PACE (Program for Acceleration in Careers of Engineering), is a science and engineering awareness program in which professionals volunteer their time to work with local African-American and Latino high school students to help prepare them for technical careers. Emphasis is placed on mathematics instruction, engineering orientation, college preparatory skills, and cultural awareness. PACE was founded in October 1982 by members of the National Technical Association at Brookdale Community College.

The primary objectives of the program are to:

  • increase African-American and Latino students’ awareness of and desire to pursue career opportunities in math, science, and engineering
  • enhance each student’s academic preparation for such careers
  • instill self-esteem, cultural pride and awareness of African-American and Latino technical accomplishments

We achieve these objectives through a variety of methods including classroom instruction, mentoring, science projects, college trips, workshops, and guest speakers. In addition, we encourage parental involvement in all activities.

Sessions are held on Saturday mornings (8:30 AM to 12:30 PM) from September through May at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ. Each Saturday students attend PACE according to the following schedule:

8:30 AM - 9:25 AM Eye-Opener Sessions
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Math Classes
10:35 AM - 10:55 AM Break
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Engineering Classes

Eye-Opener sessions provide college preparatory skills and introduce socially and culturally relevant discussions. These discussions have included such topics as: choosing colleges, resume writing and interviewing skills, coping with peer pressure, male-female relationships, and technical achievements of African-Americans, Africans, and Latinos. Guest speakers also deliver talks on leading edge technologies exposing students to possible career tracks.

Mathematics classes aim to reinforce the math skills the students are learning in school. Classes are offered in the following five (5) subject areas: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.

Engineering classes expose students to engineering fundamentals. There are four (4) engineering classes that are taken in the following sequence by any student that joins PACE in the ninth grade: Introduction to Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Senior Engineering and Leadership Development. Intro to Engineering covers a variety of basic engineering skills such as units of measure, drafting, circuit analysis, and an introduction to the Internet. Electrical Engineering covers basic electronics, both analog and digital. Computer Science teaches programming concepts and delves deeper into Internet technology. Senior Engineering and Leadership Development offers students the opportunity to work on robotics projects. Senior Engineering also teaches leadership concepts drawing upon the highly acclaimed model, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, developed by Stephen Covey.

New in 2008-09 is the Scientific and Engineering Projects class, an elective, which teaches student how to conduct research.

Competitions and extra-curricular activities engage students in challenging, interesting, and fun ways. PACE - Monmouth holds an annual Thinkathon, Math Bowl, and Science Forum.

In the fall students participate in the Thinkathon, a team competition that tests the students reasoning ability. In the spring, the students participate in the Math Bowl. This team competition challenges the students’ mathematical abilities. Both events tend to be fun activities for the students as well as the staff.

The Science Forum is a chance for students to work on a long-term (several months) research project. A staff member will act as an advisor, providing ideas for possible projects and guiding the group of students throughout the project. The students are required to complete the project, write a report, and present their results to staff, students, and parents at the annual Science Forum.

Other special activities include SAT workshops, career days, field trips, and cultural celebrations. Student leadership is encouraged and developed through activities such as student-run eye openers, Student Take-Over Day and student involvement in the governing of the program.

Staff Involvement

Staff volunteers at PACE - Monmouth have a variety of ways in which they get involved with the program. Volunteers participate in any and all of the following: teaching, mentoring, planning and organizing of special events and activities, and governing the program.


Volunteers instruct math or engineering classes. Our goal is for each class to have at least two instructors who would share the teaching and planning loads. Instructors have the freedom to teach from an established curriculum or to design the class to serve the students’ needs and preferences.


Staff volunteers are paired up with students and are encouraged to form relationships with the students outside of the classroom. Mentors may guide students in their college and career choices, share personal experiences regarding college and career accomplishments, encourage students during times of self-doubt, and in general, motivate students to excel.

Events and Activities

Staff volunteers play an important role in supervising academic activities. For many activities staff volunteers serve as advisors on projects or station managers and team coaches during competitions. Staff also participate in the planning and execution of special events such as college trips, cultural celebrations, the end-of-year awards banquet, and other special events throughout the year. In addition, staff often contribute to the Eye-Opener sessions that start each Saturday morning. Staff, on occasion, will deliver presentations on specific topics or facilitate student discussions and group activities.

Governing the Program

Staff volunteers may choose to get involved in the organizing and running of the program. PACE - Monmouth Governing Body officer roles are typically filled by staff members who start out as class instructors and then choose to broaden their involvement in the program. Such a progression of responsibility ensures that the Governing Body contains members that are familiar with classroom activities and the motivations and concerns of the students. Often, PACE - Monmouth Governing Body officers maintain teaching responsibilities in addition to their Governing Body role.

Staff Benefits

Participation in PACE provides our volunteer staff the opportunity to...

  • give back to the community
  • encourage more African-American and Latino youth to enter the math and science fields
  • help develop the leadership potential of our youth
  • inspire our youth to excel

Student Involvement

PACE - Monmouth students are the primary beneficiaries of the program. Because many PACE - Monmouth students will become our future leaders in industry and society, emphasis is placed on investment in their education and development now. The principal responsibilities of our students are to:

  • come with an open mind, ready to learn
  • practice what they learn through in-class exercises, projects and homework
  • glean wisdom from the knowledge and experience of our staff
  • develop goals for themselves and measure their progress towards these
  • display mature attitudes and respect for themselves and others
  • attend regularly

In addition to classes, students participate in a variety of other ways: competitions and activities, committee memberships, and governing the program.

Competitions and Activities

Students are encouraged to participate in the various competitions and special activities, e.g. our Thinkathon, Science Forum, and Math Bowl. These competitions and activities are important components of each student’s PACE - Monmouth experience. The students learn how to think quickly but accurately, how to work in teams, how to conduct scientific research, and how to have fun while learning.

Committee Memberships

Students are encouraged to serve on various PACE - Monmouth committees. These committees oversee different program activities and events. Students participate in committee planning, decision-making, activity development, and implementation. Through their involvement the students get to shape the program to meet their needs and interests as well as develop leadership and planning skills.

Governing the Program

Students may choose to get involved in the organizing and running of the program. A student representative from each grade (9th through 12th) is elected by their peers to serve on the PACE - Monmouth Governing Body. They are responsible for representing the concerns of their peers in the Governing Body.

Student Benefits

Participation in PACE provides our students the opportunity to...

  • learn from staff who actually work in product development and research organizations
  • receive guidance and inspiration
  • interact with role models
  • receive technical and mathematical instruction
  • develop and practice leadership skills
  • shape the program through involvement in planning of events and activities
  • be made aware of summer internship and part-time job opportunities
  • learn what it takes to succeed in college and the job market
  • learn more about their heritage and the contributions of minorities to science and technology

Parental Involvement

PACE - Monmouth parents play a critical role in the program. PACE is built upon the model of a Cooperative Learning Environment in which community volunteers and the parents of our youth come together in partnership for the development of our youth. PACE parents play a lead role in the planning and organizing of special events and help to make each PACE Saturday morning session run smoothly. PACE - Monmouth parents:

  • purchase and set out snacks for the students during break
  • pass out and collect attendance sheets
  • help to keep the students motivated and arriving to class on time
  • perform the majority of the planning, organizing, and chaperoning of special events such as the college tour, end-of-year Awards Banquet and cultural celebrations
  • leverage their skills and experience to enrich the program and help it fulfill its mission

Parents also get involved in governing the program. Parent representatives are elected by their peers to serve on the PACE - Monmouth Governing Body. They are responsible for representing the concerns of their peers in the Governing Body.

Parent Benefits

Participation in PACE provides parents the opportunity to...

  • shape the program through involvement in planning of events and activities
  • be intimately aware of the type of education their children are receiving at PACE
  • be involved in the education of their children
  • demonstrate belief in the importance of education through support of the program
  • ensure the continued success of the program by leveraging their skills, connections, and experience

PACE Monmouth Operations

PACE - Monmouth is run by a volunteer staff made up of members from the community, parents, and professionals from companies in the computer, telecommunications and other industries. PACE - Monmouth is managed by a Governing Body that includes: an Executive Director, a Deputy Executive Director, a Secretary, a Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, a Director of Engineering Program, a Director of Mathematics Program, a Director of Parental Affairs, Student Representatives, a Director of Events Planning, and a Director of Eye-Opener Planning. Members of the Governing Body are elected annually through separate staff, parent, and student elections, depending on the position to be filled.

The regular operating costs for the organization are funded through annual registration fees and various fund-raisers that are held throughout the year. In addition, grants are solicited from Corporations and Philanthropic Institutions.  For events that involve large costs, such as our annual College Tour, students are asked to cover a share of the costs through participation fees.  The amount charged is directly tied to the success of our fund raising and grant solicitation efforts.

Student Recruitment

PACE - Monmouth is open to all students in the Monmouth County area who are motivated and prepared to make a commitment of Saturday mornings during the academic year. The focus of our recruitment efforts is in the African-American and Latino communities because these are the communities that are most under-represented in the technology fields. Students accepted into the program will be expected to work on technical projects, take exams, complete assignments and attend regularly. Group activities will enable students to interact with one another in a supportive environment, helping to build confidence and self-esteem. Through pride and preparation PACE graduates will be better able to meet the challenges of adulthood in an increasingly technological society.

Additional Information

Read PACE - Monmouth’s mission statement in the Mission section.

Details of the Governing Body, which runs the program, is in the Organizational Structure page.

The Saturday schedule, yearly calendar, closing policy, goals and objectives, and student body profile is in the Program Information section.

Learn more about how PACE came to be in the History page.

For further information on how you can participate in PACE, read the How to Join page.

If you have any other questions, please Contact Us.