Jackson College is located in Jackson County, Michigan. JC was founded as Jackson Junior College in 1928 and operated as a division of the Jackson Union School District, becoming Jackson Community College by county voter approval in 1962, then becoming Jackson College in 2013.
Central Campus is located on a scenic rural site south of the city of Jackson. JC also operates JC @ LISD TECH in Adrian, the Clyde E. LeTarte Center in Hillsdale, and North Campus near Jackson. JC is a comprehensive institution accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. With an average annual enrollment of about 7,000 students, JC plans to offer two bachelor degree programs in the future, and currently offers 39 associate degree programs, 33 certificate programs, and 44 skill sets and concentrations. The Corporate and Continuing Education division offers customized training for local industry and promotes the Michigan New Jobs Training program to support new employment in the area. Jackson College is an Achieving the Dream college and a founding member of the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN).
ALP at Jackson College
Accelerated Learning at JC started in Fall 2011, with four sections and a team of instructors who designed the course, pedagogy, and assessment. Over the past two years, JC has run a total of 20 ALP sections. Success rates have been impressive. ALP students outperform non-ALP developmental writers and college-level writers. For ALP students, 84 percent succeed in developmental writing and 75 percent succeed at college-level writing. By comparison, 68 percent of the non-ALP students pass developmental writing and 70 percent of college-ready students pass college writing. Fewer than half of the non-ALP developmental writers successfully complete college-writing by the end of their second semester. Because our ALP students succeed in both levels of writing at such a high rate, we have converted most developmental writing sections to ALP. The lead faculty member for developmental writing created a faculty manual and requires all instructors to complete an orientation before teaching an ALP section. ALP is helping us think in terms of emergent and developmental learning as opposed to linear and sequential learning.
Our instructors use the REAP model to organize ALP class meetings: Review what was done in the college-level class; Evaluate what is working and what is needed; Apply what we are learning by writing more; and Preview what is coming up in the college-level writing class.
ALP has spun off into other areas, using the same key principles. This fall, we have a developmental reading and a psychology ALP section and two math sections that take the ALP approach for beginning and intermediate algebra.
Reading is Thinking
JC is embedding active reading strategies across the curriculum with RAMP, a Reading Apprenticeship and Mentoring Program. RAMP involves monthly faculty inquiry groups, subject-specific workshops, demonstrations of reading strategy instruction for content faculty in their classes, and a “Reading is Thinking” marketing campaign. Now in the second year, RAMP has gained involvement and acceptance. About 130 faculty and staff have participated in monthly meetings, workshops, or mentoring. Jackson College formed a RAMP partnership with a local high school and provides monthly professional development and support for high school teachers to incorporate active reading in all classes.