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Accelerating the Integrated Instruction of Developmental Reading and Writing at Chabot College

By: Nikki Edgecombe, Shanna Smith Jaggars, Di Xu & Melissa Barragan


This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data to compare the outcomes of students at Chabot College who participated in an accelerated, one-semester developmental English course and their peers who participated in a two-semester sequence. The sample included first-time students who entered college between summer 1999 and fall 2010; students were tracked for up to five years.

Propensity score matching and regression analyses show that participation in the accelerated course was positively associated with a range of positive short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes, including entry-level college English completion, credit accumulation, grade point average, transfer to a four-year institution, and certificate and degree attainment.

To better understand the quantitative findings, the authors draw on data from interviews with faculty, administrators, and staff; student focus groups; and classroom observations. The authors posit that the benefits of an accelerated course structure are amplified at Chabot College by a developmental English curriculum that is well aligned with college-level English and that develops critical academic literacy skills.

Note: A corrected version of this paper was posted in October 2014. As originally posted, the sample size for five-year outcomes was misstated on pp. 30 and 32.