The Core Composition Sequence at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY

Accelerated Learning Program (ALP)

ALP Mission Statement:

The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) in the Composition Program at KCC is designed to facilitate the transition into college composition for students whose educational records indicate that they may need additional support to succeed in Composition I. ALP is predicated on the belief that students can thrive academically and rise to significant literacy challenges when given adequate individual attention and instruction from faculty. By fostering a supportive small community within the larger Composition I class, ALP provides a safe space for students to learn together, grow together, and support each other under the guidance of their instructors. The goal of ALP is to help students achieve the learning outcomes of Composition I, including submission of a passing writing portfolio, thereby reinforcing their role as critical readers, writers, and thinkers in the college community.

Background of ALP in Composition I:

In Spring 2013, Kingsborough began to pilot a variation of the Accelerated Learning Program instituted at the Community College of Baltimore County, with just five ALP sections of English 12 open to students at the highest level of the developmental sequence. Over time, the ALP program has expanded, and currently, virtually all students who would previously have been placed into remedial or developmental courses, are placed into ALP.  All ALP sections of Composition I participate in collaborative portfolio assessment.

Overview of ALP (English 12A0) Composition I:

  • English 1200: Composition I and English 12A0: Composition I – ALP are equivalent courses; students who pass English 12A0 will receive credit for Composition I.
  • There is no separate, additional, or different assessment for ALP students. Instead, the entire class will participate in collaborative portfolio assessment. 
  • The purpose of the two-hour ALP session is to support ALP students’ progress and to prepare them to pass the final portfolio.
  • ALP sessions will include individualized activities to meet the students’ needs and might include conferences, additional peer review, or deeper/slower work with a challenging text.

ALP Next Course Placement Summary

Grade                            Next Course Placement

Pass                              English 2400

Fail                                English 1200

W/WD/WN/WU               English 12A0

English 12A0: Composition I – ALP: Frequently Asked Questions 

How do students place into English 12A0: Composition I – ALP?

Students with a Proficiency Index of 64 or below can register for English 12A0, though advisors strongly encourage students with scores of 49 or below to first participate in the Immersion Program and/or CUNY Start where appropriate and possible.

Should instructors announce to the whole group that some students will have additional hours of instruction?

It’s your preference whether or not to explain that some students will have an extra two hours of class each week. Some faculty announce it on the first day, while others wait until it comes up during class.  

Are the ALP students the only ones in the class who participate in portfolio assessment? 

NO. All students, ALP and non-ALP, are evaluated by portfolio assessment. ALP students are Composition I students and should not be evaluated differently from the rest of the class. 

Do students in the ALP program understand why they are receiving extra class time? 

Now that some students register without the guidance of an advisor, they may not know why they were placed into ALP. It may be helpful to explain that ALP replaces the previous developmental model where students would take stand-alone non-credit courses until they passed the CATW. ALP is intended to give students the extra support they need to pass the class and receive credit instead of being required to first take and pass a zero-credit developmental class.   

Do ALP students take the CATW at the end of the semester?

No. As of Fall 2017, ALP students stopped retaking the CATW. All students are now assessed by Collaborative Portfolio Assessment.  

Must I maintain two Blackboard environments for my English 1200 and English 12A0 classes?

You can post your course materials in the English 1200 course shell as the entire class will have access to it. You may choose to use the separate English 12A0 Blackboard shell to communicate with the ALP group or hide it.

Does ALP have a different curriculum that must be followed?  

No. Your ALP section should follow the same suggested course structure as all other sections of Composition I. The additional two hours of instruction will give you time to preview and review the English 12 assignments and coursework.

How can you ensure students attend the two supplemental hours of instruction?

In the past, students had to sign a contract that stated their grade in Composition I was contingent upon their ALP attendance. Currently, students who pass English 1200, must receive the same grade in English 12A0, regardless of attendance. Therefore faculty have suggested the following strategies to deal with attendance issues in the ALP class: Make sure the supplemental hours provide productive instruction to help students pass the Composition I portfolio; Be sure your syllabus explicitly explains that participation and attendance in ALP are directly linked to passing the class; Be clear that only students who have completed a specified amount of work will even be eligible to submit a portfolio; Take attendance during the ALP sessions so students know that you value their presence in the class.   

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