Designed in collaboration with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and developed in 1967, the Academic Communities for Excellence (ACE) sequence of writing courses is the only program in the UC system with academic outreach for first-year EOP college students.

ACE offers sections of Writing 1 and Writing 2, with a number of advantages over the general writing sequence: smaller classes, more individual attention, a community of peers, a dynamic learning environment, the ability to continue with your ACE instructor for two consecutive quarters, and a tutor assigned to each ACE class. ACE courses fulfill the same Subject A and General Education requirements, and they are exactly the same as general courses in form and content

Smaller Classes

The required, general writing courses have a class size of 25 students. ACE writing courses enroll only 18 so that instructors and students can work more closely with each other. Students may choose to work with the same instructor and fellow students for two consecutive courses, and ACE students get priority enrollment in these ACE courses.

Dynamic Learning Environment

Smaller classes and a classroom full of students who know each other well contribute to a better learning environment. The energy and vitality of ACE classes is significant. ACE classes become tight-knit learning communities. Many of the friends you make in ACE courses are the friends you’ll keep for all your years at UC Santa Barbara.

A Tutor Assigned to Each Class

Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers tutoring for many of the classes offered at UCSB,  including writing courses. A CLAS tutor is assigned to work with each ACE class, and students are free to sign up to work with their writing tutor as much as they like.

More Individual Attention

Smaller class size gives instructors more time to work with students one-on-one, during office hours, and in class. Students learn best in supportive environments with consistent and frequent response to their work. Working with the same instructor for 20 weeks helps students strengthen and refine their reading, thinking, and writing skills, laying the foundation for success at the university.


All students who are participants of EOP are eligible for ACE courses. Non-EOP students are accepted on a case by case basis, priority is given to EOP students.