Accelerated Learning Program at Atlantic Cape

Click here for information about the 2017 ALP Summer Institute, a professional development opportunity for community college faculty who are interested in starting an ALP program at their school, who are in the process of scaling an ALP program, who teach ALP, or who are new to ALP.

Winner of the 2016 Diana Hacker/Two-Year College English Association (TYCA) Outstanding Programs in English Award in the category of Enhancing Developmental Education

The Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) is for full- or part-time students who place into ENGL080 Reading/Writing II and would like to accelerate their progress by taking ENGL101 Composition I and ENGL099 Accelerated Learning Program Support. Sections of ALP are available at all three campuses. Both day and evening sections are available. To register for ALP, see an academic advisor.

Accelerated Learning Program Coordinator, Stephanie Natale-Boianelli or 609-343-4963

ALP Academic Advisor, Daymis Alicea or 609-343-5081

What is ALP?

The Accelerated Learning Program is focused on students who place into ENGL080 Reading/Writing II and is intended to both accelerate their progress and improve their success by mainstreaming them into an ENGL101 Composition I class when they also take the ALP support course, ENGL099. A student who elects to participate in the ALP program is placed into a designated section of ENGL101, which is composed of 9 ALP students and 11 students who placed into ENGL101. The 9 ALP students from two of these ALP ENGL101 sections are combined into one ENGL099 support class. All three courses (the two sections of ENGL101 and the ENGL099 section) are taught by the same instructor and are three credits. These units of three classes are called triads. Once a week, the ALP course meets in a computer lab.

A visual representation of a triad:


ENGL 101: 20 Students: stick figure count: 1 red, 9 green, 11 blue

ENGL 099: 18 Students: stick figure count: 2 groups with 9 green in each

ENGL 101: 20 Students: stick figure count: 1 red, 9 green, 11 blue

The green students are the ALP students, and the blue students are those who placed into ENGL101.

In ALP, the support course guides students while they are taking college-level English rather than being a prerequisite for the course as ENGL080 is. To do this, ALP courses use backward design, taking the goal of the course and incorporating the scaffolding students need to reach it. Here are some examples of what happens in an ALP class:

  • Scaffolding for the 101 assignments: brainstorming and other pre-writing, writing workshops, draft reviews, focused revising and editing activities, etc.
  • Opportunities to practice and refine reading skills, including close and active reading.
  • Opportunities to practice and refine writing skills such as organization, development, editing, etc.
  • An introduction to the Atlantic Cape campus, services, policies, and procedures.
  • Answering student questions about the 101 class or the school generally.
  • Addressing non-cognitive issues and promoting the habits of successful students.


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What are the benefits of ALP for students?

  • ALP students save time: The support course runs concurrently with Composition I, so the students do not need to take a developmental semester before entering college-level work.
  • ALP students save money: The developmental course and required College Skills co-requisite course are integrated into a single course. ALP uses the 101 course materials and campus resources as the course materials; there are no additional textbooks for students to buy.
  • ALP students can take program courses in their first semester: Students in the developmental course may only choose from a limited number of courses until the developmental course is completed.
  • ALP students are challenged by college-level work but receive extra support in the ALP course.
  • ALP students receive extra time and individual instruction from their Composition I professor: The same professor teaches both Composition I and ALP, enhancing the instruction in ALP.
  • ALP students witness the benefits of the support course: Remediation takes place within the context of the college-level course, rather than prior to it.


ALP students are more likely to be successful. Student success data has proven that ALP students are more likely than students taking the traditional developmental sequence to

  • pass Composition I,
  • pass Composition II,
  • and return the semester following ALP

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What are students saying about ALP?

Comments from past ALP students:

"ALP greatly helped my confidence in 101. At the beginning, I didn't know or thought I didn't know anything about reading and writing…ALP is awesome for becoming part of the Atlantic Cape family and meeting students at similar levels…Best class ever."


"I felt more like a student at Atlantic Cape because I learned so much about not only English as a course but this college as a whole."


"I always felt like I was one step ahead of all the other kids in English 101 because of the extra work with the same professor."

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How did ALP begin at Atlantic Cape?

Atlantic Cape's program began when English full-time faculty member Effie Russell learned about the Community College of Baltimore County's (CCBC) Accelerated Learning Program. Information about the CCBC model can be found at their website. CCBC hosts the Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education every June. Information on this conference can be found under Conferences on their website.


Effie Russell adapted the CCBC model for Atlantic Cape by developing the triad model, where nine students from each of two Composition I courses populate a single Accelerated Learning Program class of eighteen students. She piloted the program in Spring 2012, and the positive results of the pilot led Atlantic Cape to begin scaling up: growing the program to include all three campuses, opening the program to more students such as part-time students, and training more faculty.

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Who are the ALP faculty?

ALP Faculty Group Picture Photo credit - Jay Peterson





Primary Campus









Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing

Effie Russell

Program Originator,

Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing







Merrill-Jean Bailey
Full-time Faculty
Mays Landing

Leila Crawford

Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing

Ronald McArthur
Full-time Faculty
Mays Landing

Maryann McCall

Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing

Vickie Melograno
Full-time Faculty
Cape May

Jay Peterson

Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing/ Atlantic City

Richard Russell

Full-time Faculty


Mays Landing

Regina Van Epps

Full-time Faculty


Cape May


ALP News and Events:

August 3, 2016: ALP Summer Institute Highlights Best Practices for Educators. Read more here.

Attendees to summer institute listening to presentation by student panel.

Click here to see the flier for the 2016 Summer ALP Institute.

August 1, 2016: Atlantic Cape Community College is named a 2016 Achieving the Dream Leader College. The Accelerated Learning Program is highlighted in the college's profile here. Read more here.

April 9, 2016: Atlantic Cape Community College's Accelerated Learning Program is awarded the 2016 Diana Hacker/Two-Year College English Association (TYCA) Outstanding Programs in English Award. Professors Effie Russell, Richard Russell, and Stephanie Natale-Boianelli traveled to the Two-Year College English Association Breakfast at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Houston, TX. Read more here.

Professors holding award.

December 11, 2015: Professors Maryann Flemming-McCall, Richard Russell and Stephanie Natale-Boianelli presented on Atlantic Cape's Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) at the NJ Developmental Education Summit, Dec. 11, at Middlesex County College. The event was hosted by the New Jersey Council of County College's Center for Student Success.

professors presenting at conference

November 18, 2015: Professor Julianne Reinhardt took some of her ALP and ENGL101 students to Stockton University to hear Patrick J. Kennedy discuss his new book, A Common Struggle, which he co-authored with Stephen Fried, and his bold agenda for changing the way we view and treat mental health and addiction in America.

patrick kennedy with Atlantic Cape professor and students

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