ACEConnect Students from DC21 High School at DIA

ACEConnect students from DC21 High School explore careers at Denver International Airport with Southwest Airlines


ACEConnect is both a CareerConnect pathway and complementary program providing additional or tailored services to prepare students identified as special populations in Career & Technical Education to be successful in career and life by ensuring that they are workforce-ready. Students may choose to enter any industry, and ACEConnect helps them to build the work habits,  as well as the collaboration and technical skills that align with their chosen career and industry focus.

ACEConnect is a programming & service partnership between CareerConnect and the Division of Student Equity & Opportunity to ensure options for effective career and college preparation are available and accessible to ALL students in Denver Public Schools  – Click to Explore

ACEConnect CareerEngage Internship Program

All DPS 11th and 12th grade students with identified disabilities (on an IEP or 504 plan) can apply for a paid internship through ACEConnect in their Fall, Spring or Summer Semester. Ask your student’s Special Education case manager, 504 coordinator or ACEConnect teacher to find out how to apply for a CareerEngage internship.

Once their application is accepted students will:

  • Participate in 2 job interviews — 1 with ACEConnect staff & 1 with their potential internship placement in their area of industry & career interest
  • Complete 6 hours of Job Readiness Training before beginning their internship
  • Complete up to 180 hours of paid internship work , $10.20/hr
  • Participate in a bi-weekly work skills evaluation process and receive information about their work habits and skills to continue their growth in their chosen industry & career path.
George Washington High School ACEConnect Students

George Washington High School ACEConnect interns working the Pearl Street Farmer’s Market as a part of their paid internship in collaboration with the DPS Office of Sustainability Garden of Youth project & ACEConnect

ACEConnect Courses & Programs Available at

Abraham Lincoln High School
East High School
George Washington High School
John F. Kennedy High School
North High School
South High School
Thomas Jefferson High School
Contemporary Learning Academy
CEC Middle College
Denver Center for 21st Century Learning
PREP Academy
Manual High School

Possible Courses Include

Career Discovery
This one semester course introduces students to the importance of working. Career Discovery guides students through a career exploration process which includes individual work preferences, aptitudes, skills, and learning styles. Students will also investigate the training and educational requirements for their chosen career field. Finally, students will learn how to become a successful employee.
Career Navigate
Building on the previous Career Discovery course, this one semester course is intended to familiarize students with workplace issues beyond day-to-day responsibilities. Students will learn customer service, conflict resolution and disability disclosure and explore how to be a contributing citizen beyond the role of worker. Students will also develop financial awareness through class discussions and practice of personal budgeting, car and cell phone purchase and checking and savings accounts..
Career Engage
Building on the previous Career Navigate course, this one semester course will help students achieve their post-secondary goals using curriculum addressing career development, career preparation and options for post-secondary education through universities, community colleges, technical colleges & professional certification programs. This course will also incorporate application of academic skills, as well as technical skill development by supporting training plans in concurrent work experience courses.

Career Advance
Building on the previous Career Engage course, this one semester course  students will prepare for their upcoming transition from high school to the adult roles and opportunities in employment, post-secondary education or both. Students will also develop skills necessary to independently navigate adult roles and responsibilities,  have financial literacy and develop their own vision for how they will be an engaged and contributing member of their own community. This will be accomplished through interactive activities, community based experiences and classroom activities. A capstone work experience project in their chosen industry is a requirement of the course.

Work Experience and Study
This course is designed to prepare students with special education needs to be skillful, self-determined, successful members of the work force and their community. Students must complete the Career Discovery course before being able to enroll in a Work Experience Study Course — it is recommended they concurrently take Career Navigate, Career Engage & Career Advance as they are enrolled in Work Experience and Study courses as a part of their course schedule in high school. Students will earn credit for paid employment, unpaid work experience, service learning, assistantships, extended job observations/shadows, apprenticeship and other related training.

Students graduating before 2021 that are pursuing a diploma by following the WES course of study must earn at least 30 WES credit hours from work experiences in the community and are required to take Career Discovery & Career Navigate as a requirement for graduation — ACEConnect students entering 9th grade in Fall 2017 will be able to enroll in WES courses to demonstrate mastery of competencies required for a variety of graduation pathways under the new graduation requirements for 2021 graduates

*Class availability varies by school. Please check with your ACEConnect teacher, CareerConnect Pathway Director or school counselor for more information about what courses are offered in your school’s ACEConnect program.


CEC Middle College students at CU Denver

ACEConnect/MedConnect students from CEC Middle College experiencing university course simulations in Biosciences with CU Denver during ACEConnect’s UCD Body of Evidence programming.


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