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Approaching the fourth year of the program in 2019, ACE undertook an extensive strategic planning process.  The planning process began with a period in which stakeholders including members of the ACE Advisory Board, athletic department staff, coaches, ACE alumni, student-athletes who had not participated in ACE, and leaders in the field of student-athlete engagement were asked through surveys and focused interviews to share about their goals and ideas for the future of the ACE program. Taken together, these ideas formed the basis for the ACE strategic plan, “The ACE Game Plan 2023” which will guide the next four years and build on the program’s strong early foundation and continue robust programming.  These goals are designed to enhance ACE’s commitment to the student-athletes of Duke and Stanford, and the communities that host and serve with those participants.

Game Plan Goals 2019 – 2023

We intend the five goals that follow to grow ACE’s reach and impact, allowing the program to become a signature service experience and a national model for student-athlete engagement.

(1) Expand the ACE roster with increased enrollment and new alumni opportunities.

  • Develop a return service opportunity for alumni to continue their engagement and immersion.
  • Explore and develop a fifth ACE program location to support growing student interest.
  • Modify the number of ACE program sites offered early in the summer calendar to maximize student-athlete participation.

(2) Grow the ACE program playing field geographically.

  • Develop an ACE program site (through growth or replacement) in an urban or metropolitan location.
  • Look at areas of student academic interest in determining program locations.

(3) Extend the ACE pre-departure and post-program resources and opportunities.

  • Provide more flexible and remote-learning pre-departure training and preparation opportunities.
  • Link post-program opportunities to other existing campus programs.

(4) Enhance the on-the-field conditions of ACE student-athletes.

  • Provide more nutrition training and resources for student-athlete participants.
  • Expand the information about and access to training facilities available at program sites.

(5) Build a championship-caliber team to fortify ACE’s ongoing and future work.

  • Hire a permanent, full-time program coordinator to assist with the work and growth of ACE.
  • Elevate ACE in national conversations about the personal and professional development of student-athletes.