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Resources for Illinois Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

Resources for Illinois Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

In response to the requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Illinois has implemented ambitious graduation goals focused on providing the support and guidance needed to successfully graduate 90 percent of Illinois students from high school, with the skills they need for college and career success.

For Illinois educators, the on-track indicator is an important measurement when discussing graduation rate goals, as research suggests that on-track students are more than three and one-half times more likely to graduate from high school in four years than off-track students. This indicator is valuable because it is a more accurate predictor of graduation than students’ previous test scores or their background characteristics, and research has been conducted on its validity and predictive quality.

For Illinois educators to achieve state graduation rate goals in their school or district, implementing effective and flexible credit recovery initiatives will be critical. These programs can exist in many different settings, including traditional high schools to help students graduate on time with their cohort, at the middle school level to bridge learning gaps as students prepare for high school, or at alternative schools to provide more flexible options for nontraditional learners. Leveraging online credit recovery programs can help Illinois educators visualize data, manage students and courses more efficiently, and save valuable time getting (and keeping!) students on track to graduate.

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up the information you need to know about credit recovery in Illinois, as well as some of our most helpful credit recovery resources and details on Edmentum’s online curriculum programs, Courseware and EdOptions Academy.

Illinois State Initiatives to Support Credit Flexibility

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) established the Illinois Virtual School (IVS), a statewide virtual school designed as the leading supplemental program that partners with public, private, and home schools to provide online courses to students in grades 5–12.

Credit Recovery Courses for High School

IVS offers credit recovery courses for students who need to retake a high school course for credit and get back on track for graduation. These courses include prescriptive pretests to identify what a student has learned previously and areas of deficiency for each unit of content. An individual learning plan is automatically generated based on each unit pretest’s results. Students are not required to complete lessons and assessments for concepts they have mastered based on the pretest.

Middle School Learning Recovery and Bridge Options

IVS offers course options for middle school students in grades 6–8 to help meet specific needs. Learning recovery courses are self-paced, teacher managed courses designed to assist students with knowledge and skill recovery, ultimately helping students stay on track to begin high school with their peers. Bridge courses are self-paced, teacher managed courses targeting students during the summer months to help them prepare for the next grade level. Students start the next school year with secure content knowledge and skills.

Organizing, Planning, and Maintaining a Credit Recovery Program

Credit Recovery Program Planning Guide

This guide has been developed to help you evaluate the type of credit recovery program you are looking to offer, the students you are looking to serve, and the instruction and staffing that will be needed for a successful program implementation.

Credit Recovery Workbook

This workbook is helpful to use as you plan for a successful credit recovery program, whether your district is thinking about implementing a credit recovery program for the first time or looking to evaluate an already-existing program. It will help you think critically about topics that affect the success of a program, such as needs analysis, curriculum evaluation criteria, defined evaluation plans, and much more.

[Best Practices] Implementing a Courseware Credit Recovery Program

In part 1 of our three-part credit recovery series, the Edmentum Professional Services team shares best practices on implementing credit recovery programs based on experience over the years partnering with countless districts. This blog post will help you think about topics such as the credit recovery selection process, logistics, and resources for educators who are hoping to implement or revamp a credit recovery program.

[Best Practices] Keeping Your Online Credit Recovery Program on Track

In part 2 of our three-part credit recovery series, the Edmentum Professional Services team discusses best practices on how to keep your credit recovery program on track. This blog post offers tips surrounding online program setup, progress monitoring, student collaboration, and student portfolios.

[Best Practices] Ongoing Credit Recovery Program Management

In part 3 of our three-part credit recovery series, the Edmentum Professional Services team examines the last step of credit recovery programs. After implementation is complete and your credit recovery program is on track, the next thing to think about is credit recovery program management. This blog post suggests best practices regarding progress and improvement reflection, educator group meeting topics, and customization options to successfully manage your credit recovery intervention program.

Credit Recovery Quick Reads

How Online Courses Can Help Achieve Graduation Goals

Online learning, in standard classrooms as well as credit recovery programs, is not about finding an “easier” alternative to traditional courses; it’s about engaging different learning modalities, uncovering genuine interests, monitoring progress, tailoring pace, developing useful real-world skills, and achieving the ultimate goal of a high school diploma. For more blog posts like this, check out our collection of credit recovery blog posts.

5 Best Practices for Flexible Credit Recovery

All students have their own learning style—and the physical environment they are able to conduct their learning in can have a big impact on their success. For some students (very frequently, those who are at risk or have fallen behind in credits), the traditional classroom is not the right fit. So, when designing your credit recovery program, consider offering students flexibility in where and when they can complete their assignments.

Quick Tips for All Credit Recovery Stakeholders

This blog post provides credit recovery tips to the three categories of stakeholders most invested in these sorts of educational programs: administrators, instructors, and students.

[Webinar] Implementing Minimesters for Credit Recovery

Watch this recorded webinar to learn about how schools and districts are leveraging virtual courses to offer “minimesters,” where students can recover missing credits in a short period of time with Illinois-certified teachers. And, with flexible, cost-effective, monthly, subscription-based courses from EdOptions Academy, you can implement this credit recovery model for as little as $80 per student.

Credit Recovery in Action

Providing a Roadmap to Graduation and Beyond in Burlington, Illinois  

Central High School (CHS) in Burlington, Illinois, desired a more hands-on role with digital curriculum when implementing a credit recovery program. The school knew that the students to whom the program would be geared responded to a true blended solution, one that leveraged technology, in-person instruction, and collaboration among peers.

Setting an Early Pace for High School Success in Paxton, Illinois  

Credit recovery is a critical part of the high school mission, giving students an opportunity to stay on track to graduation when they would otherwise be unable to earn enough credits. Often, credit recovery is focused toward those students with the most acute need for the services: seniors and juniors. Rather than waiting until students reached their senior year to recover needed credits, Paxton-Buckley-Loda Senior High School has been helping underclass students catch up with their peers through Courseware’s blended learning solution, which has yielded benefits that extend beyond statistics.

To learn about more effective credit recovery programs in action, check out these success stories!

[Video] Finding Solutions to Tough Challenges: The Nationwide Teacher Shortage

This video discusses why teacher shortages are occurring and how some states are tackling the issue head-on by thinking outside of the box. Learn how districts can ease the burden of their teachers, who are inevitably overwhelmed by teacher shortages, by partnering with Edmentum for first-time credit and credit recovery needs.

[OnDemand Webinar] How Partnering with a Virtual School Can Make a Difference in Your Summer School Program

In this on-demand webinar, learn how EdOptions Academy, Edmentum’s fully accredited virtual school, can make a difference in your summer school program. Delve into how districts can expand their course offerings to meet a range of students' academic needs, including credit recovery, acceleration, and remediation.

Edmentum’s Credit Recovery Offerings

Edmentum Course Catalog

The Edmentum course catalog showcases the rigorous and engaging courses we offer for Illinois students. Filter by state, subject category library, and grade level to find a course that resonates with your students’ needs. In need of an Illinois-certified virtual teacher? EdOptions Academy can step in to provide a teacher of record. Courseware and EdOptions Academy provide the same research-based digital curriculum. With EdOptions Academy, however, that curriculum is paired with our highly experienced virtual teachers. Courses that are only offered through EdOptions Academy will be marked as such in parentheses next to the course names. 

Edmentum's Credit Recovery Offerings

Learn more about how you can meet your students’ credit recovery and unit recovery needs with Edmentum in an engaging and attainable format. With the help of our courses, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify unit and credit recovery needs
  • Deliver high-quality, individualized instruction
  • Monitor progress frequently
  • Make data-driven adjustments

Credit Recovery with Courseware and EdOptions Academy

This brochure explains how Courseware and EdOptions Academy provide proven, effective credit recovery solutions to school districts. We offer a credit recovery learning solution that is ideal for: 

  • At-risk students
  • Summer school
  • Remediation
  • Alternative school

Want to learn more about how Edmentum programs can support Illinois educators and other ISBE initiatives? Check out our other Illinois-specific blog posts!