For a comparison group we used the 1,023 students who took the traditional version on ENGL 052 in fall of 2006. There results are presented in table 1 below.
Table 1 reveals that only 27% of the original 1,023 students who took ENGL 052, our traditional upper-level developmental writing course, had passed ENGL 101 within three years. Perhaps the most surprising fact presented in Table 1 is that 221 students (22% of the original group) actually passed ENGL 052 and then gave up without ever even attempting ENGL 101.
Table 2 presents the corresponding data for the 227 students who took the ALP version of developmental writing during the first four semesters it was offered.
Table 2 reveals that 63% of the 227 students who took the ALP route passed ENGL 101 withing two years or less. Note also that no students passed ENGL 052 and then failed to register for ENGL 101, because the program doesn’t give them an opportunity to; they take the two courses simultaneously.
Table 3 presents data for the same students disagregated by semester.
Table 3 shows that for each semester that ALP has been offered, success rates for students in the ALP sectiions have exceeded those for students in the tradition ENGL 052 by 15 to 22 percentage points.
Table 4 presents the corresponding data for ENGL 101.
Pass rates more than double the rate for students in traditional ENGL 052 have been consistent over six consecutive semesters.
Finally, Tables 5 and 6 compare the performance of ALP students in EnNGL 101, the second semester credit writing course.
Tables 5 and 6 reveal that the higher success rates of ALP students in ENGL 101 continue and, in fact, become even greater. While only 15% of the original students who started in ENGL 052 ever attempted ENGL 102, 39% of the original ALP students did. While only 10% of the original students who started in ENGL 052 had passed ENGL 102 by spring of 2009, 26% of the ALP students had.
It should be pointed out that of the students from the traditional group who attempted ENGL 102 (154 students), 69% (107 students) passed the course. Of the ALP students who attempted ENGL 102 (29 students), 66% (19 students) passed. While this difference is not statistically significant, it does suggest that ALP is not producing stronger writers. Rather, ALP produces a much higher percentage of students who write well enough to pass.