Teachers College, Columbia University

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

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.

Findings from this study 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.

The results also show that, compared with 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). The benefits of ALP are more than double the costs of the program.