Graduation & Commencement


Announcing the 2017 Commencement Theme: A Letter from President and Interim Provost Dr. Shawntel Landry

Dear Students,

Each year at Commencement, I have the privilege of meeting our graduates in person, and I am reminded again of American College of Education’s critical role in higher education. Graduation is a time for celebrating and connecting. Students meet their online colleagues, celebrate with friends and family, and tell our faculty and staff, 'I made it because of you.'

Connection is essential to our relationships, and it is what makes your education so valuable. As educators, we connect with our students, parents, colleagues, and our community. We connect students to what they need to learn. We make connections through technology, which continues to change the landscape of education. As life-long learners, we connect what we have learned in the past to what we will learn in the future.

It is my pleasure to announce the theme of our 2017 Commencement: “Making the Connection.” I encourage all eligible graduates to attend ceremonies with us in Indianapolis. However, in the spirit of connection, we will also offer a virtual commencement so our remote graduates can join us.

Visit our website for full details, and use hashtags #MakingtheConnection2017 and #ACEGrad2017 on Facebook and Twitter to share your experiences as we approach the ceremony. I look forward to connecting with you all!

Best Wishes,
Dr. Shawntel Landry

Please contact Student Support at or 1-800-280-0307 with any questions you may have regarding graduation.

Determine graduation eligibility

All students should be aware of the criteria to graduate and evaluate their own progress for program completion. To attain graduate status, all students must have a degree audit performed after the 12th course by the Registrar's Office and:

  • be in good academic standing
  • have completed all coursework within the specified degree program with a grade point average of 3.0 or above
  • have completed all required internship hours confirmed by the Internship Review Committee
  • have completed the Capstone Experience confirmed by the chair of the Capstone Committee with the certificate of completion of program requirements
  • have completed the specified degree program within the maximum time frame allowed by the College
  • have no outstanding payments due
  • be in 'graduate status,' or anticipate a graduation date of no later than September 24, 2017 in order to participate in the 2017 Commencement and order regalia

Ed.D. students must successfully defend their dissertation at least 30 days prior to commencement. If the dissertation is not successfully defended for any reason, the candidate will no longer be able to participate in commencement.

If a graduation date is extended due to a change in enrollment or class progression to a date later than September 24, 2017, the student will no longer be eligible to participate in this year’s commencement.

Use the Degree Map

The Degree Map feature located under the My Academics menu in MyACE Student Portal will help you evaluate how many more courses you must complete before you have met the requirements for your degree.

Confirm diploma information

To view and update your record for accuracy, log into the MyACE Student Portal. Under Personal Information, you can update your address, phone number and email.

First and middle names may be complete or initialed, but must match your name in the student portal. Omission of first name is acceptable. Last names should match your last name exactly in the MyACE Student Portal.

Suffixes, such as Sr., Jr., III, etc., may be used if included in the student portal and documented in the student record on the student's original application, a transcript from another school, or a Certificate of Birth.

Hispanic maternal surnames may be included if documentation is provided to the Registrar's Office for the student record. Proper documentation is a copy of a Certificate of Birth showing the maternal surname, or on the student's original application.

Hyphenated maiden-married last names may be used, provided the student's file and student portal have documentation to verify the names. A Change of Student Information Form accompanied by a Certificate of Marriage will be required if a name change has not been processed since the marriage. In all cases, verification will be based on information in the student portal and the Registrar's Office student's record and not on information provided verbally or only via emails to Student Services.

Neither titles nor degrees previously earned will be included as part of a graduate's name on a diploma.

A diploma may be ordered with a new name in expectation of a name change. If this is done, the diploma will not be delivered until an official Change of Student Information Form is provided to the Registrar's Office with supporting documentation. Any re-printing of a diploma caused by this type of order will be charged to the student.

For questions about Graduation and Commencement, please click here.  

Celebrate with Commencement

Earning your degree is a great achievement and an important reason to celebrate. Each year, American College of Education honors our graduates with one commencement ceremony.

Commencement offers a unique opportunity to meet faculty and fellow students in person, and to cultivate friendships that began in your online program. Participation is optional, and you are responsible for your travel arrangements and regalia if you choose to attend.

2017 Summer Commencement details

We are pleased to announce the theme of the 2017 Commencement is “Making the Connection.”

The 2017 Commencement will take place in our home state of Indiana to celebrate the connections you have formed over the past months, and your many accomplishments.

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Location: The Center for the Performing Arts – Home of the Palladium
Address: 355 City Center Dr., Carmel, IN 46032

All eligible graduates* are encouraged to attend in person, but if you are unable to make the trip to Indianapolis, we will also offer a virtual commencement ceremony.

Watch Live!

If you're a graduate attending virtually, or you're attending in-person but want to share the experience with family and friends not attending the ceremony, make sure to catch our live stream of Commencement!

Visit on Saturday, July 29 at 2 p.m.

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for event updates, and be sure to use #MakingtheConnection2017 and #ACEGrad2017 to share your photos and experiences as you prepare to finish your program and celebrate with us.

*Participants must be in 'graduate status,' or anticipate a graduation date of no later than September 24, 2017 in order to participate in Commencement and order regalia.

If a graduation date is extended due to a change in enrollment or class progression to a date later than September 24, 2017, the student will no longer be eligible to participate in this year’s commencement.

Ed.D. students must successfully defend their dissertation at least 30 days prior to commencement. If the dissertation is not successfully defended for any reason, the candidate will no longer be able to participate in commencement.

Commencement 2016 Video

Did you miss Commencement last summer? Want to relive the excitement and energy of graduation day? The 2016 Commencement video is live on our YouTube page for your to enjoy and share with friends and family. View the video below, or visit YouTube to download and share the video.



The 2017 Request to Participate form is now closed. Graduates* who planned to attend Commencement either virtually or in-person were required to fill out the form in order to participate in the ceremony prior to June 4, 2017. Graduates who do not plan to attend do not need to take any action.

Virtual Attendance
On the day of the ceremony, graduates who plan to attend virtually can view the live stream of the ceremony here. Virtual graduates will have their names read aloud with their degree program after in-person graduates have been called.

This link can also be shared with friends and family so loved ones near and far can share in your accomplishment with you.

Alumni Attendance
Alumni who would like to attend Commencement can send an email to with the following information:

First Name
Last Name
Mailing Address
Number of guests (including yourself)

Regalia (Cap and Gown)

Graduates* who plan to participate in Commencement must wear ceremony regalia. American College of Education's commencement regalia is provided by Herff Jones. Please visit the website and select American College of Education as your school to order your cap and gown. 

Graduates will first need to select a degree program, and then choose between three levels of graduation packages. Each level includes the ACE hood, gown, tassel, and cap. The only difference between each package is the number of announcements included with the order. Graduates may also choose to add additional announcements and other commencement memorabilia.

Graduates must place regalia orders to by Tuesday, July 5 avoid incurring late charges. Please contact Student Services by email at with questions regarding regalia.

*Participants must be in 'graduate status,' or anticipate a graduation date of no later than September 24, 2017 in order to participate in Commencement and order regalia.

If a graduation date is extended due to a change in enrollment or class progression to a date later than September 24, 2017, the student will no longer be eligible to participate in this year’s commencement.

Ed.D. students must successfully defend their dissertation at least 30 days prior to commencement. If the dissertation is not successfully defended for any reason, the candidate will no longer be able to participate in commencement.


Please visit the Graduation and Commencement FAQ.

Graduation Day Schedule

Join us for the entire fun-filled day of activities on Graduation day. Schedule below. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Event Information

Event Location

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Prepare for Commencement! Pick up Welcome Packet, name tag, National Board Certified Teacher Cords, and receive line-up and staging information, and pick up regalia if needed

Palladium Foyer South Lobby – Registration

Founders Room – Herff Jones


12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: 4 p.m.

Visit the Alumni Association – learn more about the launch of the new Association platform

Palladium Foyer South Lobby

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.; 4 p.m.

Graduate photos – Get your official graduation portrait by Stephanie Nicole Photography, or have your picture taken with friends and family.

Founders Room

1:30 p.m.

Theater Doors Open

Palladium Theater

1:30 p.m.

Graduate & platform party line-up

Box Tier South

2 – 4 p.m.

Commencement Ceremony 2017

Palladium Theater

4 p.m.

Graduate Alumni reception – Following the ceremony, join us for a reception and the opportunity to meet your ACE professors and fellow graduates. Refreshments and appetizers will be served.

Palladium Foyer – South Lobby


It is strongly recommended that you and any guests plan to arrive around 12:30 PM ET to avoid traffic delays and get settled. FREE parking  is available in the parking garage at City Center. Directions to the parking garage are provided below. 

From South and West 
Take 1-465 to exit 31. Go north on Meridian St. to 116th St. Turn right on 116 St. and follow to Range Line Rd.  Turn left. Turn left on Carmel Dr., then turn right on 3rd Ave. 

From South and East
Take I-465 to Keystone Ave exit. Go north to 116th St. Turn left on 116th St. following to Range Line Rd and turning right. Go north to Carmel Dr. and turn left. Turn right on 3rd Ave. 

From North 

Take US-31, turn left onto Range Line Rd. and follow south to the intersection of City Center/126th St. Turn right onto Center City, and turn left on 3rd Ave. 

Entering Garage 
You will turn into the Garage Entrance from 3rd avenue depending on the direction you are coming from. Once parking, you can exit from the north side exit. Once you exit, you will have a short walk to the Palladium entrance passing the Studio Theater on your right and the Tarkington to your left. 

The Palladium is located directly behind the parking garage between the Monon Walking trail and 3rd Avenue. You will enter the Palladium from the south entrance directly facing the parking garage. There will be directional signs for your convenience. 

To view a map, visit the parking garage map.



A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Capture your special day by having your official graduation portrait taken by Stephanie Nicole Photography on Saturday, July 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Founders’ Room.

Stephanie Rounds of Stephanie Nicole Photography is a sought-after, award-winning photographer who loves capturing the authentic beauty of her clients. Her ten-year portfolio includes weddings, families, corporate portraits, personal achievements, and non-profit organizations, inclusive of locations around the United States and Europe.

If you’d like to have your official graduation portrait taken or just get a photo with your friends and family before the Commencement ceremony begins, make sure you arrive with plenty of time to spare. Photos will be ready one week after the event, and graduates will receive an email with details about how to access their photos.

Additionally, you will receive an information card on graduation day detailing how to download all your Commencement photos after the event. All photographs will be available for download via an online gallery courtesy of Stephanie Nicole photography.


The ACE 2017 Commencement Committee has arranged a special rate at the Renaissance Indianapolis North in Carmel, Indiana. This upscale hotel near the Arts and Design District offers many nearby dining options, a heated swimming pool, free parking, and a fitness center.   

The hotel is just a 3-mile drive from the Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts, so you will be close to all ACE 2017 Commencement activities.  

If you should have questions relating to the 2017 Commencement weekend, please direct them to Student Services by email at 

Our 2017 Commencement Keynote Speaker is Milton Chen. Milton Chen

Dr. Milton Chen is senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), a non-profit operating foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area that utilizes its multimedia website,, and documentary films to communicate a new vision for 21st Century education. He served as executive director of GLEF for 12 years from 1998 to 2010. During his tenure, GLEF and its media brand, Edutopia, greatly expanded their editorial publishing efforts, including the award-winning Edutopia magazine. is known as a destination Web site for educators and others interested in educational innovation and has won numerous honors, including the 2009 Webby People’s Voice Award for best education website.’s web traffic averages more than 1 million unique visitors per month.

Dr. Chen’s career has spanned four decades at the intersection of preK-12 education, media, and technology. Prior to joining GLEF, he served for 10 years as the founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco. In the 1970s, he was a director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, helping develop Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact. Dr. Chen has been an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and, during 2007-08, was one of 35 Fulbright New Century Scholars conducting research on access and diversity issues in schools and universities. He received an A. B. in social studies from Harvard College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in communication from Stanford.

Dr. Chen serves as chairman of the Panasonic Foundation in New Jersey, which supports superintendent leadership and district improvement, and is a member of the board of directors for Sesame Workshop, the California Emerging Technology Fund, and ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career. He chairs the Games and Learning Publishing Council for the Joan Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, a Gates Foundation-supported activity. He is also a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, appointed by Interior Secretaries Salazar and Jewell to advance the agency’s work in STEM and history/multicultural education. During 2013, he served as a Fellow for Good at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. He has been a consultant to groups designing new learning spaces and programs for youth, including the Carson City (NV) Public Library and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

Dr. Chen’s career has been honored by the Elmo Award from Sesame Workshop, Fred Rogers Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Robin Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of the National Parks. He has also received honors from the Congressional Black Caucus for educational technology, Association of Educational Service Agencies for educational publishing, and two science centers in the Bay Area, The Exploratorium and the Lawrence Hall of Science. His 2010 book, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, was named one of the year’s 10 best education books by the American School Board Journal. He is a frequent speaker at education conferences in the U. S. and abroad. Since 2010, he has presented more than 100 keynote addresses in 41 states and 10 countries.

Dr. Chen lives in San Francisco with his wife, Dr. Ruth Cox, a botanical artist, author and actress. Their daughter, Maggie, is a medical student at UCLA.

Perhaps most importantly, on his 50th birthday, Dr. Chen was named a Jedi Master by George Lucas!

We are honored to invite Milton Chen to share his story of "Making the Connection" with our graduates.

Graduation cap decorating contest 2017 American College of Education

Show Us Your Cap!

American College of Education is excited to announce this year’s Cap Decorating Contest for graduates participating in the 2017 Commencement ceremony!

The rules are simple:

  1. Decorate your graduation cap

  2. Follow ACE on Facebook or Instagram

  3. Post your picture of your graduation cap on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ACEGrad2017

Alternatively, you may send an email to with a photo of your decorated cap, and your name and attendance type (in person or virtual) to enter.

The first place virtual and in-person winner will receive an ACE Spirit Pack that includes ACE gear, and an ACE diploma frame. 

The top 3 entrants who are attending Commencement will win four VIP seats for their family at Commencement. Yes–this means not having to show up early to find a seat!

Cap entries will be received until 3 p.m. Friday, July 21. The top 3 winners will be notified prior to Commencement. The first place winners will be announced at Commencement and can claim their prize on-site.

For official rules, click here. Congratulations and best of luck!


The ACE Alumni Association continues the College's tradition of improving education through shared knowledge and experience. Visit the Alumni Association page for more information on the resources available and to join the association. For questions about the association, contact

*Travel arrangements provided by ACE include transportation for the honoree and one guest up to $1,000, as well as two nights of hotel accommodations. The recipient is responsible for transportation expenses in excess of $1,000, as well as meals and incidentals.

Previous Alumni Achievement Award Recipients

Summer 2016: Natalie Pelham

Curriculum and Instruction, Class of 2014
Director of Faculty Training & Development, American College of Education

Summer 2015: Justice Stamps

M.Ed. in Educational Technology, Class of 2014
Executive Director of Marion Nzinga Stamps Youth Center

Summer 2014: Dave Stuart

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Class of 2012
English and World History teacher at Cedar Springs High School

Winter 2013: Shawn Wigg

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2012
Algebra teacher at Florida Virtual School.

Summer 2013: Samantha Reid

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, Class of 2013
French teacher at a prominent all-boys high school in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.

Winter 2012: Kristen Rulison

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, Class of 2012
Reading Specialist at Palm Beach County Schools, Palm Beach, FL

Summer 2012: Jeremy Heck

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2010
Assistant Principal at Indian Oaks Academy of Manteno, IL

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