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Resources for Michigan Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

Resources for Michigan Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

In response to new requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Michigan is implementing ambitious new graduation and college and career readiness goals for learners in the state. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is incorporating these goals within its existing Top 10 in 10 Years initiative, and it aims to raise the statewide four-year graduation rate from where it currently stands at just under 80% to 95% within 10 years. Additionally, MDE has incorporated student completion of a postsecondary credential or postsecondary enrollment as a school quality indicator within its new ESSA accountability system and transparency dashboard.

For Michigan educators to successfully achieve these goals, creating effective and flexible credit recovery programs will become even more 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 programs for these varied initiatives can help Michigan educators view data faster, manage students and courses more efficiently, and save valuable time.

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

Michigan State Initiatives to Support Credit Recovery

This nationwide program aims to make the most of emerging digital learning resources and support schools and districts in their efforts to prepare students for success in 21st century postsecondary and career opportunities. Future Ready Schools provides Michigan schools and districts with resources to support effective adoption of technology, including programs for credit recovery.

MDE offers districts the ability to waive the minimum number of hours and days of pupil instruction for approved innovative learning programs, including flexible online options designed for credit recovery. The Michigan GenNET Online Learning Portal, created by the Genesee Intermediate School District, is an extension of the Seat Time Waivers initiative open to all Michigan schools, and it allows students to take advantage of a broad catalog of MDE-approved core and elective online courses (including over 300 courses from Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy virtual school!).

Organizing, Planning, and Maintaining a Credit Recovery Program

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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 Quick Reads

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.

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 regard to where and when they can complete their assignments.

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.

How Michigan Districts Are Partnering with Edmentum for Successful Credit Recovery

Every school has different needs, particularly in online learning. Seeking a way to help students recover credits in a more efficient manner, Ludington High School chose to use Courseware for addressing specific needs while maintaining the rigor the school has been known for.

“We loved that [Courseware] allows you to individualize for the needs of your students. We are thrilled that the system allows us to manage, maintain, and tweak when we need to.”

– Dan Mesyar, Principal

Alternative education and credit recovery should be much more than another place for struggling students. The right program finds a way to reach every child and provides the necessary support for students to reach their goals. Such initiatives used to be out of reach for smaller districts with limited resources, but Van Dyke Public Schools is helping students get back on track at an impressive rate using Edmentum Courseware.

“The platform was super easy to use. The dashboard was simple and made it easy to track where kids are and see their pacing.”

– Wendy Cusic, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

The traditional classroom doesn’t meet the needs of some of today’s students. Michigan’s rural Capac Community School District has created a virtual education program focused on personalizing learning to meet each student’s unique needs. The program provides mentors focused on building meaningful connections with each student and offers the opportunity for students to explore personal interests by replacing certain sections of curriculum with project-based learning.

“One learning style is not enough to reach every student. . . Alternative education has an unnecessary stigma attached to it, but alternative just means a different method of delivery.”

– Tami Zimmer, Virtual Education Specialist

Edmentum’s Credit Recovery Offerings

The Edmentum course catalog showcases the rigorous and engaging courses we offer for Michigan students. Filter by subject category, library, grade level, and more to find a course that resonates with your students’ needs. In need of a Michigan-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 trained, state-certified virtual teachers. Courses that are only offered through EdOptions Academy will be marked as such in parentheses next to the course names. 

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

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 Michigan educators and other MDE initiatives? Check out our Michigan-specific blog posts!'s picture
Sarah Cornelius

Sarah Cornelius is an Associate Product Manager at Edmentum and has been with the company since 2014. In her role, she works to provide educators with engaging and insightful resources. Sarah received her B.S. in Professional Communications and Emerging Media from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.