By: Olga Jimenez, Communications Associate, The Campaign for College Opportunity
Dear California Acceleration Project,
As Valentine’s day nears, we wanted to take a minute to express our ardent admiration for you in true Little Rascals, Alfalfa fashion!
You are tackling one of the biggest and most important issues facing students at community colleges – helping them get through remedial courses prepared enough to succeed in college level course work. You have demonstrated that faculty led reforms and innovations are the way forward. And you have demonstrated this dedication to students beyond the ones you serve at your own colleges in the hopes that ALL California community college students placed in remedial courses can succeed through the redesign of developmental English and math curriculum.
It is a huge and courageous undertaking! We can all agree that a traditional remedial course where roughly two-thirds of students will fail to complete a degree, transfer to a four-year college or earn a certificate, is completely unacceptable.
Your willingness to redesign remedial courses and increase student completion rates have helped lay the foundation for system-wide improvements in college completion and equity. So for the record, we really do love your daring guts!
Your demonstrated excellence has inspired the Governor, the legislature, civil rights advocates, business leaders and educators at a state and national level. CAP’s professional development program has supported 61 colleges to develop and offer redesigned remediation in English and math. According to an evaluation by the RP Group, student completion of college-level courses is two to four times higher in CAP pathways than in traditional remediation. This success helped create the framework for the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program and its companion legislation AB 770 (Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin). Without CAP’s tireless efforts, policymakers would be largely unaware of the way remedial education is preventing students from reaching their college dreams. Now that’s definitely something to cheer about!
As influential leaders in reforming remedial educational practices in California it is easy to see how we have become so smitten with you. At the Campaign, we know that unless we make sure that significantly more California community college students get through these remedial courses, they will never be on the right path to earn Associate’s degrees, certificates, and transfer to a four year university. They will never get the skills they need to compete in a demanding 21st Century economy. And we will never close the persistent equity gaps that exist for underrepresented and low income students across our great state. Quite frankly, our economic future is at stake. And we won’t produce the 2.3 million more educated workers that California employers need by 2025.
So in the adulate words of Alfalfa: “[We] can’t live without you..really..”