Success Story

Expanding Credit Recovery with Courseware

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Michigan City High School, Indiana

About the District

1,665 students, 67.5% eligible for free and reduced lunch, 17.6% special education

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In 2013, Michigan City High School (MCHS) in Michigan City, Indiana, was looking for help with its credit recovery program, eager to boost its 78.9% graduation rate.

“I quickly established something called ‘Operation Participate to Graduate,’” said Mary Rapier, a credit recovery instructor at MCHS. The goal of the program is for every participant to excel in his or her individual assignments. Each student who participates attends a daily 50-minute class period dedicated to credit recovery, learns independently through a self-paced approach, and maintains responsibility for recovering and earning full-semester courses.

A year after establishing the credit recovery program at MCHS, school leaders saw their graduation rate improve from 78.9% to 85.8% for the 2013-14 school year. But Ms. Rapier wanted to take things to the next level.

“Admittedly, we did see some success,” Ms. Rapier recalled. “But, our technology team went out, and they were introduced to Edmentum, saw how successful it was in other schools, and really liked the user interface, et cetera, and so they brought that to the school.”

In her second year of leading the credit recovery program, Ms. Rapier partnered with Edmentum and took the next step forward to further improve student outcomes.

“The beauty of Edmentum Courseware in particular is that it really does allow for that individualized [instruction], not just remediation, but wholehearted instruction [...] I have found it to be a great equalizer in my opinion because what people don't realize is that it is firing on all cylinders, especially as a blended [learning tool] because most learners learn by watching, by viewing, and listening.”

Mary Rapier, Credit Recovery Instructor
Michigan City High School, Indiana


After partnering with Edmentum to support Operation Participate to Graduate in 2014, the school set out to expand program, using Courseware as a tool for credit recovery, as well as enrichment, and as a solution to provide more individualized instruction to students. MCHS also began using Courseware to support a second school program focused on credit recovery, the Service and Careers Alternative Learning Environment (SCALE) program.

The SCALE program is an online alternative education option for students who face any of a variety of challenges in the traditional educational setting. Students in the SCALE program meet every day for half a day and move at their own pace, earning credits through Courseware.

“The beauty of Edmentum Courseware in particular is that it really does allow for that individualized [instruction], not just remediation, but wholehearted instruction,” said Ms. Rapier. “I have found it to be a great equalizer in my opinion because what people don't realize is that it is firing on all cylinders, especially as a blended [learning tool] because most learners learn by watching, by viewing, and listening.”

Drew Eubank, who started out with Ms. Rapier in Operation Participate to Graduate as a credit recovery instructor before taking over the SCALE program in 2016 said that students take their courses very seriously, and pay close attention to their course progress as they work.

“So, [the classes are] self-paced, but we're pushing [students] to get the courses done in the amount of time they need,” explained Mr. Eubank. “And, we can set completion dates [in Courseware] for individual students so they get to see if they're on pace or behind pace or ahead of pace, and that's really helpful.”

In addition to monitoring their progress, students are expected to take handwritten notes. Mr. Eubank said that notetaking tutorials in Courseware have helped the students become better learners.

“We talk a lot about taking notes—what to look for in your notes,” Mr. Eubank said. “A lot of times, kids will just come in and they copy down everything they see. And then, we start talking about, ‘Well, if you already know something, you don't have to make a note of it. You want to take notes on the things you don't know.’ Looking for definitions—stuff like that. So, I feel like it's really a good program for teaching kids how to learn.”

Mr. Eubank also said that the way Courseware doesn’t require students to repeat lessons or sections they have already mastered has been extremely valuable in helping students get back on track faster.

“We noticed were there were a lot of students who already had a pretty good grasp of the material,” said Mr. Eubank. “They were able to fly through the stuff they already knew and really focus on the concepts that they didn't know or didn't grasp the first time around.”


Expanding its credit recovery program to include enrichment and support more differentiated learning models has led MCHS to success on a number of different levels, including an increased graduation rate.

“The bulk of our kids who are coming through the program up until the 2017–18 school year, primarily were students who needed credit recovery,” Ms. Rapier explained. “It really worked because our graduation rates went from [78.9% the very first year of Operation Participate to Graduate’s implementation] to now we're over 90%. Our 2017 graduation was 90.3%. Obviously, we were doing something right. I think, it goes directly to the partnership with [Edmentum] and the ability to really organize; we have earned over 2,200 full course credits in four years.”

Ms. Rapier reports that close to 100 of the 610 credits earned this past school year can be directly attributed to enrichment and that credits earned by students are in a variety of learning environments.

“We have students who are [earning] dual credits,” said Ms. Rapier. “We have students who are graduating early. We have students who are homebound. We have students who are transitioning. They transitioned into our district from others, so they're not replacing credit. They're earning original credit.”

Mr. Eubank also believes that the design of Courseware works well with the learning styles of students in the credit recovery program, and he attributes using the program to student success.

“We've seen a number of kids that would not have graduated without the Edmentum Courseware,” Mr. Eubank said.

“The biggest thing for a lot of the kids that I've got and the kids that are in credit recovery—they're results-driven kids, and they see that everything they're doing is leading to them getting a credit and moving on,” Mr. Eubank said. “They see that they're completing their class. They're seeing that percent complete increase. . . . We've got such an instant feedback world now, and a lot of these kids are so used to having instant gratification, and they're able to get it through Edmentum. They're seeing the progress right away.”

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Digital curricula for grade 6 through adult learners help students reach graduation goals and beyond through flexible, personalized first-time credit, credit recovery, and expanded course access.

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