What is ACE?
Adult & Community Enrichment (ACE) is a Sarasota County School district program dedicated to serving the adult enrichment needs of the greater Sarasota area. A part of Suncoast Technical College, over 2000 classes are offered annually with a registration that exceeds more than 12,000.
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-support 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. All teachers have completed a rigorous background check.
When do classes meet?
ACE offers four sessions each year: the Fall Session runs from late September/early October through early-December; Winter Session runs late January through mid-April, the Spring session runs from mid-April through mid-June, and summer classes run mid-June through August. Classes meet for as few as one or as many as twelve sessions. Classes start throughout the session. Class days, dates, and times are specified in the course descriptions and printed on your receipt.
How do I register?
Online: Click on the Online Registration button on the home page. You may browse through classes, choose the classes you desire and check out. Once you are at the check out page, you must set up your online account. Complete instructions are listed on the left hand side of the home page.
By phone: You can register for classes by calling (941) 361-6590.
In person: If you wish to register in person, visit the ACE@STC office during office hours. See the Registration Details section on the left side of the homepage.
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. 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 waitlist, we sometimes create another class session.
What are your policies for payment of fees?
Full tuition must accompany your registration. Online registration requires the successful processing of the credit card payment or you are not registered in the class. Phone registration can only be completed with a credit card using MasterCard, Visa, or Discover. In-person registration payments may be made by check, money order, cash, 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 to my payment if I cancel my registration?
If you need to cancel a registration, you must notify us at (941) 361-6590 at least 48 hours prior to the class start date. We will refund the class fee minus a $15.00 processing fee. You will be refunded through the manner by which you paid. Because we do not keep credit card numbers on file, you need to contact the office with your credit card number. Refunds will not be given after 48 hours prior to the start of class or after the class has started unless the class is cancelled by ACE, at which time a full refund is given.
Will a refund be issued if I miss my class?
No, refunds are not issued for missed classes and classes are not pro-rated.
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 semester. This is at instructor 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 drop the class later, ACE still has all costs associated with running the class.
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.
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. A map will be provided upon request.
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 a 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 for 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 right hand side of the home 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@STC, 4748 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34233, or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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@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, Thanksgiving Thursday & Friday, the last two weeks of December during district winter break, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Spring Break, Memorial Day, and week of July 4th. Specifics about scheduling are included with each course description.
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.
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 have to cancel a class due to low enrollment, we will notify you and you will receive a full refund.
Will I receive a certificate of completion?
ACE classes are non-credit and taken for enrichment. 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 an Adult & Community Enrichment course, please download and complete the Teacher Application Packet found on the left side of the ACE home page. You may drop it off at the ACE office or mail it to ACE@STC, 4748 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL, 34233. You will be contacted only if the topic you are proposing is being considered for the program. Please note that the course schedule is set up months in advance of publication.