Acceleration Strategies that Produce Powerful Results

By: CAP Central Staff
August 2015

This four-page brief synthesizes the national research on practices community colleges are using to substantially increase student completion of college-level courses and narrow racial achievement gaps. It highlights three key strategies: 1) Changing placement policies to enable more students to bypass remediation and enroll directly in college-level courses, 2) Providing co-requisite models at the college level as an alternative to stand-alone remedial courses, and 3) Replacing long remedial course sequences with redesigned, single-semester developmental courses that are well-aligned with transfer-level requirements in students’ program of study. The brief was produced in collaboration with the CAP Think Tank, a group of researchers and community college practitioners, with funding from the California Education Policy Fund. 

Update – August 2018: In light of students’ rights under AB705, CAP no longer recommends single-semester developmental courses. Corequisite models produce far greater completion gains, and research to date has not been able to identify a single group of students whose completion is higher beginning in a course below transfer-level English and math.