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Accelerated Learning Program

Materials from the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), which uses a form of mainstreaming to increase student success in the post-secondary, introductory developmental writing course.
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Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
Accelerated Learning Program, Community College of Baltimore County
Published: 
2013
Resource Type: 
Product
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Abstract: 

The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) is a co-requisite model for developmental writing that began as a faculty initiative in 2007 at Baltimore County Community College. ALP uses a form of mainstreaming to increase success rates for basic skill-level writers. Students placed in upper level developmental writing course are invited to register for an ALP designated section of the freshman introductory English 101 course in which ten out of twenty seats are reserved for ALP students.

ALP students also register for a section of English 052, which meets immediately following English 101 and is taught by the same instructor. English 052 instructors have one goal: to maximize ALP students’ likelihood of success in the 101 class. Results from the Community College of Baltimore shows success rates for students in the ALP sections exceeding those for students in the traditional English 052 course by 15 to 22 percentage points.

ALP classroom resources include:

  • Bibliography
  • New ALP sourcebook
  • CCBC ALP Faculty Handbook
  • Sample Syllabi
  • Classroom Materials

More than 200 schools around the country have adopted/adapted ALP, and six states have launched wide-scale ALP adoptions: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia.

What the Experts Say: 

As a whole, the ALP English materials present a relatively coherent picture of what the contextualized teaching of academic writing might look like, when giving attention to the recursive nature of the writing process. Particularly useful is Approaches to Teaching ALP: A Combined Sourcebook, which overviews the ALP approach and describes teaching techniques appropriate for inclusion in ALP classes. Transition/Bridge instructors should find many of these applicable for their own students, especially:

  • an explanation of the reading-across-the-curriculum approach has some priceless nuggets
  • an emphasis on the non-cognitive/affective issues affecting student success
  • a 4-week unit on gaming (used as an example)
  • sample grammar/punctuation exercises

The ALP Faculty Handbook offers a wealth of resources:

  • PowerPoint presentation by Peter Adams (linked to on page 9) that explains the history of college writing instruction and how it has evolved. Adams developed the video for students, but it is worthwhile for practitioners to view it to help shape their own understanding of the recursive nature of the writing process and the importance of teaching planning and revision to students.
  • Appendix A offers engaging writing prompts that could be used for any Developmental Ed writing class or adapted for ABE.
  • Appendix D provides sample activities and resources (e.g., PowerPoints, websites) for teaching/practicing grammar, punctuation, and writing in various genres.
  • Appendix F lists pairs of terms/phrases that are often confused.

Sample Syllabi provide multiple models of syllabi for the English 101 and 052 courses. There is, however little to no explanation of how the curriculum is organized, nor is there information on what is done within most lessons. Hence, it would only be of use to adult educators who are already familiar with the content and skills they would feature in a similar college semester-long type course.

This resource will be useful for adult education programs developing bridge programs with community colleges. Even if ALP is not adopted fully, adult education programs will find value in exploring the features that make ALP successful and thinking about how they can be applied in adult education classrooms.

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