ACC’s ACCelerator and developmental math course win praise of second lady and under secretary of education

Biden ACCelerator Math Demo

Dr. Biden and Dr. Mitchell observe ACCelerator math demonstration

Austin Community College welcomed second lady Dr. Jill Biden and Under Secretary of Education Dr. Ted Mitchell on Monday, March 9, to tour the Highland Campus’ ACCelerator and meet with students and faculty of the college’s new developmental math course, MATD 0421.

“I got shivers when I walked in (the ACCelerator),” says Dr. Biden. “I hope other community colleges come and see this and then adopt it on their own campuses.”

The ACCelerator and MATD 0421 have gained national attention for its groundbreaking success in closing educational gaps.

Biden/Mitchell Roundtable

Dr. Biden and Dr. Mitchell engage in roundtable with ACCelerator math faculty and students

“I teach a lot of developmental students,” says Dr. Biden. “The one stumbling block does seem to be math and math anxiety and ‘Can I do it?’. This (course) seems to be so empowering and so positive. Students can see immediate success.”

MATD 0421 was the first course in the massive, 600+ computer station learning lab. The course, a combination of three developmental math classes, uses artificial intelligence to customize lessons for each student.

“It takes the anxiety out,” says ACC student Jennifer Bradgon. “I never considered myself a ‘math person’ until this class. It’s shifting my entire outlook. Now I want to become a math teacher. I know I can help other students overcome their own struggles and find success.”

ACCelerator at Highland Campus

ACCelerator at Highland Campus

In MATD 0421’s inaugural semester:
• The withdrawal rate was less than half the rate for traditional developmental math courses.
• 75 percent of the students completed the equivalent of one traditional course.
• Nearly 45 percent completed the equivalent to a course and one-half.
• Over 14 percent completed the equivalent to two courses.
• 13 students completed all the equivalent of three courses.

This semester over 1,000 students enrolled in MATD 0421, including 691 new students and 334 returning students.

“This is a remarkable example of success,” says Under Secretary Mitchell. “Students are sticking with it. (Other colleges need to try) that type of experimentation. Try things and see if it works.”

For more information on ACCelerator and MATD 0421 visit

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