October 30, 2015

Jeanette Grider

1818 ACC Program Shapes Future Students

As Saint Louis University's 1818 Accelerated College Credit Program (ACC) approaches nearly six decades of helping high school students get a jump start on their college education, a new director - Bretton DeLaria - has been named by the College of Arts and Sciences, who brings his personal experience as a participant in the program as a teenager at Saint Louis University High School.

SLU's dual credit program is one of the oldest in the nation. It is nationally respected, highly regarded and externally ranked and accredited.

During the academic year of 2014-15, the program served approximately 6,000 students taking an estimated 40,000 credit hours. There were about 400 instructors across five states, and nearly 100 high schools participating.

"The 1818 ACC Program thrives due to its commitment to the Jesuit tradition of providing exceptional SLU education to outstanding high school students in the local and national community who are willing to challenge themselves to grow deeper in understanding, knowledge and skills," DeLaria said.

During the past two and a half years, DeLaria served as assistant director and interim director of the program. He is also a SLU alumnus, having graduated from SLU with an undergraduate degree in education with an emphasis in history and a minor in urban social analysis. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in communication.

The 1818 ACC program has grown nationally during the last few years, and was recently implemented in the Kansas City market. For the first time in its history, the program has received accreditation as one of only 97 institutions nationwide from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

The sixth director in the program's 56-year history, DeLaria utilizes his own experience and insight from his academic and professional career in education, marketing, design and fundraising. He attributes these experiences for providing him with a deep understanding of the challenges, struggles and joys of secondary education and higher education.

Bretton DeLaria                 Photo by Ryleigh Henry, Cliento Photography

Christopher Duncan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, commented on DeLaria's leadership and the program's success.

"Brett's obvious passion and dedication to this critical and mission-centric work is infectious and inspiring," Duncan said. "Because of his efforts and the efforts of those faculty and staff who serve the program, both SLU's reach and grasp have been extended significantly."

DeLaria is recognized as a "thought leader" through his work with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships and Noodle.com. He was selected to serve as the resident expert for dual credit programs by Noodle.com, a nationally recognized education website geared toward helping families make informed decisions about education.

Additionally, he was recently selected to serve as a board member for the Missouri Department of Higher Education's Early College Advisory Board, which ensures quality assurance of Missouri dual credit programs following state and national standards.

"Having benefited first-hand from my 1818 ACC credits, I truly understand and believe in the good work the program does at Saint Louis University," DeLaria said.

Click here to learn more about the 1818 Advanced College Credit Program

1818 ACC director Bretton DeLaria with students at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa.
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