|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (December 2013)|
Academic acceleration is the advancement of students in subjects at a rate that places them ahead of where they would be in the regular school curriculum. Acceleration is most often used as an intervention to accommodate the learning needs of gifted and talented students. The following types of acceleration are said to exist:
- Early Admission to Kindergarten
- Students enter kindergarten prior to the minimum age for school entry as set by district or state policy.
- Early Admission to First Grade (where kindergarten does not exist)
- This practice can result from either the skipping of kindergarten, or from accelerating the student from kindergarten in what would be the student’s first year of school.
- Grade skipping
- Continuous Progress
- The student is given content progressively as prior content is completed and mastered.
- Self-paced instruction
- The student proceeds through learning and instructional activities at a self-selected pace. Self-paced instruction is a sub-type of continuous progress acceleration.
- Subject-Matter Acceleration/Partial Acceleration
- This practice allows students to be placed with classes with older peers for a part of the day (or with materials from higher grade placements) in one or more content areas.
- Combined Classes
- While not, in and of itself, a practice designed for acceleration, in some instances (e.g., a fourth- and fifth-grade split room), this placement can allow younger students to interact academically and socially with older peers. It may or may not result in an advanced grade placement later.
- Curriculum Compacting
- The student’s instruction entails reduced amounts of introductory activities, drill, and practice. Instructional experiences may also be based on relatively fewer instructional objectives compared to the general curriculum. The time gained may be used for more advanced content instruction or to participate in enrichment activities.
- Telescoping Curriculum
- Student is provided instruction that entails 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 always results in advanced grade placement. Curriculum compacting, on the other hand, does not necessarily advance grade placement.
- A student is paired with a mentor or expert tutor who provides advanced or more rapid pacing of instruction.
- Extracurricular Programs
- Students elect to enroll in coursework or after school or summer programs that confer advanced instruction and/or credit.
- Correspondence Courses
- The student enrolls in coursework delivered outside of normal school instruction. Instruction may be delivered traditionally by mail, but increasingly other delivery mechanisms such as Internet-based instruction and televised courses are used.
- Early Graduation
- The student graduates from high school or college in three-and-a-half years or less. Generally, this is accomplished by increasing the amount of coursework undertaken each year in high school or college, but it may also be accomplished through dual/concurrent enrollment (see below) or extracurricular and correspondence coursework.
- Concurrent/Dual enrollment
- The student takes a course at one level and receives credit for a parallel course at a higher level (e.g., taking algebra at the middle school level and receiving credit at both the middle school and the high school level or taking a high school chemistry course and receiving credit for a university course upon successful completion).
- Advanced Placement Program
- Credit by Examination
- The student is awarded advanced standing credit (e.g., in high school or college) by successfully completing some form of mastery test or activity.
- Acceleration in College
- The student completes two or more majors in a total of four years and/or earns an advanced degree along with or in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.
- Early Entrance to Middle School, High School, or College
- The student is awarded an advanced level of instruction at least one year ahead of normal. This may be achieved with the employment of other acceleration techniques such as dual enrollment and credit by examination or by determination of college teachers and administrators.
- Late academic acceleration
- A student or person that has under-achieved in early years and has academically progressed in studies
- "Types of Acceleration: Dimensions and Issues,” by W. T. Southern and E. D. Jones, A Nation Deceived, V. II, Chapter 1, pp. 5–12.