[Assessment 1156] Re: Intensity of Instruction and funding ofadult ESLprograms

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Gopalakrishnan, Ajit Ajit.Gopalakrishnan at po.state.ct.us
Thu Feb 7 13:13:32 EST 2008

When the topic of managed enrollment has come up in my discussions with
local administrators, more so in recent years, I have tried to reiterate
that managed enrollment does not have to be an all or nothing
proposition. In CT, where close to 90% of the public adult education
expenditures come from state and local sources, several local program
administrators don't like the idea of denying entry to a local resident
until the next term/semester. It appears that our suggestion is similar
to the "tracks" concept you mention below --of course, the program needs
to have some minimum capacity in order to provide both managed and open
entry options. Even large programs may only be able to offer "tracks" at
one or two of their largest sites while the remaining smaller satellite
locations may end up continuing with an open-entry approach.

The end game is about finding ways that enable learners to maximize
their attendance hours. The most recent CAL study and two previous
studies through CASAS (one with CA data and the other with CT data)
confirm that learners who attend more hours (generally more than 100
hours) reflect the greatest gains in ESL. These studies also show that a
large number of ESL students attend fewer than 60 hours. This brings us
back to the persistence issue. Jodi raised a question in an earlier
email about intensity and attendance. My hypothesis is that learners in
more intensive (greater weekly intensity) classes attend more total
hours than learners in classes where the same number of instructional
hours are delivered over a longer duration. I have seen it manifested in
some local program data but need to study it more.


Ajit Gopalakrishnan
Connecticut Department of Education
25 Industrial Park Road
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone: (860) 807-2125
Fax: (860) 807-2062
Email: ajit.gopalakrishnan at ct.gov

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
<mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov> ] On Behalf Of Forrest Chisman
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 11:34 AM
To: 'The Assessment Discussion List'
Subject: [Assessment 1134] Re: Intensity of Instruction and funding
ofadult ESLprograms


That's too bad about your experiences with managed enrollment. Some of
colleges we studied think they "beat this rap" by creating very large
managed enrollment classes to allow for attrition. (For them, managed
enrollment meant that if students didn't attend on a regular basis, they
were dropped from the program.) They figured that what they lost in head
counts, they made up for in contact hours. But we also heard stories
yours. I'm beginning to believe that "managed enrollment" works best as
of several "tracks" -- if a program is large enough to have "tracks" --
track for the motivated. Some programs believe that it is by itself
"motivational" -- in that it encourages students to make more of a

What do the rest of you think?


-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
<mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov> ] On
Behalf Of Schneider, Jim
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 11:30 PM
To: Jodi Crandall; The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1126] Re: Intensity of Instruction and funding of

At our cc based adult learning center we do not charge any fees for

We have dabbled with the managed enrollment, however our institution is
driven by enrollment and contact hours so that we simply cannot afford
operate in a managed enrollment fashion. I do believe that it is better
the teachers and students. Unfortunately, operating in a strict fashion,
enrollment took close to a 50% reduction. Still, recognizing the value
the concept, the past two years we have attempted a semi-managed
In the fall we have a 3 week enrollment period and then hold classes
with no
additional students for 5 weeks. Then an additional 3 week open
followed by no new students for 5 weeks. Ideally, we would operate in
fashion year round providing some sense of continuity for the
and learners. Unfortunately, student attendance waxes and wanes due to
employment, weather, transportation, etc. and in each year we attempted
we held to it through the second 5 weeks and then abandon it for the
remainder of the year because student attendance/enrollment declined to
point that we had to enroll any learner whenever they were interested to
meet our enrollment goals.

The bulk of our english learners enroll in the three levels of morning
classes which meet Monday through Thursday from 8:30 until 11 a.m.. Our
evening program has varied from 2-3 levels. Evening classes meet Monday
Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.. Both morning and evening classes are offered
approximately 38 weeks through the fall and spring semesters.

These offerings are "how we have always done it" and are somewhat bound
the available funds.

Jim, "I like the sound of eloquent" Schneider

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov on behalf of JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Sent: Tue 2/5/2008 3:30 PM
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1116] Intensity of Instruction and funding of adult

Hi, everyone. It has been interesting reading the postings today and
to respond to some of them now. I just learned from Forrest that his
Internet Service Provider is down, but he expects to be back on line
tonight or tomorrow. He'll add his comments later.

In the meantime, let me respond to a couple of themes that have emerged
the discussion.

Jackie asked what we meant by "intensity of instruction" and Marie
a definition from an excellent publication from the Center for Applied
Linguistics which analyzes the effects of instructional hours and
of instruction on NRS level gains in listening and speaking.

In our study, we define "intensity of instruction" as the number of
per week and differentiate it from "duration" which is the total number
hours for the program.
We think both intensity and duration are important. It is important to
enough hours per week of instruction, but also important that there be
enough weeks. Programs in the 5 community colleges we studied varied
from 3
to 20 hours per week of instruction, with 10 hours/week considered
"semi-intensive" and 20 hours/week as "intensive" instruction.

As Jim so eloquently put it, there are some basic reasons why programs
not offer as many hours of instruction per week as they want to, with
funding being at the root of many of the reasons.

Forrest and I would be interested in knowing how many hours per week
various programs meet (and for how many weeks) and how you determined
schedule. Have you tried more intense programs for shorter periods of
What has been the impact on attendance?

Have any of you provided adult ESL/ESOL programs that charge a fee? We
surprised to learn of such a program at Bunker Hill Community College.
provide free adult ESOL and also a fee-based program in an attempt to
accommodate more learners. They found that at least some learners were
to pay the fee and thus they were able to serve more learners.

We'd also like to know if your programs are open-entry/open-exit, with
learners coming to class when they can and sometimes leaving for several
classes before they return, or if you have tried some kind of "managed
enrollment" with attendance expectations of those who are enrolled in
classes. Several community colleges have experimented with this
and have found it effective. I know that Forrest will have more to say
about this.

I have to go teach, but when I return, I'd like to talk a bit about
surrounding literacy and prior education.

Jodi Crandall

National Institute for Literacy
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