An intensive summer institute for faculty teaching in accelerated English and math contexts

Across California, community colleges are making transformative changes to increase completion rates of transfer-level math and English and to address equity gaps in completion. High leverage strategies involve broadening access to transfer-level coursework, rethinking academic support, and replacing long remedial sequences in reading, writing, ESL and mathematics with redesigned accelerated pathways. This involves changes to placement and course structures, and it can involve significant changes to classroom instruction. 

The CAP Community of Practice is a 3-day summer institute focused on these high leverage strategies. Faculty will examine their placement policies, learn from colleges implementing co-requisite remediation and delve deeply into the instructional practices illustrated in the 2013 publication, Toward a Vision of Accelerated Curriculum and Pedagogy: High-Challenge, High Support Classrooms for Underprepared Students (Hern & Snell, LearningWorks). In the spirit of belonging to a Community of Practice, participation in the summer institute connects faculty to a statewide network of innovative faculty and provides access to curricular materials, course outlines, classroom activities, assessments and inspiration.

Dates (attend one or the other, not both):
Northern California (Bay Area): June 2-4, 2017
Southern California (L.A. Area): July 7-9, 2017

$300 per participant covers training, materials, and some meals during the institute. Colleges are responsible for covering the cost of hotel, transportation, and meals that aren’t included. 

Intended Audience
The program supports math and English faculty to implement high-challenge, high-support pedagogy in accelerated pathways. We define acceleration to include any changes to placement and curricula that reduce or eliminate students’ time in remedial courses. In math, we will work on differentiated pathways for students in non-math-intensive programs of study as well as STEM. 

Good candidates for participation:

  •  Faculty teaching in accelerated developmental courses that lead directly into transfer-level math or English courses. For English/Reading this includes an integrated approach to reading and writing; for ESL streamlining ESL courses to integrate students more quickly into credit-bearing English courses; for Math a pathways approach that aligns remediation with transfer-level course work, such as pre-Statistics courses, foundational courses in quantitative reasoning, or intensive algebra preparation for STEM.

  •  Faculty teaching in "co-requisite" models of remediation, in which students classified as "below transfer level" enroll directly in transfer-level English or transfer-level math courses with additional, concurrent support.

  •  Faculty teaching in transfer-level math and English courses where changes in placement policy have enabled a broader student population to enroll (more than 50% of incoming students eligible for transfer-level English or math).

We require a minimum of three faculty per team. Teams can be comprised of faculty from more than one college in a district.

Application form and deadline: Complete and submit the online application by Friday, April 7 at 5:00pm. Please note that there are parts of the application that may require extra time, so review the materials early. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should we already have our accelerated approach in place before sending a team to the Community of Practice?
We have found that faculty benefit most from the Summer Institute if they will be teaching in an accelerated context in the fall (placement changes, co-requisite models, or accelerated pathway) or if they are shadowing a fellow faculty member in fall with plans to teach in the spring. This means that it is best if your department has already implemented acceleration or is well on the way to doing that. However, many faculty also find that attending the summer institute gives them new perspectives on how to restructure their program and courses to better improve completion rates.  

Summer Serpas (English) and Myra Snell (Math) are available throughout Spring 2017 to help if your college needs advice on designing your approach. Email them at CAP Central

What if my college already participated in a prior year – can we apply again?
Yes. Definitely. Now entering the seventh year of the CAP Community of Practice, we welcome both new colleges and returning colleges that want to expand their accelerated offerings. 

Both our Math and English faculty are interested in participating. Can we apply in more than one discipline?
Yes. Definitely. If your college would like to apply in both Math and English, please prepare separate applications for each discipline, with at least three faculty members on each team. The applications will be evaluated independently.  

We're putting together a proposal for funding from our college (for equity, BSI, and/or BSSOT funds). What should we include in the budget?
Expenses will vary depending on how far your college is from the institutes. For Northern CA colleges, events will be held in the Bay Area; for Southern CA colleges, events will be in the greater Los Angeles region (exact locations not yet available). Items to include: Estimated round-trip mileage to the institute, 2-3 nights hotel if needed (estimate: $175/night – colleges more than 2 hours from the institutes might consider staying Thursday night); meals that are not covered during the two institutes (we cover Friday dinner and lunch on Saturday and Sunday); and parking/other miscellaneous travel costs. 

Other Questions?
Contact CAP Central at


Northern California (Bay Area): June 2-4, 2017
Southern California (L.A. Area): July 7-9, 2017