Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, EdD By Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, EdD • November 4, 2020

What is the ACI Program and How Does it Work?

A global pandemic. National and local political concerns. Social imbalance.

Our current state of affairs requires engagement to create solutions to these problems. Your engagement.

Imagine affecting real change, mobilizing resources or influencing policies to make a difference in the life of someone in your community. All while earning college credit and building your future career.

The Academic Community Impact (ACI) Program can exercise your talents and passions for civic engagement while setting you on the path to complete the Capstone course required to earn your degree.

Here’s how it works.

What is the ACI program?

The Academic Community Impact Program is a community-based service project focused on offering TESU students hands-on opportunities to engage with nonprofit organizations and assist in solving real-world problems through course work. The program serves as an alternative Capstone course that results in developing and possessing a tangible professional work product. You can then use that product to build your resume and professional portfolio for future employers.

How does the ACI Program work?

Students should enroll in the first of a two-course sequence, SOS-204: Academic Community Impact – Theory, Methods, and Practice. Through SOS-204, students will fulfill a civic engagement and social science elective requirement in the general education program. During this course, you will complete a final project proposal that aligns and integrates your personal, professional and social priorities through academic work.

Afterward, you can enroll in the alternative Capstone course, LIBCE-495: Liberal Arts Capstone: Community Engagement. In this Capstone, you will take the project proposal you developed in SOS-204 and execute it with your community partner.

Some examples of what you will do in the program include:

    • Work directly with a community nonprofit organization to target projects that the organization needs help with; these projects can range from website redesigns, strategic outreach enhancements, underserved population research and much more.
    • Work with a TESU mentor for academic expertise to guide you through your project.
    • Engage with hands-on work to build a professional portfolio for career development opportunities.

What type of organizations can I work with?

A few of the organizations that have partnered with TESU for community service-learning projects include:

  • Isles, Inc.: Isles, Inc. and the Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign (TNRC) work toward the revitalization of Trenton, N.J.
  • LeaderKid Academy: A one-of-a-kind leadership, social, emotional and future skills training, mentoring and business consultation organization in the field of education leadership development for kids.
  • Princeton Academy of Art: An educational gateway that brings unlimited resources to professional and aspiring artists specializing in the tradition of contemporary realism.
  • Hope Loves Company (HLC): The only nonprofit in the U.S. with the mission of providing educational and emotional support to children and young adults who had or have a loved one battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrigs disease.
  • 4-H Somerset County: Offers members and community unparalleled opportunities that focus on building leadership, confidence, service and loyalty.
  • NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce: Connects New Jersey's LGBT, friendly and allied business community. The NJ LGBT Chamber is New Jersey's premier LGBT business organization dedicated to strengthening LGBT businesses in the New Jersey tri-state area.
  • New Jersey Organizing Project: A grassroots organization made up of people who stand up for New Jerseys Shore regions and South Jersey. They connect and train community members to participate in the decision-making processes that affect their daily lives.

Who can I talk to about this program?

My name is Dr. Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, and I am the Community Engagement Program manager. My role and responsibility is to connect students with community partners in need of assistance. I coordinate and facilitate the two-course process sequence of the ACI Program that students participate in. If you want to learn more about the program, you can email me at aci@tesu.edu or call 609-984-1120, ext. 2315.

How do I enroll in the ACI Program?

Make an advising appointment, email academicadvising@tesu.edu or call 609-777-5680.

Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, EdD

Written by Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, EdD

Daniel Fidalgo Tomé is the Community Engagement Program manager and oversees TESU’s Academic Community Impact Program, an innovative distance learning project-based initiative funded by the Provident Bank Foundation. Dr. Fidalgo Tomé received his doctorate in education from Stockton University, a master’s in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a bachelor’s degree from Cook College, Rutgers University.

Subscribe to the Thomas Edison State University Blog and get the latest updates delivered straight to your inbox.

!-- start Main.js DO NOT REMOVE -->