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Resources for Pennsylvania Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

Resources for Pennsylvania Educators to Support Effective Credit Recovery Programs

In response to new requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is implementing ambitious new graduation and college- and career-readiness goals for learners in the state, aiming to decrease, by half, the percentage of nongraduating students by the close of the 2029–30 school year. This means raising the overall four-year graduation rate for Pennsylvania students across all subgroups from the baseline of 84.8 percent at the time of ESSA implementation to 92.4 percent by 2029–30 and raising the five-year graduation rate from 87.1 percent to 93.5 percent. Within that composite, the PDE has identified specific goals for different subgroups depending on current achievement levels. Additionally, the PDE is relying on thoughtful career- and college-readiness indicators as part of the Future Ready PA Index to improve access to appropriate college-preparatory classes and resources and ensure that students achieve meaningful career credentials.

For Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania, as well as some of our most helpful credit recovery resources and details on Edmentum’s online curriculum programs, Courseware and EdOptions Academy.

Pennsylvania State Initiatives to Support Credit Recovery

Future Ready PA Index

This program, implemented in the fall of 2018, aims to significantly increase transparency around school and student group performance with a focus on achievement, graduation rates, and college- and career-readiness measures like access to advanced courses and industry-based learning. The Future Ready PA Index takes a dashboard approach, aggregating performance data for all Pennsylvania schools on an easy-to-search webpage that breaks down complex data into simple, visual highlights to help students and parents make informed education decisions.

Pennsylvania Early Warning System

This PDE-sponsored program helps educators monitor attendance, behavior, and course grades to identify and quickly intervene with middle school students who show early signs of being at risk of dropping out. The Early Warning System (EWS) initiative relies on an Educator Dashboard that is available at no cost to all Pennsylvania educators to track student progress. The program also makes available an Intervention Catalog (IC) to help educators identify locally available and appropriate interventions and monitor their effectiveness for individual students.


This statewide program helps Pennsylvania students and workers connect with the learning and resources they need to be prepared for in-demand careers today and in the future. PAsmart focuses on high-need science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers that require varying levels of education and training. The program helps students understand and explore different career paths, make the right education choices to prepare for those careers, and access valuable hands-on training and apprenticeship opportunities.

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.

[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. 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

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 regard to 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.

Credit Recovery in Action

[Success Story] Flexibility in the “One-Room Schoolhouse in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania  

Online programs have allowed Selinsgrove Area High School in rural Pennsylvania to offer blended learning options that fit all students’ needs, even if they learn best in the “one-room schoolhouse” approach. Now, more students are taking ownership of their learning and graduating on time.

“The students embrace the flexibility when it comes to assignments. . . . It gives them some ownership of their learning and forces them to ask, ‘What do I have to do to keep everything on track?’”

 – Matthew Lehman, Teacher, Selinsgrove Area High School

[Success Story] Becoming a Beacon for the Community in Roselle, New Jersey

By offering students options of recovering missing credits and building relationships on a personal level, Abraham Clark High School has turned itself into a community beacon for what is possible through education. Learn how the school has implemented flexible, nontraditional credit recovery options to meet the needs of more students.

“We attribute the rise in our graduation rate from the monitor of students’ performance from the time they begin as 9th graders at our institution and the offerings of [Edmentum] courses that allows our students to make up or earn additional credits that would [lead] to on-track graduating credits.”

– Rashon Mickens, Principal, Abraham Clark High School

[Video] Expanding Digital Learning Opportunities in Akron, Ohio

Akron Public Schools’ digital learning coordinator, Marcie Ebright, shares how the district used Edmentum courses to expand its course catalog offerings and retain students who would have otherwise left the district in favor of online charter schools. The district reached the decision to partner with Edmentum based on positive feedback from teachers, interactivity from students, and the ease of student to follow Courseware.

[Video] How Mentors Helped Facilitate an Engaging Environment in Akron, Ohio

Akron Public Schools’ online program mentor, Kelly Ford, provides an overview of how she is able to mentor, challenge, and support students taking online courses in a classroom setting.

[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.

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

Edmentum’s Credit Recovery Offerings

Edmentum Course Catalog

The Edmentum course catalog showcases the rigorous and engaging courses we offer for Pennsylvania students. Filter by state, subject category library, and grade level to find a course that resonates with your students’ needs. In need of a Pennsylvania-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. 

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 Pennsylvania educators and other PDE initiatives? Check out our Pennsylvania blog posts!