Student Support Services

UPIKE’s ACE (Academic and Cultural Enrichment) Program can help you by providing comprehensive student support from orientation to graduation. A federally-funded TRiO program, ACE’s goal is to improve student academic performance and increase retention and graduation rates.

ACE meets this goal by offering students a wide range of services, including:


  • Academic and transitional skills coaching
  • Academic counseling and tutoring
  • Financial counseling and literacy
  • Peer mentoring
  • Study skills development


  • FAFSA renewal assistance
  • Goal setting
  • Major and career exploration


  • Career fair opportunities
  • Mock interviews
  • Occupational etiquette
  • Resume writing


  • Graduate school visits/applications
  • Post-graduation career planning
  • Post-graduation financial planning

Additional services

  • Computer lab
  • Computer lounge
  • Free print/copy/fax/phone service
  • Grant aid
  • Jump-start transition program
  • Personal counseling and referral service

Application Information

The ACE Program offers a variety of support services and programs aimed at helping eligible students excel in college. To be accepted to the ACE program, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

1.     Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree)
2.     Meet income guidelines (determined each year by the U.S. Department of Education)
3.     Be a student with a disability

Please note: all ACE participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be enrolled or accepted at UPIKE for the upcoming semester.

fliAs an ACE participant, you’ll spend approximately six hours each semester participating in program requirements. You can utilize ACE as much as you need.

After completing the intake process to become a member of ACE, you will be a member for the remainder of your career at UPIKE.

Ace Application

Ace Alumni Events

The ACE program annually invites alumni that graduated from UPIKE and the ACE program back to campus to spend time with current ACE students. Below are some photos from this years event.


LEADS Initiative

Leadership Engagement Achievement Development Service

ACE participants can also apply for membership in the Leadership Engagement Achievement Development Service (LEADS) Initiative. As a LEADS participant you’ll have the opportunity to meet community leaders in business, education, government and healthcare. LEADS focuses on supporting you in becoming a leader at UPIKE and in your community, while instilling you with a sense of belonging. All activities and workshops are designed to enhance your personal character and develop self-esteem to help you succeed in life and your future career.

  • Become more connected with their community
  • Build valuable interview skills
  • Create professional resumes
  • Develop professional connections to community leaders and organizations
  • Engage in volunteer service opportunities to foster a spirit of giving back
  • Learn about the community and gain knowledge of available career options
  • Obtain job shadowing experience
  • Receive professional attire to use for interviews

Student Testimonial

“I have enjoyed ACE so much during the past three years. ACE has helped me in so many ways with guiding my studies and providing support through difficult situations. ACE is where I have made most of my friends. ACE is my second family.”



Cecil Williams

(606) 218-5717

headshot of cecil williams

Shena Shepherd

Project Coordinator
(606) 218-5718

Kay Burke

Academic Coordinator
(606) 218-5719

Ace Staff: L-R Shena Shepherd, Cecil Williams, Cheikh Ndiaye, Kay Burke