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Shelly Hitt

Contract Specialist, Internet Technology Division, Army Contracting Command

Shelly Hitt still promotes the ACCEL program 15 years beyond earning her degree.

In her own words:

"The ACCEL program created a broadened exposure to a diverse group of working professionals, something I would have not experienced in a traditional education setting." 

Shelly Hitt was among the first students to enroll in the St. Ambrose University ACCEL program and she graduated with her business degree in 2000.

She is still eager and willing to talk about her experience a decade-and-a-half later. "I have mentioned and promoted the ACCEL program for years," said Hitt, who was a working mother of one just four years out of high school when she enrolled at St. Ambrose in 1995.

"The adult learner setting and the opportunity to mix with experienced professionals lent me an exposure to the 'real world' that I think  ultimately gave me a leg up in my career."

Hitt's degree helped her achieve a promotion in the mortgage banking business shortly after her graduation. A few years later, she obtained a master's and today holds the title of contract specialist for the Army Contracting Command at the Rock Island Arsenal.

All these years later, Hitt said she well remembers the team atmosphere that drove the program in the beginning and drives it still today. "

There was always a lot of energy among the students, instructors and staff," she said. "The staff members were excited you were there and always more than helpful. There was a genuine excitement to see us succeed."