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Finding Credit Recovery Success in Waukegan, Illinois

Finding Credit Recovery Success in Waukegan, Illinois

Helping support the needs of more than 5,000 students is no small feat. But, you didn’t need us to tell you that. The good news is that big or small, there’s no challenge or opportunity we aren’t ready to tackle with you. That’s our partnership commitment at Edmentum! And, for Waukegan High School in Waukegan, Illinois, the challenge we committed to conquering together was centered around how to provide an effective credit recovery and supplemental solution that would lead to better results for credit completion, which would ultimately lead to increased graduation rates.

At Edmentum, we have what we call pilot programs, or trials, to help our future partners become acquainted with our program options. In Waukegan High School’s case, we chose to explore a more expended exploration with a pilot. After many discussions, we landed on a starting-point goal. Together, we identified that the best place to start was to provide a credit recovery program by offering an after-school/evening option to seniors beginning in late November of 2017. We knew that this group of students would most immediately benefit and that it would determine if some students would be able to graduate with their cohort. Starting small was important to the team at Waukegan High School; educators wanted to be able to identify what worked best for both the students and the school as a whole. Now that we had the “what” covered, we needed to move on to the “how.”

How was the credit recovery program designed to help students regain credits in an effective and efficient manner? It all began with partnership, and for Waukegan High School, several elements were important foundational work to prepare for the program kickoff.

Let’s review a few key elements that helped kick off a solid program development:

  • Received buy-in for the program across the board (leadership, etc.)
  • Supported by teachers (four to five teachers were compensated to support the program)
  • Recovered credits occurred outside of school hours, preventing students from losing even more time
  • Developed a FAQ of the program to share with staff and build support around the launch
  • Created custom versions of Courseware courses so that staff members could exempt themselves from sections of the courses with the pretests

Overall, the general feedback from our partnership was positive. The excitement around the rigor and challenge that Courseware curriculum provides was a main focus area for teachers, and as a result, teachers really bought into the program.

“Our credit recovery program proved its worth almost immediately because of the investment all teams brought to the table with professional development, which ultimately led to student success,” said Terry Ehiorobo, co-principal, Waukegan High School.

So, what were the results? The credit recovery option was very quickly extended to juniors, and the program continues to gain steam! Here are some of the exciting stats to date:

  • 174 courses completed by students
  • 120 students completed credits in the afternoon/after school
  • 335 students participated in some form by the end of May 2018
  • AP® points accumulation rose by 13%
  • 68% graduation rate increased to 83% in one year

What’s next, you ask, for the team at Waukegan High School? The school is exploring a fully blended day program to continue to build on the credit recovery program success.

To follow exciting stories like Waukegan High School and other schools and districts around the nation, be sure to read our success stories to get ideas about how you can get your program up and running, whether it is a blended, credit recovery, or fully virtual program.