2016 Plenary Speakers

Plenary speakers for the 2016 Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education will be Shanna Smith Jaggars and Peter Adams!


Shanna Smith Jaggars

Shanna Smith Jaggars is Assistant Director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on developmental education programming and policy, student advising and tracking systems, online learning, the labor market value of community college coursework and credentials, and institutional improvement processes.

Her new book (co-authored with Thomas Bailey and Davis Jenkins), Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success, distills a wealth of data amassed by CCRC which supports the need for a fundamental redesign of the way two-year colleges operate, stressing the integration of services and instruction into more clearly structured programs of study that support every student’s goals.

Peter Adams

After 36 years of teaching at the Community College of Baltimore County, Peter Adams retired in 2014.  Over the years, his responsibilities at CCBC have included coordinating the writing program, chairing the college’s committee on general education, and chairing the English Department.  In 1993, a longitudinal study he conducted revealed that only 33% of the students that were placed in the basic writing class one level down from first-year composition ever passed composition.  Over the next decade or so, Peter developed, first, the concept of mainstreaming basic writers into first-year composition and, later, the model for redesign of basic writing now known as the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP).  A Community College Research Center study in 2012 revealed that 74% of students who enrolled in ALP were successful in first-year composition, more than double the success rate under the traditional program.  As of fall of 2015, CCBC is offering more than 100 sections of ALP.

For the past five years Peter has travelled extensively around the country presenting on ALP to individual schools and to state-wide gatherings, and he has conducted faculty development workshops for schools that have decided to adapt the ALP model.  As of fall of 2015 more than 200 schools are offering sections of ALP, and 7 states have made large scale adoptions. 

Peter has argued that the current structure of developmental education in America has resulted in the most marginalized students being taught by the most marginalized faculty in the most underfunded institutions.