Forms of Acceleration

Descriptions of the 18 forms of acceleration identified by the 2009 Work Group on Acceleration[105]

Content-based forms of acceleration

Advanced Placement: The student takes a course (traditionally in high school) that results in post-secondary credit upon completion of a standardized AP examination with a score acceptable to the college or university.

Concurrent or Dual Enrollment: The student is enrolled in one level but takes a course or courses at a higher level. Examples include taking calculus at the university level and receiving university credit for it upon successful completion while still enrolled in High School, or taking a high school course in Chemistry while still enrolled in junior high school.

Correspondence Courses: A student enrolls in advanced coursework outside of normal school instruction. Instruction may be delivered by mail, Internet-based instruction and/or television.

Credit by Examination: The student is awarded advanced standing (e.g., high school or college) by successfully completing some form of mastery test or activity. This is also known as “course challenge” or “testing out.”

Curriculum Compacting: Based on high levels of mastery demonstrated on a preassessment, the amounts of introductory activities, drill, and practice are reduced for one or more students in a class. The time gained may be used for more advanced content instruction or to participate in enrichment activities. Curriculum compacting does not necessarily result in advanced grade placement.

Extracurricular Programs: A student enrolls in coursework after school, on weekends or summer programs that offer advanced instruction and/or credit.

International Baccalaureate Programs: Students complete advanced interdisciplinary curriculum prescribed by the International Baccalaureate Organization. At the end of high school, students take an international examination and may receive advanced standing in their post-secondary studies.

Mentoring: A student is paired with a mentor or expert tutor who provides advanced or more rapidly paced instruction.

Subject-Matter, Single Subject or Partial Acceleration: A student is placed in classes with older peers for a part of the day OR works with materials from higher grade placements in one or more content areas. Subject-matter acceleration may also take place outside of the general instructional schedule (e.g., summer school or after school), or by using higher-level instructional activities on a continuous progress basis without leaving the placement with chronological-age peers.

Grade-based forms of acceleration

Combined classes: Students in two or more consecutive grades are enrolled in one class (e.g., a fourth and fifth-grade combined class). This is a form of acceleration when it is done intentionally to allow younger students to interact academically and socially with older peers. It may or may not result in an advanced grade placement later.

Continuous progress: A student is given content progressively as prior content is mastered. The practice is accelerative when the student’s progress exceeds the performance of chronological peers in rate and level.

Early entrance to Grade 1: This can result from either skipping kindergarten or from accelerating a student from kindergarten into Grade 1 during what would be the student’s first year of school.

Early admission to Kindergarten: Students enter kindergarten prior to achieving the minimum age for school entry as set by the Ministry of Education.

Early entrance to middle school, high school or college: A student is moved in to the next level of a subject or schooling at least one year ahead of chronological-age peers at the end of elementary, middle, junior or senior secondary school. This may involve dual enrollment and/or credit by examination.

Early graduation from high school: A student graduates from high school in 3 ½ years or less. Generally, this is accomplished by increasing the amount of coursework taken each year in high school but it may also be accomplished through concurrent or dual enrollment in college or university, or through extracurricular or correspondence coursework.

Grade-skipping: A student is considered to have skipped one or more grades if he or she is given a grade-level placement ahead of chronological-age peers at anytime during the year.

Self-paced instruction: Self-paced instruction is a sub-type of continuous progress acceleration. In self-paced instruction the student has control over pacing decisions.

Telescoped curriculum:A student is provided instruction in less time than is normal (e. G., completing a one year course in one semester, or three years of middle school in two). Telescoping differs from curriculum compacting in that time saved from telescoping in two ways: it is planned to fit a precise time schedule and it always results in advanced grade placement.