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ACE program at SIC Provides for Gifted High School Students

–ACE Applications Due May 1–

HARRISBURG, Ill. (March 26, 2021) – Southeastern Illinois College has launched a new program which trains top in-district high school students to apply for significant scholarships. The Accelerated College Experience (ACE) program at SIC is designed to prepare academically talented students for the rigorous college application and scholarship process through service learning, test preparation and communication training.

“Our goal is to help prepare our district’s high school scholars for higher education beyond the traditional classroom. This program provides mentorship and individualized training needed to attain large scholarships,” said Dr. Tyler Billman, Executive Dean of Academics. “A large component of the ACE program will be volunteer experience, which many donors and institutions look for when awarding scholarships.”

The ACE program will have many benefits. Each ACE will be paired with a faculty member from SIC that specializes in a field in which they intend to major. This faculty mentor can also serve as a letter of recommendation and reference for future scholarships and college applications. Additionally, each ACE will have personalized attention from a college academic advisor to help in applying for scholarships.

Every ACE will also have the opportunity to work with SIC’s student ambassadors at events for additional volunteer experience, which will help strengthen their future scholarship and admissions applications. This one-semester prep program also creates an academic cohort in which gifted students at surrounding high schools can come together in one group setting to discuss their next steps after high school.

The ACE program is competitive. To apply, students should visit for a downloadable application. Applications for the inaugural ACE class are due May 1. The top 20 applicants will be selected to become an ACE. Each district high school will be granted a minimum of two spots in the program.


“We want to serve our community to the very best of our abilities,” Billman explains. “One way we can do that is to coach the area’s top performing students on how to attain substantial scholarships.”

 For more information on the ACE program, please email


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