Adult education program generates $1 million in annual fees for the first time since its establishment

Most ACE classes offered at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota

Sarasota County Schools Adult and Community Enrichment student Greg Wright accepts a $100 voucher for ACE classes from ACE Program Manager Laura Trubac and School Board member Jane Goodwin (right). Contributed photo.

The Sarasota County Schools Adult and Community Enrichment (ACE) program has generated more than $1 million in annual fees for the first time, program Director Laura Trubac announced on June 9.

Additionally, she said, revenue has exceeded last year’s total by more than $70,000, according to a news release from the school district.

ACE classes are offered primarily at the Suncoast Technical College campus in Sarasota, the release notes. “Although the district provides the facilities for the classes,” the release adds, “the operating costs of the program are supported entirely through class fees.”

The school district subsidized the program until 2010, when ACE was moved to what was then the Sarasota County Technical Institute campus, the release explains. “With a new location and restructured management, the program soon became self-sufficient,” the release adds.

“Trubac credits the talent of the instructors and the enthusiasm of the students for the success of the program,” the release notes. “ACE employs more than 150 part-time teachers, who work hard to offer high-quality lifelong learning courses,” she said in the release. “And you must have folks who are eager to participate in our classes,” she pointed out.

The ACE program is a significant contributor to the local economy, she continued in the release: “In addition to providing wages to teachers, ACE returns revenue to the community through the thousands of dollars spent on class equipment and supplies.”

More than 40 percent of ACE classes are in the arts, the release adds.

The $1 million figure represents more than 12,800 enrollments this school year, Trubac said, noting that enrollment has grown steadily since the program started in 1985.

During the June 9 ceremony, a prize of $100 toward ACE class fees was awarded to Greg Wright, whose registration put ACE over the $1 million mark, the release adds. The presentation was made at an event on the STC campus attended by ACE faculty and staff, STC staff and district representatives, including School Board member Jane Goodwin.