PACE History | University of Portland

PACE History

The University of Portland and the University of Notre Dame began a partnership two decades ago with the intent to train teachers in the latest, research-based methods. These teachers were placed in under-resourced Catholic schools and lived in an intentional community with other teachers in the program, where they were encouraged to engage their own faith. The first classes of Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) graduates all received graduate degrees through the University of Portland. As the idea grew, the Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) became its own program administered exclusively through the University of Portland in order to strengthen Catholic schools in the Northwest. The idea continued to grow, reaching national prominence with 15 similar programs at colleges and universities across the country, eventually forming what is now known as the University Consortium for Catholic Education (UCCE).

Beginning in the fall of 1998, PACE began to work in partnership with the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Portland and a handful of Catholic School principals in the greater Portland area to place first-year certified teacher education graduates in teaching positions in Catholic schools. In that first year, there were four teachers working in elementary schools in the Archdiocese. These PACE teachers lived together in community near the University of Portland and had the opportunity to participate in planned activities to support their spiritual development. Concurrently, they completed graduate coursework toward a master of education degree from the University of Portland.

Over the years as PACE grew, its outreach also has grown. PACE currently serves Catholic schools in 13 communities across 7 states. PACE welcomes both initial and advanced licensure candidates and continues to distinguish itself with two foci, individual attention and a deep commitment to the development of PACE teachers as professional educators and servant leaders.

In the summers of 2020 and 2021, PACE welcomed cohorts 23 and 24.  Each of these our largest cohorts to date. Because of the success of its current participants and growing alumni base, PACE has emerged as a significant force in support of Catholic schools across the Western United States.