Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Frank R. Lilly, Ph.D.

Title: Professor of Graduate and Professional Studies in Education & Director of Accelerated College Entrance (ACE)

Office Location: Alpine Hall 221

Email: frlilly@csus.edu

Office Phone: 916.278.4120

Mailing Address: 6000 J street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6079

Office Hours: By Appointment

Academic Service for Sacramento State University

I began teaching for Sacramento State in in 2003 in the Department of Teacher Education. My Doctoral training is in Educational and Counseling Psychology and Educating Exceptional Learners. Working with student teachers was exciting and inspiring. Students were so motivated to be the best teachers they could be, understanding that so many urban students need quality teachers who understand student diversity and equity.

When teacher education reorganized, the curriculum changed such that my area was subsumed by courses that taught foundations of education. I began teaching in the undergraduate departments of Teacher Education, Special Education, Child Development, and the GE Honors Program. I especially liked challenging students in Critical Thinking, Child Development and Cognitive Development. I came to be based in the Graduate and Professional Studies in Education Department and taught courses in curriculum and instruction, multicultural education and counselor education and supervised graduate students in thesis preparation. Further, I taught in the Ed.D program and supervised doctoral candidates' dissertations. So over the past 20 years, I have learned a great deal about the College of Education.

Currently, as the Director of ACE: Accelerated College Entrance, I work with 22 active high schools operating ACE GE courses on their campuses as well as, supervising a handful of students on Sac State's campus taking dual enrollment GE courses. I continue to teach and love working with graduate students, specifically in our Multicultural Education, Social Justice and Equity program.

Accelerated College Entrance (ACE) Dual Enrollment Program

Serving Partnerships within a 50-mile radius from Sac State 


For the past twenty-nine years, California State University, Sacramento currently referred to as Sacramento State University (CSUS) has operated a dual enrollment program; Accelerated College Entrance (ACE).  This successful program allows interested and qualified high school students the opportunity to take university courses concurrently with their high school curriculum either on-campus, or off-campus (with their partnering high schools). Dual enrollment (ACE) students attending on-campus courses take courses along with other Sac State Students and experience the independence and responsibility of a traditional university student. ACE students enrolled in courses on their partnering high school campuses matriculate curriculum designed to align with university courses. Both forms of dual enrollment allow students to practice socio-emotional regulation, time management, and responsibility as they learn critical thinking skills used to apply course material to real world settings.

Research conducted on dual enrollment ties this practice to college readiness finding students more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to transition to a four-year college rather than a two-year college, less likely to take basic skills courses in college, more likely to persist in postsecondary education, and accumulating more college credits.


ACE was founded at CSUS in 1985 and weathered the socio-political turbulance well. ACE currently enrolls approximately 2000 students per year (some students taking multiple courses) and continues to build on-campus and off-campus enrollment and establish partnerships with diverse area high schools.

Like many other dual enrollment programs, ACE was designed to provide motivated and achieving high school students the opportunity to benefit both educationally and financially. By enrolling in college/university courses during high school, tuition is greatly reduced. In addition, students can earn enough college credits to greatly reduce the number of years to complete an undergraduate degree. Psycho-social benefits of dual enrollment courses include the increased likelihood students perceive an authentic experience, display maturity, utilize support services, and develop academic confidence, motivation, academic interest, and successful retention and matriculation of college/university.

Research Interests

Creativity and Its Cultivation

Creative Leadership

The Evolutionary Psychology of Learning

Innate Releaser Mechanisms Guiding Sustained Interest and Performance

Academic and Psychological Benefits of Dual Enrollment Programs

Economics of Dual Enrollment

Shared Presentations