It’s an acronym, but it doesn’t need to be to make sense. Accelerated – Career – Entry. It’s not really a good descriptor. Not that it it’s inaccurate, but it’s not accurate enough.
This is my sixth (and last) semester in the ACE program, and while it is hard to see the positives, they do exist. For instance this is the fastest program in the country and it’s acceptance standards aren’t that rigorous. Add that to the fact that 98% of people who graduate from the ACE program go on to pass their NCLEX and it’s easy to see why you might overlook the disclaimers.
We’ll start with the first. Each semester is 10 weeks long. you will need to have 10 chapters of the book read by the end of the first week for each class. You will have five or six classes. At least 3 will be worth six credits.
I geuss the bad part of the program isn’t the things they do tell you, because honestly, they don’t hide the fact that it’s hard, that it’s fast and that it will whip your ass.
The things they don’t tell you though? None of your credits are transferrable. To anywhere (except Drexel’s Co-Op program, which even if you are in your third quarter of the ACE program, it will still take you two years to get a degree). If you fail 1 class you’re in deep shit, because you can never fail another, or you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money. They don’t tell you how fast you’ll make friends. It’s like going through combat together. And like combat, they don’t tell you how fast you’ll lose friends. People will fail, or decellerate, or just get overwhelmed by the whole thing and leave.
But the thing that’s huge, that they don’t tell you, is that you are an experiment. The program is new… not as new as it was, but new and the teachers aren’t the same from one year to the next. And things that were true last quarter could be completelie different this one.
You’ll have teachers who care. Who want you to make it. Who want you to be a good nurse. And you’ll have teachers who just don’t get it. People that shold never have been a teacher, let alone a teacher of nursing. And you’ll stress. Type B people who’ve never worried about a grade in their life will break down in tears. It’s hard.
PS… (11/22/2011) In less than a year you will remember it with fondness, but you will never, ever forget about the awful.