Alternative school education : using Web-based curriculum programs to assist at-risk students with high school credit recovery in select east central Indiana schools

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Robbins, William S.
McKinney, Joseph R.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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We know that education can be an arduous process. Countries use different approaches based on societal acceptances, but effective education always requires enormous efforts. Whether success is achieved, depends on the development of a rigorous and progressive curriculum, while at the same time providing all students the opportunity to learn” (Ravitch, 2010, p. 225). The purpose of this study was to analyze the success at which web-based curriculum is being utilized to meet the needs of at-risk students by providing them with the opportunity to recover lost credit as a means to keep them on the path to high school graduation. The institutions studied were select institutions that are identified by the Indiana Department of Education as recognized alternative education providers as well as select known public school corporations, in East Central Indiana, who are using web-based curriculum credit recovery programs. This researcher investigated the effectiveness of this credit recovery strategy as a tool to improve academic achievement and ultimately high school graduation. Additional information was sought on the challenges experienced in terms of support from the key stakeholders in breaking way from a traditional school setting when addressing the needs of students who are in jeopardy of failing to graduate. Data was obtained from the Indiana Department of Education and looked at graduation rates, dropout rates, as well as End of Course Assessment results. A survey was distributed to the survey population in an effort to gather a deeper understanding of the successes and failures schools were experiencing in an effort to break away from the status quo, leverage the advances of modern technology in an effort to provide students with multiple opportunities to realize academic success. The literature review compiled research on the current opinions for the utilization of web-based curriculum programs, the national attention being directed at public education as a key element in the economic slump of the American economy, and the economic impact on local and national economies for students who do not complete high school. Student achievement data collected from the survey population revealed positive trends on graduation rates, dropout rates, and performance on the Algebra I and English 10 End of Course Assessment. Recommendations for positive implementation of web-based credit recovery programming were discussed. Future research on this subject was recommended and ideas included a possible longitudinal study on a select group of at-risk students to identify strengths and weaknesses of this type of program.