The California Acceleration Project is a faculty-led professional development network that supports the state’s 116 Community Colleges to transform remediation to increase student completion and equity. CAP is focused on one primary outcome: increasing the number of students who go on to complete transferable gateway courses in English and math, a critical early momentum point toward longer term degree and transfer outcomes. Between 2010 and 2016, 114 California Community Colleges participated in CAP outreach workshops, and 84 colleges began implementing acceleration strategies with support from our extended professional development programs.
In the first five years of CAP, our objectives were to make the case for change to practitioners throughout the community college system, attract early initiator faculty who could navigate local politics and processes to get pilots on the ground, train faculty in high-challenge, high-support pedagogy, and gather student outcomes data to make the case for broader change. We have achieved those objectives and have now entered our next phase: scaling up. We want to expand accelerated pathways at participating colleges so that they become the norm rather than the exception. We also want colleges to implement additional acceleration strategies – in particular, adjusting placement policies and developing new co-requisite models. In short, we want to significantly increase student completion not just within a few pilot sections but across entire colleges.
CAP has received awards from the Association of California Community College Administrators, the Campaign for College Opportunity, and the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges. CAP Co-Founders Katie Hern and Myra Snell were named to the "16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education" by the Washington Monthly, and CAP efforts have been featured in the New York Times, Inside Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Black Minds Matter, Diversity and Democracy, EdSource, the Sacramento Bee, and KQED's California Report. CAP leaders have also addressed national audiences at events hosted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Achieving the Dream, Complete College America, and the Education Commission of the States.