Alumnus Dave Stuart, Jr. explains why he chose American College of Education

If you’ve been reading my work for long, you know that I’m dedicated to the pursuit of both excellence and sanity, and that I refuse to accept that to have one, we must forsake the other. In other words, I’m all in on both teaching and a well-rounded life, and so I brought those values to bear when deciding on where I wanted to pursue my master’s degree.

I was pretty new in my career, and the prices I was seeing for local colleges and universities were daunting: $14,000 at the low end. Even more importantly, I was concerned about how much time a master’s was going to cost me. I’ve got a young family at home (see our picture below), and it’s very important to me that I be home for as many bedtimes as possible. With virtually every master’s program I was finding, I would be gone multiple nights per month for up to two years. This wasn’t an exciting prospect.

And then I heard about ACE; I certainly thought it was too good to be true. At that time, a master’s degree with ACE cost just shy of $8,000–a price they still hold to today. I was shocked–this was nearly half of the sticker price on other programs I was looking at. Financially, it was a no-brainer.

Perhaps better yet, ACE was 100% online. I wouldn’t need to give up 1 or 2 nights each week for two years, leaving my family behind for the sake of my degree. And the program was only 18 months.

I scoured ACE’s website, reviewing their Accreditation and Student Right to Know pages. I made the daunting phone calls to my state’s department of education, confirming with numerous people that Michigan would recognize ACE when it came time to re-certify. Everything confirmed that ACE was a really great deal that totally fit my needs, and that it was, in fact, legitimate. I enrolled.

What was it like as a student?

ACE was perfect for me. It was work–a master’s degree should be–and it took time and energy, but, with each passing course I got better and better. it was quick, focused, and intensive. You have to determine the degree completion flow that works best for you. 

There are legitimately passionate people behind ACE. They want to make an impact on students. I think that's the number one thing that can get lost in the online degree is the realization that there are real people behind this.

What did ACE help me do?

In May 2012, while working on my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at ACE, I started a blog called Teaching the Core (now Dave Stuart Jr). I hoped to use the blog to educate myself on the Common Core literacy standards, to serve as my ACE capstone project, and perhaps to encourage a few fellow educators. The blog exceeded those goals, and has gained over 35,000 monthly readers who engage in discussions ranging from Common Core literacy to the common sense approaches to better, more sane teaching.

*Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss transfer of credits eligibility to reduce total tuition cost. Tuition does not include fees.

"By earning an ACE master's degree, I feel more prepared to teach. My degree has prepared me to teach other educators about technology and how to integrate it into their own classrooms."

- Sara Lowe

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