CAP faculty members Leslie Henson, Katie Hern, and Myra Snell were recognized with an Excellence in College Research Award for their collaboration on the article “Let Them In: Increasing Access, Completion, and Equity in College English.”
Originally published in the November 2014 issue of the publication Perspectives, the article analyzes what happened when Butte College changed its placement policy to double the percentage of incoming students allowed to enroll directly in college English without remediation (from 23% to 48%). While many faculty feared that the change would result in high student failure rates, data show that student completion of college English increased dramatically, with the biggest gains among students of color. African American students’ completion of college English tripled and Hispanic and Asian completion doubled. Further, among students who would have previously placed into remediation, 40% earned grades of A or B in the college-level course. The data underscore national research from the Community College Research Center showing that a large percentage of students placed into remediation could pass college-level courses if allowed to enroll directly.
Also receiving an award today were Terrence Willett and Craig Hayward, the researchers who evaluated student outcomes at the first 16 CAP colleges. Their quasi-experimental study, Curricular Redesign and Gatekeeper Completion: A Multi-College Evaluation of the California Acceleration Project, found that in effective accelerated English pathways, students’ odds of completing the college-level course were 2.3 times higher than students in traditional remediation. In accelerated statistics pathways, their odds of completing transfer-level math were 4.5 times higher. All student groups benefited from acceleration, including students in all ethnic groups, all placement levels, students with disabilities, and students who had taken ESL classes. During a featured session at the conference, Willett and Hayward shared additional data not included in the original report. It showed dramatic equity gains for Black and Hispanic students in accelerated statistics pathways at the first 8 CAP colleges and surprisingly strong outcomes among students in the lowest levels of math (3 and 4 below transfer).