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Active Community Engagement

ACE requirement

Bard College at Simon’s Rock seeks to have its students be not only academically successful, but also physically and emotionally healthy citizens of the world. Simon’s Rock students work hard at their intellectual pursuits. Learning at Simon’s Rock, however, goes beyond intellect. The Active Community Engagement (or ACE) requirement provides a framework for students to learn how to balance their academic success with physical, emotional and social well-being, and to become active participants in the life of their communities.

The ACE requirement calls for students to participate in college-sponsored activities and programming each term distributed across the three ACE areas: (1) Health and Wellness; (2) Athletics and Recreation; and (3) Participation and Service.

Expectations: Associate of Arts degree candidates are expected to earn a minimum of ACE units each semester, distributed across the three ACE areas. Students earn their ACE units by attending, participating, and actively involving themselves in any of the many events, programs or activities approved by the Dean of Students and the ACE Advisory Board. The requirements break down semester by semester, as follows:

ACE Requirement

Students are expected to attend, volunteer, and participate in ACE programs and events to earn the required number of units each of their first three semesters. Doing more than the minimum in a category one semester counts toward your totals in the upcoming ones.

The ACE requirement includes the following types of activities and events, by category:

Health and Wellness (HW): The Residence Life, Health, and Counseling staffs offer Health and Wellness programs. These programs center on making responsible social choices while at Simon's Rock. Topics include: Taking Care of Yourself; Substance Use and Abuse; Informed Consent Before Sex; No Joke: Understanding Harassment and Discrimination. First-year students must earn six Health and Wellness units during their first semester, and then must earn four units in each of their next two semesters.

Athletic and Recreational (AR): Athletic and Recreational opportunities include classes offered by the Kilpatrick Athletic Center, including strength training and conditioning, Aerobics, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Squash, Racquetball, Tennis, Rock Climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, Aqua Aerobics. These classes meet once a week for twelve weeks. Attendance for ten weeks is required to earn one unit. Season-long participation on the Soccer, Basketball and Swim Teams two units, or the equivalent of two semesters requirements. The RDs offer events such as dodge ball, hiking, and biking, which also allow students to earn units that satisfy this requirement. First-year students must earn one Athletic and Recreation unit during each of their first three semesters.

Participation and Service (PS): Participation and Service opportunities include volunteering and participating in activities such as Breaking Bread (the local community meal program), Berkshire South/Local School tutoring, Medical Reserve Corp (flu and public health clinics), Red Cross Blood Drives, Jolly Jaunt Special Olympics, Holiday Food and Toy Drives, Campus and Community Clean-Up. They also include participation in on-campus programs and events on campus, participating in discussions on topics offered and approved in advance to earn ACE units. First-year students must earn four Participation and Service units each of their first three semesters.

Oversight: The Dean of Students oversees and has authority to develop, plan and implement the ACE requirement with the assistance of the ACE Advisory Board. The ACE Advisory Board is chaired by an ACE Coordinator selected by the Dean of students, and staffed with representatives of several major departments on campus. Members of the Advisory Board may include representatives from the Faculty, Academic Affairs, Alumni Library, Health Services, the Kilpatrick Athletic Center, Residence Life, Student Activities, and the Win Commons. The Board’s purpose is to facilitate communication and collaboration on ACE projects, continually refine the guidelines of the program, and assist members of their respective departments to implement effective and accessible programming.

Tracking: All students must sign-in (via ID scan or paper roster) at the start of each ACE program or activity they participate in or attend. The faculty or staff member coordinating each specific activity will provide attendance information to the ACE Coordinator, and records will be updated and progress tracked accordingly. Students may be asked to present their College ID for verification purposes, so please be sure to bring yours to each activity.

Web Page: Additional information, including pre-approved ACE offerings and a FAQ on the ACE Requirement can be found at Additional offerings will be posted on the web site as they become available.

If you have a question about the ACE Requirement, or an idea or suggestion for future program offerings, please contact the Dean of Students at or the ACE Coordinator at