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BWe Special Issue:

Issue 14.1

Accelerated Learning in Basic Writing: Investigating the Successes and Challenges of ALP Models

2016

Leah Anderst, Jennifer Maloy, and Jed Shahar, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, Guest Editors

Barbara Gleason, BWe Editor

Lynn Reid, Associate Editor, Production

 

Editors’ Introduction

Leah Anderst, Jennifer Maloy, and Jed Shahar

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ALP FAQ

Peter Dow Adams

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Abstract: Peter Adams, who initiated the ALP program at Community College of Baltimore County and has provided national leadership for ALP program development at other colleges, comments on common questions and concerns about ALP models. He contributes background information about the ALP model, information about the success of ALP on his campus and elsewhere, and data demonstrating that although ALP relies on low class enrollment caps, the ALP model is cost-effective, even when compared to developmental classes with higher enrollments.

A University-Community College Collaborative Project to Create Co-Requisite Offerings and Reduce Remediation

Lori Chastaine Michas, Meagan Newberry, Karen S. Uehling, Abigail L. Wolford

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Abstract: This essay describes a year-long, grant-funded, cross-institutional collaborative project between Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho, a community college. The goal of the project was to institute an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model for first-year and basic writing in response to a state mandate to embrace Complete College Idaho, a form of Complete College America. The essay depicts the institutional context of each college and analyzes the challenges and benefits of the new model at each institution. The authors consider the differing roles of full-time and contingent faculty at the two institutions and the challenge of defining reasonable grant work requirements, given the varied teaching, research, and service expectations of instructors. The piece also considers the complex reasons Idaho students may not finish higher education and the extent to which the goals of Complete College Idaho could be met by instituting an accelerated model.

To Live with It: Assessing an Accelerated Basic Writing Pilot Program from the Perspective of Teachers

Jason Evans

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Abstract: At a community college in the Midwest, an English Department designs and implements a teacher-driven pilot project to experiment with its basic writing program. The article discusses some methods and the value of a local decision-making process that is driven primarily by the concerns of teachers and the experience of students.

From the Students’ Perspectives : Acceleration vs. Remediation: What’s in a Name for Composition Students?

Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk

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Abstract: Entering college students are profoundly disturbed when placed in courses labeled “basic,” “developmental,” or “remedial.” Discouraged and often faced with pressing life problems, many of these students drop out of college before ever reaching first-year composition. Beginning in 2007, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) renamed and reframed their basic writing program as ALP (the Accelerated Learning Program). Students enrolled in ALP take regular, credit-bearing composition along with a writing workshop taught by the same teacher and designed to help them succeed in the comp course. Now, ten years later, ALP has enabled thousands of students at CCBC to move into the college mainstream in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Efforts to disseminate the program have been wide-ranging and successful. Currently, the ALP model has been implemented at approximately 240 campuses nationwide. In this essay, I argue that with the widespread implementation of innovative, student-centered programs such as ALP, Stretch, and writing studios, the time has finally come to end remediation as we know it.

Genre and Writerly Identity in the ALP Classroom

Jamey Gallagher

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Abstract: Success rates for basic writers have improved dramatically thanks to recent efforts to rethink and “accelerate” developmental education. This article will begin to answer the question of what is happening to students as they go through these accelerated options, particularly a co-requisite model like ALP. It starts by questioning the very notion of “basic writer.” There is no meaningful difference between groups of students labelled developmental and groups labelled credit-worthy. By encouraging students to think about genre—both to study genre and to write within genres—in ALP classes, the author argues that students will begin to think of themselves more as writers and less as basic writers. A simple action research project is explained and seems to validate that the intensive writing atmosphere of ALP classes can help move student identity in new directions.

Learning Journals in One ALP: Making Visible Students’ Voices
About Writing Ability and the Affective Context of Learning

Stephanie A. Kratz

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An ALP writing assignment provides a forum for student-faculty dialogue about academic and non-cognitive issues and serves as both a program and student assessment tool. Qualitative and quantitative studies reveal that students often mistakenly believe they are proficient regarding grammar and success strategies alike. Faculty can support students by recognizing that student success is tightly bound to the context in which students learn and striving to create an environment that explicitly addresses grammar and success concepts.

Alternative Forms of ALP : Balancing the Real and Ideal:  Linking Program Design to Pedagogical Success in Co-Requisite Writing Support

Annie S. Mendenhall and Margaret Brockland-Nease

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A pilot program of a co-requisite Learning Support writing course (ENGL 0999)  adapts features of Studio and Accelerated Learning programs to a two-semester sequence of First Year Writing. The program was designed to cultivate critical reflection, writing knowledge transfer, and student-led discussion. Narratives from the program director (Mendenhall) and a lead instructor (Brockland-Nease) discuss challenges in developing the pedagogical and programmatic support necessary to engage students and communicate with other writing instructors in the co-requisite format. The authors argue that ongoing, collaborative program design plays a critical role in supporting pedagogy for courses that, by design, serve as adjuncts to core writing classes

 

Using an Emporium Model in an Introduction to Academic Literacies Course

Brenda Refaei and Ruth Benander

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Research suggests that many students placed in the lowest level developmental writing courses do not make it to first-year composition and never graduate. The authors explain how they redesigned the lowest level writing course with scaffolded writing assignments to allow students to work at an accelerated pace.  Instructors and tutors work with students individually and in small groups as they complete the assignments. To facilitate real-time feedback, the authors created a Google Drive folder for class use so that students would have access to planning materials and prompt writing feedback. Students have individual folders for their work, and process writing is easily accessible to students, tutors, and instructors. More students from this lowest level course are moving directly into the required first-year English composition course. This new course design effectively supports students at an open-access two-year college.

Accelerating Developmental English at Atlantic Cape: The Triad Model

Stephanie Natale-Boianelli, Leila Crawford, Maryann Flemming-McCall, Matthew Miller, Richard Russell and Regina Van Epps

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English professors from Atlantic Cape Community College describe the triad model of their Accelerated Learning Program, an adaptation of Community College of Baltimore County’s program.  In the triad model, ALP students from two different sections of college-level composition meet in a single support class.  Through a discussion of the benefits and challenges of this model, an overview of a typical class, and a presentation of effective practices, the authors explore the process of adapting the ALP program and creating an award-winning model that has improved the success rates for upper-level developmental students at their institution.

Book Review: Ben Rafoth’s  Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers

Marcy Llamas Senese

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