Right from the Start: Adopting and Adapting Compression Strategies

Adopting and Adapting Course Compression Strategies

This brief summarizes efforts to reform developmental education at Zane State College and the Community College of Baltimore County. Focused on accelerating student success and progress, the two schools pursued distinctive approaches to reform that aligned with their institutional missions and student populations. Recognizing that the majority of its students will not succeed with only “skill and drill” work on academics, Zane State pursued a holistic, student-centered approach to help students build academic, social, and cultural skills; that work is detailed here. Supplementary information is provided about the work at the Community College of Baltimore County, focused on its landmark Accelerated Learning Program. The two reforms can be both categorized as compression strategies. At Zane, compression means shortening the overall duration of a course but maintaining the same number of instructional hours; at CCBC, the compression strategy pairs two courses with complementary content, which students take simultaneously.

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