The Guide For Credit Recovery in High School

by | Oct 9, 2023

Credit recovery in high school is a great option for many students who may be struggling in one or more subjects. However, it may seem confusing as policies and programs differ depending on the school or district you attend. This article will help you through the process with generalized information on credit recovery and answer some common questions. Make sure you look at your school’s specific credit recovery program. Each program is different and your school will have the most accurate information. With that out of the way lets begin!

What is Credit Recovery?

So before we dive into the details of credit recovery, let’s first discuss what and who the program is for. Credit recovery is an option for students to “recover” failed credits for one or more classes. A failed class means the student does not obtain the credit for it. This is bad because the credit may be required for graduation, setting them back behind their peers until they are able to recover it.

A credit recovery course is structured like the course they initially failed. It is essentially another chance to complete and pass the course. They will move through similar lessons, take similar tests, and be evaluated as if they were taking the previously failed course. Upon passing, the student will have successfully earned and “recovered” the credit that was previously not earned.

Can You Increase Your GPA?

Different schools and districts have different polices regarding credit recovery classes and their effects on GPA. A lot of public schools will restrict a GPA change based on credit recovery completion. This means your GPA is still affected from when you failed the class. Other schools will allow the GPA to increase based on the final grade in the credit recovery class. It’s important to clarify with your school’s program on the policies surrounding a GPA change as it could leave a large impact for the student.

Summer School

Credit recovery in high school has a few different options available to the student. Summer school is a traditional credit recovery route for many students. The class will be taken over the summer with no impact to the student’s schedule during the traditional school year. This isn’t the only option though! Students can opt to take credit recovery classes during the school day during the regular year. These would function as normal classes on their schedule that they would attend in addition to their other classes. This is a popular option for juniors and seniors where they are more pressured by the lack of time to recover credits before graduation.

Once again each program is different at each school so it’s important to check with your school’s program to see what offers they have. In general, we’d recommend taking a credit recovery course over the summer unless you have flexibility in your school schedule during the school year. Discussing your options with your counselor is important as they will have the best recommendation.

Credit Recovery For Student Athletes

For student athletes looking to play in college, credit recovery can affect your chances of playing in a number of ways. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states:

Generally, for a nontraditional course to count as an NCAA-approved core course, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The course must meet all requirements for an NCAA-approved core course.
  • All students in the course must have regular instructor-led interaction for the purpose of instruction, evaluation and assistance for the duration of the course. This may include, for example, exchanging emails between the student and teacher, online chats, phone calls, feedback on assignments and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual or group instruction.
  • The course must have a defined time period for completion. For example, it should be clear how long students are required to be enrolled and working in the course and how long a school would permit a student to work on a single nontraditional course.
  • Student work (e.g., exams, papers, assignments) must be available for evaluation and validation.
  • The course should be clearly identified as nontraditional on the student’s official high school transcript.

In this case, a credit recovery course counts as a “nontraditional course” for the NCAA. This is once again a situation you will want to check with your school about. It is up to each school to get their courses approved by the NCAA.

All in all, credit recovery courses are a great option for high school students to consider if they recently failed a class. Each program is different depending on the school or district so we recommend checking with your counselor for all of the details! And if you’re looking to take a credit recovery course this summer, check out The Tenney School’s summer registration page!

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