Bright ideas for tech-savvy educators, right to your inbox

Four Innovative Program Models for Credit Recovery

Friday, February 26, 2016 -- Sarah Cornelius

Education is complicated, and sometimes, it can be easy to get caught up in the challenges and issues that aren’t working. However, there are just as many inspirational successes and innovative programs out there that are working. It’s important to take time to focus on these as well. Credit recovery programs are one broad category of initiatives generating a lot of success and improving the outcomes and futures of many individual students. These programs are instrumental in keeping many at-risk students in school and propelling them on to graduation, postsecondary education, and fulfilling careers. Creative, new credit recovery programs are being started every year in schools across the country. Today, we want to highlight a few of these forward-thinking program models.

Invest in Virtual

The use of fully online courses for credit recovery isn’t a new concept. However, schools are finding new and innovative ways to make sure that they are an effective option for their students. One strategy is to start a “virtual academy” instead of simply offering online courses. A more holistic program, with a name, specific space, and dedicated faculty, helps students feel a part of something and helps engage them in their credit recovery courses. Check out Bernalillo Public Schools’ Spartan Virtual Academy to see how one district is making this strategy work!  

Think Outside of the School Day

For some students, achieving success in the traditional classroom environment is difficult because of outside family or work commitments or attention issues. Offering these students structured options outside of the normal school day can be very effective. Many schools are instituting credit recovery programs that allow students the option to take online courses on-site at their school with the support of a teacher present before or after the normal school day. This flexibility in scheduling can be the ticket to graduation for some struggling students. Dover High School’s Twilight program is one outstanding example of success.

Intervene Early

Credit recovery is usually focused on older high school students because graduation is a much more immediate concern for them than for younger students. However, more and more schools are deciding to nip the need for missing credits in the bud by offering blended learning solutions at the middle school and 9th grade level for at-risk students. By addressing skill gaps early, students can avoid being in the situation of having credits to make up. Check out Abilene ISD’s 9th grade double-block algebra remediation program to see this kind of model at work!

Remediation for Adult Learners

Credit recovery goes beyond high school walls. Many adult learners enter postsecondary institutions with the goal of gaining critical skills to build or advance their careers without the foundational knowledge necessary to be successful. Providing options for remediation is key for these students. Some colleges are creating special “labs” for their students where they can take advantage of online tools to recover needed credits or simply practice skills with the support of faculty in a flexible, individualized environment that fits into busy schedules. Bakersfield College’s Student Success Lab is a great example of this kind of postsecondary credit recovery program.

Ready to start working on your own credit recovery program? Use the helpful questions on this planning worksheet as a guide! You can also learn more about Edmentum’s solutions for credit recovery by checking out our engaging online courses through Plato Courseware!