Starting in Spring 2016, Mesa and City students taking ESOL courses will have a new, accelerated option to help them transition to transfer-level composition courses. Students who opt for the accelerated path will take one semester and nine units (the traditional path takes two semesters and 12 units). ESOL 45 will also link directly with English 101 (the traditional path sends students through English 48 and 49, College Reading and Basic Writing first).Students now have an alternative path to English 101. The challenging and relevant new course, is the brainchild of Professor Jennifer Boots (who recently received City College’s first annual Unsung Hero Award for her work ), Jan Jarrell, and Mark Manasse from Miramar College. As many know, moving new curriculum through the approval process in a three-college district isn’t easy–it requires building consensus and advocating throughout the district to shepherd them through the curriculum process.
What impact will this have on students? The recent RP Group summary of findings for the 2011-2012 pilot year of the California Acceleration Project found large and robust effects from accelerated courses at all placement levels for students of all backgrounds (Hayward and Willett). And once students take transfer-level English, they are much more likely to stay in college and to transfer.
Are students up to this new, challenging option? “If you think you can catch the bus, you will run for it,” says Lee Peng Yee, a mathematician at Singapore National Institute of Education. We think they are.