Pathways to Academic and Career Empowerment (PACE)

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About PACE

Southern Connecticut State University is an intentionally diverse community committed to social justice and student success. Southern's Pathways to Academic and Career Empowerment (PACE) holistically supports the success of foster youth who aspire to earn a college degree. Under University Access Programs (UAP) stewardship, PACE scholars connect to mentors, critical campus partnerships, and resources that promote student achievement and belonging in a caring and supportive community.

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Summer Institute

Program participants may complete a 3-week enrichment program before the start of the fall semester. Students receive academic skill development, get connected to key staff members, start specific core courses early, and work with an academic success coach.

Early Arrival Program 

PACE students participate in a 1- to 2-day early arrival program before the fall semester. Students will learn about helpful resources and begin to navigate the campus. They will also meet one another and engage in meaningful ways with faculty and staff who will be a part of their support network.

Mentoring Relationships

PACE students meet bi-weekly or monthly with a UAP professional advocate who provides emotional support and direct connection to university resources. Advocates help students overcome academic success barriers, hold them accountable to identified goals, develop professional skills, and coach them to build meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, and peers.

Academic Success Enhancement

Program participants are offered academic support through content and intellectual skill development. Participants can use tutors and Peer Academic Leaders (PALS) to support their content understanding of their classes. They will also be assigned an academic success coach to help develop their academic skills and success in their classes. 

Career Exploration

Program participants follow a tailored curriculum through the Office of Career & Professional Development. Students become a part of an individualized career community focused on three core areas: • Career Exploration and Navigation • Internships and Professional Development • Employability and After College Success. Each participant is assigned a career coach that connects with them throughout their academic journey at Southern.

Financial Wellness

Program participants engage in targeted activities and training opportunities to learn the basics of credit and money management. Participants learn the essential building blocks to financial wellness through a collaborative approach from multiple Southern departments. Additionally, each participant builds plans for economic well-being after college.

Community Programming

A nurturing community of UAP students and staff supports PACE students. They participate in UAP programs and activities that help them acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions and set and achieve positive goals. Students also learn to empathize with others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Southern’s PACE Campus Partners

University Access Programs (UAP)
Dawn Stanton

Center for Academic Success and Accessibility Services
Kathleen De Oliveira

Office of Career and Professional Development
Rachel Exavier

Financial Literacy and Advising
Lew Deluca

Residence Life
Mandi Kuster

Dean of Students Office
Karen Christian-Porteous