Our forever family.
At ACA, we treasure our alumni! Visits “home” are highly appreciated and alumni frequently share with current students on their experience at and away from ACA. Reviewing alumni comments, common phrases include the blending of cultures, the family-feel, and caring nature of staff. For those of us at home base, we will always consider ACA alumni as part of our family. There is a “family tree” in the auditorium, with everyone’s name on it. You are forever etched in our heart.
Home is where the heart is. We are looking forward to having you come “home” in 2021…
Dear ACA Alumni,
ACA started exactly 27 years ago today (although it was then called “Shell Close School”). I am sure you still have many memories. Today we shared several memories as we celebrated Ms. Abbie’s 22 years of service (& counting!) Wow, how time flies!
I’m excited to also be going to the U.S. next month for my 40th high school reunion. Although my high school reunion holds every three years, I attended my first in 2015. It was an amazing experience to connect with people I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. At ACA, we have long desired to have a massive reunion with past students (we haven’t forgotten you!) and in order to ensure that as many can make it as possible, we are inviting you THREE YEARS in advance!
ALL PAST STUDENTS, 18+ in 2021, ARE INVITED TO ACA’S 30th ANNIVERSARY – MAY 28th–30th, 2021
SAVE THE DATE (& START SAVING FOR YOUR TICKET, TOO)
SPOUSES & CHILDREN ARE ALSO WELCOME
Karen Ann Nwulu
(for the Alumni Committee)
P.S. To help realize this dream, we would like to connect with a coordinator from each class to facilitate communication. While you may have left ACA before you graduated, we will still consider you the graduating class of the year you finished your secondary school.
Some of our alumni were willing to pass on some words of wisdom. Feel free to absorb their comments!
“There are some things I did not learn till I got to my university. GPA is a BIG THING guys do not play around with it (whoever may be reading this, if you are a student) you feel me. Also what I want to say is sit down, turn off any form of distraction, turn off your phone, if you have to pray, pray about it but think to yourself…What do I want to be in the future? What do I want in life? University is no joke; nobody cares about you, especially not your professors. Don't allow yourself to be baby-sat for the rest of your life. ACA does that to an extent…well enjoy it while it lasts. Also, attitude helps a lot. If you have a good attitude and patience then you can tolerate anything here because the culture is very different, trust me.
Lastly, do not forget your roots. Be humble and respectful; it takes you a long way. It took me to somewhere great. Study hard and make sure your GPA is good, make sure community service is done too, very important. I LOVE YOU ALL.”
“Definitely every bit of knowledge I gained from each online course at ACA has come in handy for me in different aspects of work at university. I had did 3 online courses on Coursera which I had received Certificates for and those Certifications are worth a lot in my university.”
HOW ACA HELPED PREPARE ME FOR UNIVERSITY:
“ACA is a place where you learn and grow your inner self so you can face the reality in university... ACA has taught me the value of Punctuality in submitting assignments. Procrastination is never the right choice, to respect everyone, be bold, and to always put 100% into your work and in whatever you’re doing.”
“Yes, online courses helped me. I learned to manage my time and also to work independently. My online courses were almost like the courses I'm taking now, where nobody's reminding you of due dates or begging you to come to class. Online courses also forced me to work on my articulation, knowing that I would not be there to explain anything that the instructor found unclear. Overall, I think online courses are a valid gauge of how prepared a student is for college.
HOW ACA HELPED PREPARE ME FOR UNIVERSITY:
“ACA has a great chemistry curriculum!! I did not realize it until I got here at my university. I took General Chemistry 1 last semester and I will be taking my General Chemistry 2 final exam in about ten days. Because ACA gave me such a strong chemistry background, I did not find the course hard at all. It wasn't until after the midterm exam when I heard the class average and spoke to some of my classmates that I realized it was a difficult class for most people. I was completely oblivious, as only two-three of the things we were being taught were new to me. I even have my chemistry notes from grades 11 and 12. Another thing ACA did was highlight cultural diversity. That made my transition much easier, as 1/3 of Florida Tech's student body is international. Because I met and experienced lots of different cultures back at ACA, I do not find it hard to interact with people who speak, think, or act differently than I do.”
“The online courses at ACA were a great help. They helped me develop time management skills that were instrumental this year. Also, with the transfer credits I received, I can have more personal time during the school year. ACA also got me into the rhythm of frequently writing essays. I had written so many weekly essays that by the time I reached University it was second nature.”
“I am really glad I took an online course at ACA. It was a Dual Credit course so I was treated like a college student. There was no weekly deadline or professor perpetually giving out instructions. I had the syllabus and materials before me, it was my duty to schedule how I would complete the assignments, quizzes and exams before the end of the course. This particularly helped me address my poor time management skills. It was easy for me to forget I had chapter readings or a quiz to do, so I made sure I was constantly looking at my planner where I jot down all my to-do’s. I probably shouldn’t get too comfortable with professors reminding me about assignments or quizzes because so far, that’s what majority of my professors do and I am rather shocked. Because I came into college with the mindset that I’d had to be on my toes and not depend on my professors, their constant reminders didn’t make a difference. I made sure I was still putting down all my to-do’s in my planner. I have taken some hybrid courses in which half of the lecture is face-to-face and the other half is online with weekly discussion boards. In a way, it feels like a semi-online class. I am not the best at time management yet, I still do struggle, but taking that online class in ACA contributed to my progress so far with this skill.”
HOW ACA HELPED PREPARE ME FOR UNIVERSITY:
“When ACA shifted from a three-term calendar to two-semesters, each with 2 quarters, I was definitely not a big fan of that development. My university is unique compared to other 4-year colleges in the sense that it runs on a 4 quarter system – fall, winter, spring and summer each being 10 weeks. In other words, IT. IS. VERY. FAST. PACED. And if you don’t stay on track, well, your GPA would speak for itself. Because I was already used to regularly taking midterms and exams at ACA, it wasn’t too hard for me to adjust in university. The workload is definitely heavier than it was while I was in high school, but ACA helped to prepare me. I am extremely glad I chose a quarter school because although it doesn’t seem like too much fun now, especially when my friends at semester schools seem to get more breaks and can work at a slower pace, I now know it was worth it.
One thing ACA also helped me build is my public speaking skills. Being in debate and speech club as well as a member of the Student Body Government helped me become more confident at speaking. I am a Student Ambassador at my university and one of the very few black girls in the program. While giving tours to prospective student and their families, I always have to be conscious of my posture, volume and tone. I learned about this in speech club. I remember being the most nervous being on planet Earth on the day of my interview. I didn’t know what to expect but one thing I knew – I was going to kill it, and the only way to do that was to be bold. During the early stages of training in the Student Ambassador Program, several executives told me if I could put nervousness behind me, I’d be amazing. They were right! Now I strive to make each tour my own. Even if I blank out at a stop or two, I make sure I am not panicking and before I know it, the points come flushing in.”
“For the last year and a half, most of my assignments, syllabi and learning materials have been online. My experience with the online classes offered at ACA helped me become acquainted with the web-based learning management software most universities use; so far, I’ve barely had any problems navigating the software.
In addition, although, some professors make an attempt to remind students about assignment deadlines, these reminders are usually only for major assignments. Thus, it would be easy to forget the little assignments and have one's grades suffer. Fortunately, ACA's online classes kept me on my toes and taught me the value of being able to keep track of deadlines without someone else reminding me.
Finally, most classes have a lot of students so there's much less student-teacher interactions than one would find at high school. A lot of professors do try to make time for students outside of class ("office hours") but these office hours are usually only for about two hours some days and are set based on the professors free time. There have been times where I have been unable to attend these office hours because I had other classes at the time and had to find a way to learn whatever it was that I didn't understand by myself. ACA's online classes helped me in this regard by teaching me how to learn and discover new information by myself.”