Online courses are playing an increasing part in the efforts of district leaders to help at-risk high school students recover missing credits, whether or not they have dropped out and whether they take the online courses on-campus or off. Education companies, including K12, Pearson, Plato, Apex Learning, and AdvancePath Academics, have developed popular learning recovery programs. Gregg Levin, K12’s senior vice president of School Solutions, says the selfpaced format of online courses and the customized assessments go beyond merely recovering credit, and are designed to build self-esteem in students as they successfully complete each level of a particular course.
“They’re not having to endure the stigma of a remedial classroom,” Levin points out. “Online courses are certainly not an elixir, but in some cases, they are better than the conventional classroom.”
In the Stockton (Calif.) Unified School District, Superintendent Steve Lauder, who uses a program created by AdvancePath Academics, adds that students who must stay home to babysit or take care of an elderly family member find online programs to be a solution. “Or if you’ve got problem kids, troublemakers in high school, they can work by themselves outside of school and earn credits,” adds Lauder. “I have great faith in online programs. I’ve seen them work.”