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Call for Papers

BWe Special Issue

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

Submissions due March 15, 2016

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

Click here for a PDF version.

This special issue of BWe will focus on accelerated models of basic writing and college composition, particularly the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model envisioned by Peter Dow Adams and his colleagues at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) (Adams, et al.). Within the ALP model, students identified as needing a basic/developmental writing course enroll in a sequence of two credit-bearing college writing courses while attending a linked (non-credit) companion course to support their learning. The educational benefits for students and the cost benefits for colleges have led more than 200 colleges and universities to establish ALP programs.

Current research on ALP models focuses on quantitative analyses of large student cohorts in order to explore student retention and academic performance (Cho, et al.). Few publications contextualize accelerated learning in basic writing scholarship or focus on political implications of adopting ALP models in light of current pressures to reduce or eliminate remediation. Also absent from discussions of ALP are qualitative research studies that explore student perceptions of learning and experiences as developing writers.

To address these gaps, we seek submissions that contextualize accelerated learning within larger conversations in composition studies and basic writing theory and history and that present analyses of issues in administration, research, theory, and practice.

We hope to publish a combination of print essays (5,000 to 10,000 words) and digital texts that focus on both the possibilities and the drawbacks of accelerated learning programs within the field of basic writing. Manuscripts will be accepted through March 15, 2016.

BWe is a peer-reviewed online journal that welcomes both traditional and multi-modal texts. Submission guidelines for formatting print essays and webtexts appear on the BWe Website:  http://bwe.ccny.cuny.edu/ . The editors welcome queries from prospective authors before the deadline. These should be emailed to the three editors at:

LAnderst@qcc.cuny.edu

JMaloy@qcc.cuny.edu

JShahar@qcc.cuny.edu

We welcome submissions that respond to any of the following questions:

Discussions of accelerated learning program design and administration:

  • What challenges do institutions, instructors, and students face when implementing accelerated learning programs?

  • What challenges and opportunities exist as an accelerated learning model expands and grows?

  • In what ways does acceleration promote interdisciplinary and cross-departmental collaboration?

  • How has the ALP model, initially developed at the Community College of Baltimore County, been adapted to fit the needs of a variety of institutions?

  • In what ways does the increased adoption of accelerated learning models mirror other curricular innovations in developmental education?

  • How do differing models of acceleration relate to larger national discussions of developmental education and/or standardization?

Investigations into the successes and challenges of accelerated learning:

  • What are the outcomes of accelerated learning models, both short term and long term?

  • In what ways can we measure and assess accelerated learning outcomes?

  • In what ways has the success of models such as ALP been replicated?

  • What aspects of the model contribute to its relative successes?

  • What are some of the limitations of accelerated learning models for students and instructors?

  • Which students most benefit from accelerated learning and which do not? (students with extensive developmental needs, English language learners, bilingual and multilingual students)

  • What kinds of assignments and classroom practices best serve accelerated learning models?

  • How do accelerated learning models help students bridge the gap between developmental and “college level” courses?

Theory, History, and Politics of ALP:

  • What is the place of accelerated learning within the field of composition and rhetoric, and within history of developmental education and basic writing?

  • What connections does accelerated learning have to other alternatives to or innovations in developmental education? (mainstreaming, studio programs, stretch programs, etc.)

  • In what ways is accelerated learning connected to the Common Core, increased standardization, or recent cuts to developmental education?

  • In what ways does accelerated learning impact the writerly identities of “basic” writers and “ESL” students?

  • How do accelerated learning programs respond to the “gatekeeping” function of basic writing?

Works Cited

Adams, Peter, et al. "The Accelerated Learning Program: Throwing Open the Gates." Journal of Basic Writing 28.2 (2009): 50-69. Print.

Cho, Sung-Woo, et al. "New Evidence of Success for Community College Remedial English Students: Tracking the Outcomes of Students in the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). CCRC Working Paper No. 53." Community College Research Center, Columbia University (2012): ERIC. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.