Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Moving at the speed of potential: A mixed-methods study of accelerating developmental students in a California community college
by Parks, Paula L., Ph.D., Capella University, 2014, 146; 3611804
Abstract (Summary)

Most developmental community college students are not completing the composition sequence successfully. This mixed-methods study examined acceleration as a way to help developmental community college students complete the composition sequence more quickly and more successfully. Acceleration is a curricular redesign that includes challenging readings and assignments and reduces the number of required classes in the developmental composition sequence. Developmental students taking an accelerated composition class at the California community college studied were as successful as developmental students taking the traditional segmented basic skills course. Students who pass the accelerated course skip a developmental class and are eligible to take the college-level course, which saves them time and money. The students who were interviewed cited the main factors leading to their success: the academic support from faculty, academic support from fellow students, the personality/caring of the teacher, and an interest in the class theme. Data were from the first semester the college offered this class. Findings from the study indicate that the college studied should continue offering accelerated composition classes and should encourage attendance at professional development meetings so that all parts of the accelerated curriculum will be implemented in the future. Implementing all parts of the accelerated curriculum may increase the success rates. The college studied should also re-examine its traditional basic skills curriculum and the timed writing departmental final exam, which causes unnecessary stress and lowers expectations. More effort could be made to include readings from minority authors and to provide support, such as through learning communities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jacobs, Howard R.
Commitee: Lessner, Janet, Wilcox, Bonita
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Language arts, Curriculum development
Keywords: Acceleration, California, Community college, Curriculum redesign, Developmental education, Mixed methods, Writing
Publication Number: 3611804
ISBN: 978-1-303-72822-8
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