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Carroll Community College’s Transitional Education Program

Carroll Community College’s Transitional Education Program

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Sylvia Blair, Carroll Community College, 410-386-8411
Press Release:


The transitional education program at Carroll Community College (Carroll) has been named one of 10 Bellwether finalists in the Instructional Programs and Services category. The finalist designation is in recognition of the program's re-design. 

Finalists will make presentations at the January Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando, Florida in January. Following the presentations, one college will be selected in each of three categories to win a prestigious Bellwether Award. An awards announcement will take place during a reception on the evening of Monday, January 25, 2016. 

Carroll is one of thirty colleges across the country that will present. The Bellwether Awards annually recognize outstanding, innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future.  

The re-designed classes provide several key benefits for students, including individualization; flexibility; self-paced learning; credit for what they complete, reducing second and third attempts in the same course; and many other advantages. A summer bridge class has allowed students to remediate and test out of one or more transitional courses in English, reading and/or math. 

The results to date look promising. The completion rate for reading has consistently remained above the college benchmark of 70 percent and has ranged from 72 to 83 percent over the past three years. Pre-and post-test scores on the Nelson Denny Reading Comprehension test indicate average increases in reading comprehension of 3.24 grade level equivalents in one semester. Completion rates for English are less dramatic, but growing steadily from 64 percent in 2013-2014 to 69.72 percent in 2014-2015. Eighty percent of students enrolled in the bridge class have improved their placement scores upon re-test, testing out of one or more developmental courses for reading, English and/or mathematics.

 "Re-design of a curriculum requires buy-in from all involved stakeholders, including administration, faculty and students. Our college is very supportive of this effort," said Magdeleine Vandal, division chair, Transitional Studies & Academic Services at the college.

 "I am extremely proud of Professor Vandal and our transitional studies faculty. Their innovative approach previously won the Exemplary Initiative Award for Curriculum Innovation from National Council of Instructional Administrators (2015). And to be included in the pool of 10 finalists for the Community College Futures Assembly Bellwether Award further validates the exceptional nature of our program," said College President Dr. James D. Ball.

 "Recognition such as this is a real testimony to the countless hours of work that went into re-designing this program. It has resulted in greater success for our students and it's wonderful to see their work recognized in this way," said College Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Jan Ohlemacher.

Note to the Media: For best response to inquiries, please contact Sylvia Blair at 410-386-8411 or e-mail