us.  I'm happy to report that our affiliation with Elaine is as strong as ever, and we are thrilled to have her teaching for us! 

Other perennial favorites are Ann Moore's tennis classes and all things Ipad and Iphone.  The surprise hit has been our new Staging Your Home to Love It or List It.  I had the pleasure of sitting in on the class for a few minutes and can tell it will be an ongoing favorite - interactive and fun with several guest speakers.

There are so many great classes yet to start.  Hope you can join in the fun!

 

Laura Kelley Trubac, MPA 

Program Manager, ACE

Suncoast Technical College 

New Name, New Look, Same Great Program!

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The new year is ushering in a lot of change here at ACE.   Sarasota County Technical Institute, the parent organization for ACE, is now Suncoast Technical College!  In addition, ACE is rolling out a new logo with our new catalog - which is due out at the beginning of the new year.  The new logo better represents ACE and the environs of Sarasota County.  Hope you  agree!

We've been hard at work on the Winter Schedule.  It is so much fun to determine what new classes to offer, but with over 150 part-time teachers sharing the same spaces, it can be a challenge too!  Our registrar, Kelly, is  a true gem at putting it all together.

We are just finishing up the fall session, and have hit another record registration with over 3300 registrations.  So many of you have discovered the joys of learning for learning's sake, and doing so with other like-minded people.  There is a lot of connecting going on in the classrooms!

Keep an eye out for the new schedule, and remember that descriptions are found here on the website.  We have far too many classes to put descriptions in the schedule.  And thank you all for your dedication to lifelong learning.  We would not exist if not for you!

 

Laura Trubac, MPA

Program Manager, ACE @ STC

 

Find New Passion with ACE!

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ACE teacher and student are included in a great New York Times article about life after retirement.  The article features the retirement journey of ACE student Guy Johnson, who took Debbie Grovum’s classes Finding Your Encore Career and Create a Beautiful Life.  Mr. Johnson, like so many others, turned to ACE to help with the intangibles of retirement planning:  developing new connections and interests that add value to life.   Enjoy reading this informative article here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/your-money/retirement-coaches-help-plan-beyond-the-workplace.html?_r=2&emc=rss&partner=rss

Remember, ACE can help you find and develop new interests that feed your passion – whether that’s painting, writing, dancing, tennis or technology.  With affordable prices and convenient scheduling, ACE allows you to try out a wide variety of interests.  Perhaps you’ve always wanted to speak Spanish, or delve into baking.  Whatever it is, chances are that ACE has classes that fit your needs.  Hope you join us this fall!

ACE: A Wonderful Resource!

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I recently had the good fortune to take an Alaskan cruise, which afforded me the opportunity to dine and visit with folks from all over the world. During the normal course of conversation, the usual topic of occupation arose.  Again and again, people were astounded to learn of the large adult enrichment program offered by our school district.  Most expressed chagrin at the lack of such a wonderful resource in their own back yard.

With enrollment topping 12,000 this year, it was exciting to describe our classes and our students:  a wide array of classes that attracts those who are lifelong learners.   The Sarasota area attracts highly qualified individuals who want to share their passion as well as those who want to keep expanding their horizons and to stay relevant.   The experience left me with a great appreciation for our teachers, our students, and a school district that is willing to dedicate such superb space for ACE classes at SCTI.

Sit back and take your time as you look through our offerings. Then stop by or pick up the phone to start or continue your own lifelong journey of learning!