General Education Requirements (ACE)

General Education Requirements (ACE)

Consistent with the mission and values of the University, Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) is based on a shared set of four institutional objectives and 10 student learning outcomes. The ACE program was approved by faculty in all eight undergraduate colleges and endorsed by the Faculty Senate, the student government, and the Academic Planning Committee in January 2008 and implemented in the fall of 2009. Key characteristics of ACE demonstrate the benefits of the program to students:

  • Students receive a broad education with exposure to multiple disciplines, critical life skills and important reasoning, inquiry, and civic capacities.
  • ACE is simple and transparent for students, faculty and advisors. Students complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten student learning outcomes.
  • Students connect and integrate their ACE experiences with their selected major.
  • Students can transfer all ACE certified courses across colleges within the institution to meet the ACE requirement.
  • Any course from outside the institution that is directly equivalent to a University of Nebraska–Lincoln ACE-certified course will meet the ACE requirement for which the University of Nebraska–Lincoln course is certified.
  • ACE allows faculty to assess and improve their effectiveness and facilitate students’ learning.

ACE Institutional Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

To meet the ACE Program requirement, a student will complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the following ten ACE Student Learning Outcomes (a total of 30 ACE credit hours):

Institutional Objective 1

Develop intellectual and practical skills, including proficiency in written, oral, and visual communication; inquiry techniques; critical and creative thinking; quantitative applications; information assessment; teamwork; and problem-solving.

ACE 1: Write texts, in various forms, with an identified purpose, that respond to specific audience needs, integrate research or existing knowledge, and use applicable documentation and appropriate conventions of format and structure.

ACE 2: Demonstrate competence in communication skills in one or more of the following ways: (a) by making oral presentations with supporting materials, (b) by leading and participating in problem-solving teams, (c) by employing communication skills for developing and maintaining professional and personal relationships, or (d) by producing and/or interpreting visual information.

ACE 3: Use mathematical, computational, statistical, logical or formal reasoning to solve problems, draw inferences, justify conclusions and determine reasonableness.

Institutional Objective 2

Build knowledge of diverse peoples and cultures and of the natural and physical world through the study of mathematics, sciences and technologies, histories, humanities, arts, social sciences, and human diversity.

ACE 4: Use scientific methods and knowledge to pose questions, frame hypotheses, interpret data, and evaluate whether conclusions about the natural and physical world are reasonable.

ACE 5: Use knowledge, historical perspectives, analysis, interpretation, critical evaluation, and the standards of evidence appropriate to the humanities to address problems and issues.

ACE 6: Use knowledge, theories, methods, and research methods appropriate to the social sciences to understand and evaluate social systems or human behaviors.

ACE 7: Use knowledge, theories, or methods appropriate to the arts to understand their context and significance.

Institutional Objective 3

Exercise individual and social responsibilities through the study of ethical principles and reasoning, application of civic knowledge, interaction with diverse cultures, and engagement with global issues.

ACE 8: Use knowledge, theories, and analysis to explain ethical principles and their importance to society.

ACE 9: Exhibit global awareness or knowledge of human diversity through analysis of an issue.

Institutional Objective 4

Integrate these abilities and capacities, adapting them to new settings, questions, and responsibilities.

ACE 10: Generate a creative or scholarly product that requires broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, synthesis, interpretation, presentation, and reflection.

ACE Structural Criteria

Graduates of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will satisfy the requirements of their majors, their colleges, and the ACE Program.

  1. ACE courses are credit-bearing curricular offerings or equivalent documented co-curricular experiences.
  2. The ACE Program will consist of the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten ACE Student Learning Outcomes.
  3. Any ACE course approved to satisfy an ACE Student Learning Outcome satisfies that Student Learning Outcome in all University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate colleges.
  4. Up to three ACE Student Learning Outcomes 4-10 may be satisfied by work in one subject area.
  5. ACE Student Learning Outcomes must be satisfied by work in at least three subject areas.
  6. No ACE course may satisfy more than one ACE Student Learning Outcome in a student’s program.
  7. If an ACE course addresses two ACE Student Learning Outcomes, the student decides which one of the two Outcomes the course will satisfy in that student’s program.
  8. Every ACE course will reinforce at least one of the following as appropriate for the discipline and as identified by the department offering the course: Writing, Oral Communication, Visual Literacy, Historical Perspectives, Mathematics and Statistics, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Ethics, Civics, Social Responsibility, Global Awareness, or Human Diversity.

ACE courses are identified in course descriptions by the Student Learning Outcome number(s) that they fulfill. See the ACE website at: for the most current information and the most recently certified courses.