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ACT and Shorelight are pleased to invite universities and colleges to participate in their partnership Confident Start Initiative, which helps international students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak stay on track and on time with their US education. Utilizing Shorelight’s American Collegiate Live (AC Live) distance learning program, Confident Start enables students abroad to begin their degree studies at home and earn up to a full year of academic credits, recognized at universities throughout the United States.

The Problem

While traditional online solutions might be sufficient for current US university students, they are inadequate to support new international students unaccustomed to a university culture and skeptical of US online education. Serving students through traditional asynchronous coursework fails to address holistically the unique needs of international students. The traditional model ignores varying levels of English language proficiency, differing academic cultures navigating intercultural social norms in real time, and student visa advising. Domestic solutions, such as deferment, leave students stranded and needlessly anxious, looking for alternatives.

The Solution

American Collegiate Live is designed around the unique needs of international students abroad to help them make it to campus as engaged first-year students without falling behind or out of sight.

The various academic program tracks provide students located around the world with live, synchronous instruction tailored to their English language proficiency. UMass Boston faculty teach from a state-of-the-art studio that provides the tools—from infinite white boards to student videoconferencing functionality—to create an optimal learning environment. Real-time faculty-led discussions, bilingual student support, and academic advising operate together to drive student success.


Colleges and universities can participate by offering their students an opportunity to dual enroll with American Collegiate Live and continue to campus when they’re able to travel. In addition to the benefit of letting students begin their studies while abroad, American Collegiate Live makes it possible for universities to engage with their students through customized portals and engagement tools so students feel connected and remain excited about coming to campus at the earliest available opportunity.

Participation can be limited to simply articulating the coursework from American Collegiate Live into your undergraduate degree program, or as extensive as embedding the option into your existing offers as a dual admission opportunity.

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