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ACE Recognizes Mercedes Acuña as Adult Learner of the Year

March 08, 2011


Mercedes Acuña, mother of three, full-time employee and military spouse, was today named ACE's 2010 Adult Learner of the Year.

The Adult Learner of the Year Award is presented annually by ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) to an adult learner who has benefitted from the use of ACE credit recommendations to earn a college degree or advance a career. Recipients must also demonstrate outstanding achievements in their community or workplace while successfully balancing the demands of family, career and education. Nationwide, ACE's CREDIT program evaluates employers' formal learning and recommends college credit when that learning is college level and appropriate to the student's field of study.

"Adult learners face a myriad of challenges in balancing work, family and classroom obligations. In Mercedes' case, these challenges were multiplied by her frequent need to go it alone while her husband was deployed. Every year, hundreds of thousands of adult learners like Mercedes push forward to reach their goals of earning a college degree and serving as role models for their families and communities. ACE is proud to help these working adults by validating the learning they have acquired outside the traditional classroom," said Jim Selbe, ACE assistant vice president for lifelong learning.

Acuña received her bachelor of science degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College (NY), having applied work-related training courses recommended for college credit by ACE's CREDIT to her degree requirements. She currently works for the U.S. Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Academy.

"My desire to better myself, my family and my career pushed me to complete what many working moms thought was impossible. My journey might have taken me nine years to complete, but it taught me that a little determination and motivation can take you through challenges," said Acuña.

ACE's College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) pioneered the evaluation of education and training attained outside the college and university degree programs. For more than 30 years, CREDIT has evaluated and made college credit recommendations for nearly 36,000 courses offered by hundreds of organizations. CREDIT uses college and university faculty to evaluate courses offered by business and industry, labor unions, associations, and government agencies and recommends college credit as appropriate.

More than half a million adult learners are current enrolled in ACE Transcript Services, with hundreds of thousands of additional learners using these credit recommendations directly through partnerships between their organizations and colleges and universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Hennessy ▪ 202-939-9367 (office) ▪ 202-664-4205 (cell) ▪

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