Five Innovative Models for Credit Recovery Program Planning

Oct 27, 2023
Credit recovery program planning Edmentum article

A high school diploma is more essential to success for today’s students than ever before. New state accountability systems under ESSA are recognizing this fact and putting a renewed focus on graduation rates. Of course, in an ideal situation, standard classroom formats would meet the needs of all students to keep them on track for graduation. In reality, challenges arise, setbacks occur, and some students fall behind in their studies, calling for a robust credit recovery program offering.

For these students, high-quality credit recovery programs are key. These programs are instrumental in keeping many at-risk students in school and propelling them on to graduation, postsecondary education, and fulfilling careers.

And, schools and districts across the country are implementing creative, innovative, and effective new programs every year. Here are five examples of outstanding forward-thinking credit recovery models that you can consider implementing later this summer or next school year.

Embrace Independent Learning in Your Credit Recovery Program

For some students, family and work obligations or health concerns make the traditional school day a difficult schedule to keep.

Online courses can offer these students the flexibility they need to make school work around their other priorities and allow them to learn at a pace that’s right for them.

Extra resources and materials provided strategically by the district can offer these students the support and community they need to be successful academically and retain the autonomy they want.

Learn how Pacific Charter Institute is powering independent learning to keep enrollment and graduation rates up!

Provide Early Intervention

Credit recovery is usually focused on older high school students because graduation is a much more immediate concern for them than for younger students.

However, more and more schools are deciding to nip the need for missing credits in the bud by offering blended learning programs at the middle school level. By addressing skill gaps early and meeting students’ needs for flexibility before academic frustration sets in, students can avoid being in the situation of having credits to make up when they’re nearing graduation.

And online programs can even help advanced students complete high school credits early to get a leg up on college and career goals.

Check out how Northridge Middle School is leveraging online courses, as well as practice programs, to ensure that young students are getting—and staying—on the right academic track!

Invest in Online Courses

The use of fully online courses for credit recovery isn’t a new concept.

However, schools are finding new and innovative ways to make sure that they are an effective option for their students. One strategy is to start a “virtual academy” instead of simply offering online courses.

A more holistic program, with a name, specific space, and dedicated faculty, helps students feel part of something and helps engage them in their credit recovery courses.

Think Outside of the School Day

For some students, achieving success in the traditional classroom environment is difficult because of outside family or work commitments or attention issues.

Offering these students structured options outside of the normal school day can be very effective.

Many schools are instituting credit recovery programs that provide students the option to take online courses on-site at their school with the support of a teacher present before or after the normal school day.

This flexibility in scheduling can be the ticket to graduation for some struggling students. Dover High School’s Twilight program is one outstanding example of success.

Prioritize Adult Learners’ Needs

Credit recovery goes beyond high school walls.

Many adult learners enter postsecondary institutions with the goal of gaining critical skills to build or advance their careers without the foundational knowledge necessary to be successful.

Providing options for remediation is crucial for these students. Some colleges are creating special “labs” for their students where they can take advantage of online tools to recover needed credits or simply practice skills with the support of faculty in a flexible, individualized environment that fits into busy schedules.

Bakersfield College’s Student Success Lab
is a great example of this kind of postsecondary credit recovery program.

At Edmentum, we’re proud to offer research-backed online courses, practice tools, and assessments to support meaningful credit recovery.

Interested in learning more? Check out our course catalog, our Planning Your Credit Recovery Program webinar, or get the details on our comprehensive suite of programs for credit recovery in grades 6–12.

Get the latest education insights sent directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our Knowledge Articles