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Online Credit Recovery for High School Students

To prevent high school students from dropping out, many districts nationwide are giving them the chance to recover credits via online classes, such as through Aventa Learning, Edgenuity, Pearson, and Plato, and seeing results.

“One of the biggest benefits is it provides schedule flexibility for the student,” says Gregg Levin, senior vice president of school solutions for K12, Inc., which offers online credit recovery courses through Aventa Learning. “This empowers them to learn with interactivity and multimedia, and more closely mirrors what they do outside the classroom.”

For example, in Mobile County (Ala.) Public Schools, the graduation rate rose from 64 percent in 2011 to 70 percent in 2012, in part due to online credit recovery courses offered during the day and at night through the nonprofit Mobile Area Education Foundation.

Online credit recovery courses differ from regular online classes in that, prior to each unit (up to 10 units per course), students take a test to determine their knowledge. If they have mastered the content, they can move on to the next.

In the West Aurora (Ill.) School District, students with behavioral and academic issues were dropping out, but since starting Edgenuity online credit recovery courses last summer, more are completing their courses. And in the Boulder Valley (Colo.) School District, the graduation rate increased from 85 percent in 2010 to nearly 88 percent in 2011, after implementing Aventa Learning. “It’s not something you just flip a switch on and it’s successful—it takes commitment from a district,” Levin says.

Districts that have a teacher, guidance counselor, or staff member tracking student progress and ensuring student engagement have the highest achievement, he adds.