Saint Francis University Welcomes International Students to New A.C.E. Language Institute

LORETTO, PA and SEATTLE, WA – May 2, 2012 – Saint Francis University has entered into a partnership with Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.) of Seattle, Washington, to help international students prepare for academic English through the new A.C.E. Language Institute on its Loretto, Pennsylvania, campus. Beginning in Fall 2012, the A.C.E. Language Institute will offer intensive English courses designed to help language learners improve their English fluency before entering as full-time students at Saint Francis.

Saint Francis University President Father Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R. and A.C.E. President David Woodward launched the formal announcement at a signing ceremony on February 23, 2012. Both leaders shared common early career experiences of teaching English. In their current roles, they both strive to inspire students to go farther and connect with the global community.

This strategic partnership will help alleviate a common barrier for many international students –achieving the required proficiency level on standardized English tests such as TOEFL. With the new agreement, international students who are academically qualified but do not meet SFU’s English proficiency requirements can receive conditional admission to complete A.C.E.’s program and then matriculate directly into Saint Francis.

“One of the basic tenants of our Franciscan Goals of Higher Education is to foster ‘a global vision’ in our students. This partnership with A.C.E. provides a wonderful way to expand our global vision on campus,” said Father Zeis. “The new English program will complement our existing international student recruitment efforts and provide additional cultural exposure for our students beyond international travel opportunities such as study abroad and mission trips.”

Partnering with A.C.E. provides another opportunity to further diversify the student body at Saint Francis. “Currently Saint Francis welcomes 65 students from 23 countries. The International Admissions office looks forward to partnering with the well established A.C.E. Language Institute, and, at the same time, increasing the depth and scope of our already successful international outreach,” says Brother Shamus McGrenra, Director of International Admissions and Student Services at Saint Francis.

The decision to partner with A.C.E. was based on the long-standing reputation of the organization and its success at other locations, including Montana State University, Seattle Pacific University, and the University of Rhode Island. A.C.E. will expand SFU’s access to students worldwide, building on their broad global educational network. As a non-profit organization, A.C.E. is a leader in global education and provides English language and intercultural services worldwide. Since 1973, A.C.E. has directly impacted the lives of over 130,000 people.

“Saint Francis has impressed us with its serious commitment to each student on campus and its vision for globalizing the university in a broad-based and inclusive paradigm,” says David Woodward, President of A.C.E. based in Seattle, Washington. “A.C.E. is looking forward to partnering with Saint Francis in this process and together helping make the world one community.”

The A.C.E. Language Institute office will be located initially in Schwab Hall, next to the International Admissions Office. Applications for conditional admission are accepted for priority consideration through August 1, 2012, and on a rolling basis thereafter. The first A.C.E. session is anticipated to begin August 27, 2012. For more information on conditional admission at Saint Francis, please contact Brother Shamus McGrenra, Director of International Admissions and Student Services,, or +1-814-472-3100.

Media Contacts:
Marie Young, Director of Marketing and Communications at Saint Francis University, 1-814-472-3127

Lori Maxfield, Director of Marketing at Associates in Cultural Exchange, 1-206-217-9644

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