eCredit Recovery - helping students get back on track for graduation

The more things change, sometimes, the more they stay the same.

That is certainly the case with eCredit, the innovative, hybrid online and in-classroom district program for students needing to recover academic credit and get back on track for graduation.

Launched in 2009 as a year-round addition to St. Vrain’ traditional summer school, the eCredit Recovery program has offerings at Erie, Frederick, Longmont, Mead and Skyline. The online component of eCredit allows for flexible scheduling and gives students the option to focus on specific periods of deficiency rather than needlessly repeating an entire semester’s coursework.

eCredit depends on cutting-edge educational technology to deliver curriculum, however, the success of eCredit, according to eLearning Coordinator Anne Atherton, is about as low-tech as you can get –  strong, caring bonds forged between highly-engaged teachers and students. Research, she said, has shown that the most important factor for struggling learners is relationships.

“Accountability and support are the two biggest pieces that we provide, also study skills. A lot of these kids are not autonomous learners,” she said.

Atherton said that over time eCredit educators realized that non-academic obstacles were often getting in the way of student success, and they adopted a hands-on, “whatever it takes” approach.

When a student is exhibiting difficulties, Atherton said that teachers sit down together to develop an individualized support plan.

“If it’s a special education student, we might contact their special ed support teacher and see if they can get some extra time there. If it’s a student who has a job, we might talk to their parents,” she said.  “We look at every kid’s scenario, and try to make a plan for them on how we can better support them,” she said.

“It’s what I most love about the program. … We really get to know the students. Developing relationships is very important to us.”

Atherton also stressed the effectiveness of the program’s strict “one absence” policy.

Clearly, the efforts are paying off.

Completion rates for the past two years average about 95 percent, up from four years ago, when those rates averaged about 80 percent.

This spring, 93 percent of eCredit seniors, 118 in all, earned a diploma, nearly double the 60 eCredit graduates in 2014.

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