Vaccination Update

Due to City of Philadelphia mandates, all students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated. To register for in-person or hybrid classes, students need to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. Students who are not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption are able to register for fully online courses. Please see our College COVID-19 Updates for more information and visit our Virtual Student Resource Center for support.

Developmental Education

Implementing the Guided Pathways model at Community College of Philadelphia requires an integrative and college-wide emphasis on student success. Seventy percent of entering students place into at least one developmental course.  Research, both at the College and nationwide, has shown that students taking developmental courses are less likely to be retained and therefore graduate than students who enter directly into college-level courses. Guided Pathways is the model upon which the College is building new strategies and initiatives, including redesigned versions of developmental education (English, ESL, and Math) with the goal of helping students successfully complete the critical courses needed to enter their desired program of study. Each of the three areas (English, ESL, and Math) has shown increased progress in addressing student success under Guided Pathways. The College has been scaling up innovate delivery approaches, including accelerated courses, contextualized courses, and co-requisites.  Faculty in the English and Foundational Math departments have been working diligently to identify promising practices to assess, engage, and retain students who need to take developmental education courses so they may persist at higher rates into college-level courses and, ultimately, graduate from the College. 

I. Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) in English

  • In Fall 2017, the English department piloted the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) with six sections of ENGL 098. With ALP, students who placed into ENGL 098 (Level 4, the highest developmental English level) were invited to concurrently enroll in an ENGL 101 section.69 students took part in this pilot. Faculty working on the ALP project have already examined course outcomes for students in ALP students and for students in non-ALP sections of ENLG 098.
  • Preliminary data for Spring 2018 has been analyzed. This includes enrollments and pass rates for ALP sections of ENGL 098 and 101, and for non-ALP sections. Additionally, pass rates for ENGL 102 in Spring 2018 have been included for those students who successfully completed their Fall 2017 English courses and then enrolled in ENGL 102 the following semester.
    • Students in ALP sections were more likely to successfully complete ENGL 098 and ENGL 101 than their non-ALP counterparts.
    • In Fall 2017, ALP sections had a pass rate of 81% for ENGL 098 and 75% for ENGL 101 (compared to 57% and 67% for non-ALP sections).
    • In Spring 2018, ALP sections of both English courses had a higher success rate than the non-ALP sections, but the difference had decreased from Fall 2017.
    • In both Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, a higher percentage of ALP students earned a passing grade in ENGL 098 than non-ALP students. The difference was +24 points in Fall 2017 and +4 points the following semester.
    • In Fall 2017, the same percentage of students for both ALP and non-ALP sections withdrew from the course.
    • While both groups of students had the same percentages of F grades and of MP grades in Spring 2018, non-ALP students were more likely to withdraw from ENGL 098 than ALP students.
    • In both Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, a higher percentage of ALP students earned an “A” in ENGL 101 in comparison with non-ALP students.
    • In Spring 2018, ALP and Non-ALP students had similar percentages of students earning an “F” in ENGL 101.
    • In Fall 2017, students in ALP sections of ENGL 101 had a higher rate of withdrawal than the non-ALP sections. However, the withdrawal rate for ALP sections did decrease in Spring 2018 and was lower than the withdrawal rate for non-ALP sections.
    • Success in the subsequent course (ENGL 102) was also analyzed.
    • Students who had completed ALP sections of ENGL 098 and ENLG 101 in Fall 2017 had a higher pass rate in ENGL 102 for Spring 2018 (+7 percentage points).


II. Intensive English Language Program (IELP)

  • The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) was established in Fall of 2017 to provide a path for students to move through their ESL courses more quickly and thus be able to begin their program courses sooner. The IELP encompasses the following ESL courses: ENGL 072, 073, 082/092, 083/093, 098/099. Two 7-week sessions are offered each Fall and Spring semester. Students can complete up to 18 credits in one semester. The Multilingual Hub was created in conjunction with the IELP to provide support for the students in this intensive program and to create a learning community to help them succeed. It provides one-on-one tutoring, use of Chromebooks, and enrichment activities (such as movies and discussions, game days, field trips, and other activities to help students connect with resources on and off campus).
    • The pass rate across ESL courses was higher for students who had taken part in the IELP than those who had not by 9 percentage points.
    • For students who enrolled in ESL courses in Fall 2017, those in IELP sections were more likely (+ 21 percentage points) to enroll in ENGL 101 in the following semester.
    • Of those students who did enroll in ENGL 101 in Spring 2018, pass rates were comparable, with non-IELP students slightly more likely to pass the course.
    • In most courses, IELP students had a higher pass rate than non-IELP students. In ENGL 073, the IELP student pass rate was about 1 percentage point lower than for non-IELP students.
    • IELP students had 100% pass rate in ENGL 072 and 082/092.
    • The difference in pass rates for IELP and non-IELP students ranged from less than one percentage point (ENGL 098/099) to 27 percentage points (ENG 082/092).


III. Contextualized English

The English department first offered contextualized courses in Spring 2017 for Developmental English and ESL courses. Sections contextualized for Health Care Studies students were offered for the following courses: ENGL 098/099 (Fundamentals of Writing/ Reading Improvement), ENGL 098/108 (Fundamentals of Writing/ Academic Reading Across the Disciplines), ENGL 098, ESL 73 (Advanced Listening and Speaking for Non-Native Speakers of English). Specific sections were originally restricted to Health Care Studies students, but enrollment was later opened to all students (although two sections of ENGL 098/099 had only Health Care Studies students).

In Fall 2017, the English department expanded its offerings. In addition to the courses above that had contextualized sections for Health Care Studies, the themed sections were offered for the following disciplines: Business (ESL 098/099); Education and Biology (ENGL 098/108); and Psychology (ENGL 098/108 and ENGL 098/101). Enrollment for Health Care Studies sections were originally restricted, but were then opened to all students. Enrollment in the contextualized sections for the other subject areas was not restricted. For Spring 2018 and Fall 2018, the department has continued to offer the above contextualized sections, with an additional section of ENGL 098/099 contextualized for Justice students. With contextualized sections of English courses having open enrollment, there is no designation to show it is a special section. If a section is contextualized, this is noted in Banner, but is not noted in Course Finder.

  • Enrollments in contextualized sections of ENGL 098 and 099 have increased from Spring 2018 to Fall 2018. Fall 2018 had the highest enrollments for those two courses.
  • ENGL 073 is an ESL course. Enrollment was restricted, which may have affected enrollments.
  • For ENGL 073, students in contextualized sections were more likely to pass the course than those in traditional (i.e., not contextualized) sections.
  • For ENGL 098, traditional sections had a slightly higher pass rate than contextualized sections.
  • Traditional and contextualized sections had the same pass rate for ENGL 099.


IV. Accelerated Math Courses

  • The Foundational Math department offers accelerated FNMT courses. Each course is seven weeks long, which enables a student to complete two FNMT courses in one semester. The combinations for FNMT courses are FNMT 016 and 017 or FNMT 017 and 118, taken over the 7A and 7B terms. Students take a total of 6 FNMT credits in the one semester. In 2015-16, the pass rates for the accelerated sections were higher than the pass rates for 15-week courses.
  • It was determined that outcomes could be further improved.Beginning with Fall 2016, a new marker was implemented for students who placed into FNMT 016 but scored above a certain level. Previously, any student who placed into FNMT 016 could enroll in an accelerated section of that course. Accelerated sections of FNMT 016 are now limited to students with this high FNMT 016 marker, which allows FNMT 016 topics to be covered more quickly.Course pass rates increased for all FNMT courses from Fall 2015-16 to 2016-17.
    • A new FNMT course is being developed. The FNMT faculty are proposing a four-credit course that combines both FNMT 016 and 017, as opposed to a total of six credit hours for separate FNMT 016 and FNMT 017 courses. This course will be offered for the 15-week term. Students in this course will be able to complete this sequence with fewer credits. Adaptive software will be utilized to enable students to progress through topics in a self-paced manner.
    • For all three courses, the number of students enrolled in accelerated sections has increased overall from Fall 2015 to Fall 2018.
    • For FNMT 017 and 118, the percentage of students in accelerated sections increased from Fall 2015 to Fall 2018.
  • Comparisons in Pass Rates: For all comparisons between accelerated and 10- and 15-week sections, the relatively low number of students in accelerated sections may skew results and direct comparisons should be made carefully.
    • For FNMT 016, in three of the six semesters (Fall 2016 through Fall 2017), the pass rates were highest for the accelerated sections. Ten-week sections had the highest pass rates for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. In Spring 2018, pass rates for the accelerated and 10-week sections were comparable and pass rates for 15-week sections were highest by about 3 percentage points.
    • The accelerated sections of FNMT 017 had the highest pass rates for all but one semester. The differences from pass rates for 10- and 15-week sections ranged from 10 to 40 points. In Spring 2018, pass rates were comparable across the three types of sections.
    • Students in accelerated sections of FNMT 118 has the highest pass rates each semester.

 V. Contextualized Math Courses

  • The Foundational Math department offers contextualized sections of foundational math courses for Health Care Studies students. These sections are mastery-based, utilize ALEKS software from McGraw-Hill, and are structured for spiral learning.These contextualized sections were first offered in Fall 2016.
  • Based on outcomes from Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, pass rates for FNMT 017 and 118 for the contextualized sections have been higher than traditional sections of those courses. Contextualized sections of FNMT 116 had lower pass rates than traditional sections.One reason for the unexpectedly low pass rates for the contextualized sections might be due to the implementation of these sections.It has proven challenging to ensure that only Health Care Studies students are enrolled in the contextualized section.The contextualized sections have also been addressing the same topics and using the same exams as the traditional sections.
  • Based in part on the limitations of having specially-designated sections of a course, the Foundational Math and the Mathematics faculty are working with faculty in Academic Pathways to determine how best to tailor math courses to the needs of students in those Academic Pathways.These Math courses will be contextualized or tailored for a specific Academic Pathway. These courses will replace the contextualized sections of FNMT 118 and will have a different number from FNMT 118. With a different course number, the focused nature of such courses will be more transparent and should increase the likelihood that only students in that Academic Pathway will be in these courses. Moreover, enrollment in the course will be restricted during the registration process to students in the specific Academic Pathway.
    • A “Math for Health Care” course is being developed. This course will contain topics specifically chosen for Health Care programs, while still meeting the General Education requirement for Mathematics. With the exception of students in the Nursing Program, other health care students usually take FNMT 118 as a terminal mathematics course. FNMT 118 continues as the course better designed for students in other pathways such as the Science and Technology pathway.
    • Discussions for Math courses tailored to Academic Pathways encompassing programs in the Liberal Studies and Business and Technology divisions are underway. A committee of Foundational Math faculty is working with interested faculty in the academic divisions. The group will conduct a needs assessment for Academic Pathways and will then develop materials appropriate for each Academic Pathway.
  • Enrollments for contextualized sections of FNMT 016 have remained since steady in Fall semesters. For both FNMT 017 and 118, enrollments have increased.
  • Comparisons in Pass Rates - For many comparisons between contextualized and traditional sections, the relatively low number of students in contextualized sections may skew results and direct comparisons should be made carefully.
    • Traditional (i.e., not contextualized) sections of FNMT 016 had similar or higher pass rates than the contextualized sections for each semester.
    • For FNMT 017, students in contextualized sections had higher pass rates in three of the four semesters. The pass rates for FNMT 017 in these semesters were consistent (between 70-73%). The traditional section had a higher pass rate in Fall 2017.
    • Contextualized sections had higher pass rates than the traditional sections in each semester for FNMT 118. The lowest pass rate for a contextualized section was 52%, while it was 50% for traditional sections.


General Information:

A goal of Guided Pathways is to shorten the length of time students take to complete their degree. One aspect of this is to more effectively onboard students from developmental education courses into college credit-bearing courses. Common practices include identifying college-credit courses that could be taken by students who had not yet completed their developmental education requirements (Davidson County Community College); developing co-requisite programs (Community College of Baltimore, Tennessee community colleges); and contextualizing learning in college-level courses (Washington State community colleges).

Core Principles for Transforming Remediation within a Comprehensive Student Success Strategy