Teachers College, Columbia University

Accelerating the Academic Achievement of Students Referred to Developmental Education (Assessment of Evidence Series)

Acceleration, which reorganizes instruction and curricula in order to expedite completion of developmental requirements, is increasingly popular at community colleges hoping to improve outcomes for remedial students.

This paper reviews the literature on acceleration and considers the quality of evidence available on the effects of acceleration on student outcomes. After examining various definitions of acceleration to better understand what it is and how it works, the paper describes and categorizes the different acceleration models in use. It then reviews the recent empirical literature on acceleration to assess the effectiveness of these approaches.

Existing empirical evidence suggests that course redesign and mainstreaming models may enhance student outcomes. The paper closes with a discussion of the challenges involved in implementing acceleration strategies and recommendations for policy, practice, and research.

Associated Project(s)

Assessment of Evidence Series