Mesa Community College Accelerated Learning Program Helps Students Advance Writing Skills

Posted on February 11, 2013 by Angela Askey

Mesa Community College’s English Department is providing students, who may need a little extra assistance in writing, an opportunity to advance their skills through a new Accelerated Learning Program (ALP).

In Fall 2012, MCC began the pilot program to help developmental writing students succeed in First-Year Composition (ENG101) courses.

Upon acceptance at MCC, students take various placement exams including the WritePlacer®. Students who earn a score of four and are reading at the college-level may choose to join the ALP. They then register for both Fundamentals of Writing (ENG091) along with ENG101.

By taking the ENG101 class and immediately going to ENG091, all in one day, students are able to receive individualized instruction from the same instructor and develop a learning community. Lessons learned in ENG101 are reinforced in ENG091 through discussion and course information is tailored to students, allowing them to advance through content more quickly.

Additional advantages to students enrolled in the ALP include smaller class sizes, ability to develop relationships with peers, feeling a sense of community, and the opportunity to focus on developing other skills such as time management.  By completing two English classes in one semester it may allow students to complete their degree much faster.

Micheal Callaway, MCC English and ALP Instructor explained, “During ENG091 I am able to work with the students individually to help them further develop their topic selection, research ideas and help them understand what is relevant to write about.” He added, “It is fun for students and fun for the instructors. It is very rewarding to see their skill growth and overall success.”

During Fall Semester 2012, 52% of incoming students at MCC tested into at least one developmental (below college level) course. Of these students, 32% tested into developmental English.

The Fall 2012 cohort of ALP included 36 students in five classes. At the completion of the semester, 75% of the ALP students passed ENG091 and ENG101 in one semester with a grade of C or higher. In comparison, 30% of students who enrolled in ENG091 during Fall 2011 successfully completed ENG101 in spring 2012.

This spring, MCC is offering three sections of ALP; two at the Southern and Dobson campus and one section at the Red Mountain campus.

Jeff Andelora, MCC English Department Chair stated, “MCC’s English faculty is committed to providing excellent instruction to help students achieve their academic goals more quickly and learn the skills they   need to be successful.”

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Angela Askey at angela.askey@mesacc.edu or Sally Mesarosh at sally.mesarosh@mesacc.edu  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:  www.mesacc.edu/ia.

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