The Adult Learning Academy

By on November 6, 2013
Adult Learning Academy

The Adult Learning Academy (ALA) is one of St. Louis Community College’s most innovative approaches to the redesign of developmental education. Funded through MoHealthWINs, a Department of Labor TAACCCT grant, the ALA workgroup leveraged the prior efforts of a faculty-led developmental education redesign team which established three guiding principles for advancing the College’s redesign of developmental education:

  • Semesterless/courseless
  • Contextualized/integrated
  • Immersion/higher touch

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The Adult Learning Academy offers students an alternative to traditional development education course sequences in math, reading and writing. Offered as non-credit learning opportunities, ALA: Literacy and ALA: Pre-Algebra courses are:

  • Contextualized for healthcare
  • Integrated, with reading and writing delivered as one seamless course
  • Competency-based, aligned to the learning objectives and performance outcomes required of the credit developmental education courses
  • Technology-enabled, employing a hybrid format
  • Accelerated and self-paced
  • Semester-less, allowing for continuous, rolling admissions
  • High touch, intrusive student support realized through career pathway coaches and intrusive teaching through a team of faculty and educational assistants
  • Developed and taught collaboratively

The Adult Learning Academy is one of several developmental education pilots currently underway. Results, to date, are promising. For example, between February 11 and August 23, 2013, 135 students started ALA: Pre-Algebra. Sixty-one percent successfully completed the entire course with a mean time to completion of 5.6 weeks. For more information about the Adult Learning Academy, please contact Dianne Lee, Academic Lead MoHealthWINs, at


This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership.

About Dianne Lee

Dianne Lee has more than thirty years of experience in community college education as a faculty member, administrator and technology manager. Currently serving as the Project Director for a federally funded project, MoSTEMWINs, Dianne is collaborating with a team of dedicated colleagues developing curriculum and delivering programs to unemployed and under-employed adults designed to accelerate progress, improve retention and reduce time to completion.