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ERIC Number: ED544249
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Fast Forward: A Case Study of Two Community College Programs Designed to Accelerate Students through Developmental Math. Executive Summary
Fong, Kelley; Visher, Mary G.
For the past decade, MDRC has evaluated a number of interventions designed to improve the outcomes of community college students, including enhanced counseling, learning communities, and financial incentives. Encouragingly, many of these strategies have produced positive effects, affirming that changes in institutional practices and policies can help more students succeed. At the same time, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that the effects of modest, short-term interventions tend to be small and to diminish after the program ends. Increasing in popularity are instructional reforms aimed at accelerating students through the developmental course sequence, for example, by compressing the material into fewer semesters, allowing students to move through it at their own pace, or placing students directly into college-level courses with extra support. Reforms that make such deep changes to course structure and classroom instruction--like those profiled in this report--may have the potential for larger and more sustained impacts on student outcomes. This report describes the experiences of two colleges in designing, implementing, and scaling acceleration programs in developmental math. The authors hope that lessons learned from these two programs are useful to practitioners considering acceleration programs as well as to policy-makers seeking new and effective strategies to significantly increase the number of students who earn a credential. MDRC hopes to obtain funding to formally evaluate these two programs in the years to come. (Contains 5 footnotes and 1 endnote.) [This executive summary was written with Greta Harris-Hardland, Alan Lebovitz, and Joanne Bashford, For the full report, see ED544248.]
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: MDRC
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Texas