tc columbia

A Model for Accelerating Academic Success of Community College Remedial English Students: Is the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) Effective and Affordable?

By: Davis Jenkins, Cecilia Speroni, Clive Belfield, Shanna Smith Jaggars & Nikki Edgecombe

Abstract

The Community College of Baltimore County’s Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) permits upper-level developmental writing students to enroll directly in college-level English (ENGL 101) while simultaneously taking a companion course—taught by the same instructor—that provides extra academic support.

Our findings suggest that participating in ALP is associated with substantially better outcomes in terms of English 101 completion and English 102 completion, the two outcomes ALP was primarily designed to improve. In the studied sample, 82% of ALP students passed ENGL 101 within one year, compared with 69% of non-ALP students. More than a third (34%) of ALP students passed ENGL 102, compared with only 12% of the non-ALP students.

Our results also show that, compared to the conventional approach, ALP provides a substantially more cost-effective route for students to pass the ENGL 101 and 102 sequence ($2,680 versus $3,122 per student). We found that the benefits of ALP are more than double the costs of the program.