What is ACE?
Adult & Community Enrichment (ACE) is a Sarasota County School District fee-supported program dedicated to serving the adult enrichment needs of the greater Sarasota area. One of the oldest and largest adult education programs in the state of FL, ACE has been proudly serving the community since 1985. Over 1,500 non-credit online and in-person classes for adults 18+ are offered annually.
Who can attend?
ACE classes are open to any adult 18 years of age or older. There are no residency requirements.
How is ACE funded?
ACE is a fee-supported program at Suncoast Technical College, Sarasota County Schools. This means that we are self-supporting: program fees pay for the teachers, office staff, supplies, materials, and equipment.
Who teaches ACE classes?
ACE employs approximately 130 part-time instructors who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are working professionals who enjoy sharing their expertise, and many are retirees who are now free to teach their passion.
When do classes meet?
ACE offers three terms each year: the Fall term runs from early October through mid-December, Winter term runs late January through mid-April, and the Spring & Summer term runs from mid-April through late August. Classes are available morning, afternoon, evening & Saturday throughout the year. Classes meet for as few as one or as many as twelve sessions.
How do I register?
- Online: Click on the Register tab on the home page to begin. Sign in or create an account first, browse through class offerings, choose the classes you desire, and check out. You must have a student account in order to check out.
- By phone: You can register for classes by calling (941) 361-6590.
- In person: If you wish to register in person, visit the ACE office at 4748 Beneva Road, Bldg 3. Entrance to parking is via Proctor Road. Look for Building 3, which faces Proctor Road, and go to the far West entrance, which is painted green, during regular business hours. Please call ahead to confirm office hours and for the registration process.
Can I register a friend or family member?
Yes, but you must process the registration separately for each person unless you are signing up for the same class and paying for both. Be sure to have their contact information. Payment in full is required.
What happens if the class is full?
If a class is already filled, you are placed on a waiting list. You will be notified if an opening becomes available. If there are several on a wait list, we may create another class session.
What are your policies for payment of fees?
Full tuition must accompany your registration. Online and phone registration require the successful processing of the credit card payment or you are not registered in the class. Acceptable credit cards are MasterCard, Visa, or Discover. In-person registration payments may be made by check, money order, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover.
How will I know if the class I registered for is going to take place?
Classes are determined a GO or a CANCEL 48 hours prior to the start date of the class. You will be contacted only if the class is cancelled, in which case you will receive a full refund.
Assume your class is being held if you do NOT receive a call or email from our office. Please be sure we have current contact information.
What happens if I want to transfer into another class?
All student-generated transfers are allowed (minus a $10 transfer fee per class) up to 48 hours prior to the start of class (excluding weekends/holidays).
What happens to my payment if I would like to withdraw from a class?
Refunds are available only if ACE is notified 48 HOURS (excluding weekends/holidays) PRIOR TO THE START OF CLASS. A $15 transaction fee will be imposed for all student-generated withdrawals. NO REFUNDS ONCE CLASSES BEGIN.
Will a refund be issued if I miss my class?
No. Refunds are not issued for missed classes, and classes are not pro-rated.
Make-up classes: Classes postponed or not held by the instructor due to emergencies will be made up by the instructor. Classes missed by the student will not be made up.
Can't I make up the class at a later date?
For safety and security reasons, only registered students are allowed in classes. It is sometimes possible to attend another section of the same class if taught by the same instructor during the same term. This is at instructor's discretion.
Why the strict refund policy?
Because ACE is self-funded, decisions to run a class are made based upon student enrollment numbers 48 hours prior to the class start. If someone were to withdraw from the class later, ACE still has all costs associated with running the class.
Can a class be cancelled due to low enrollment?
In most cases, we require a minimum number of students for a class to run. Each minimum varies per class. If we must cancel a class due to low enrollment, we will notify you and you will receive a full refund.
Can I contact the instructor before taking the class?
ACE has a policy of not releasing teacher contact information. Contact the office and we will provide them with your name and email or phone number and have them contact you.
Where do classes meet?
Most classes are held at Suncoast Technical College, at the corner of Proctor and Beneva Roads in Sarasota. Many other classes meet throughout the County. Some classes may meet offsite from a sponsoring location. Class locations and directions will be noted in the course description and on your confirmation receipt.
How do I know where to go?
Location information is listed in the course schedule and in the class descriptions. Your receipt also contains class location.
Do I need a parking tag or have to pay for parking?
Only students who take daytime classes at STC need to have a parking tag. These free tags are distributed at the first class. All other locations offer free parking.
Do I need a Student ID tag?
Students attending classes on the school campus need to wear an ACE Student ID at all times while on the school grounds. These tags are distributed at your first class.
What should I bring to class?
Some classes will provide a class supply list on your receipt. Oftentimes, especially for beginning classes, your registration fees include what you need for the first class. The instructor then discusses supply needs. If you are taking a lecture class, you may want to bring a pad of paper, pen or pencil to take notes.
How can I provide feedback on the course I have taken?
A course evaluation is available at the end of every class. There is also a pdf of the course evaluation form on the left-hand side of the RESOURCES page that you can print, complete, and send in to our office. This form can be faxed to (941) 925-6662 or mailed to ACE at STC, 4748 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34233, or scanned and emailed to email@example.com. You may also call us at (941) 361-6590 to request a form be sent to you. Names are not disclosed to the instructor.
How do I know if ACE is closed due to bad weather?
ACE at STC follows the same weather dismissal practices as Sarasota County Schools. If local news outlets broadcast that schools are closed due to weather, ACE will not hold classes. Otherwise, classes will be held.
What holidays does ACE observe?
We are closed on Labor Day; the Tuesday & Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Thursday, Friday, & Saturday after Thanksgiving; the last two weeks of December during district winter break, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Spring Break, Memorial Day, and the week of July 4th. Specifics about scheduling are included with each course description. You may also go to the calendar page and check for current updates.
Can I purchase gift certificates?
Yes. You may purchase a gift certificate for a specific class or for a dollar amount that can be applied to a class of the recipient's choice. Call the office at (941) 361-6590.
Will I receive a certificate of completion?
ACE offers non-credit personal enrichment classes. If you want a certificate of completion, contact the office at (941) 361-6590 and one will be issued at the completion of your class.
I’d like to teach a class. How do I go about it?
If you are interested in teaching at ACE, please download, print and complete the PT Instructor Application found on the left side of the RESOURCES page. When you are ready to submit your course proposal(s), you may email the completed application packet along with your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, drop it off at the ACE office or mail it to 4748 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233. It may be several weeks before we work on the next class session. We will only contact you if we feel the classes you are proposing would be a good fit for our program.