5 Considerations When Selecting Credit Recovery Materials

The goal of credit recovery programs is to help students recover credit and increase the likelihood of on-time high school graduation. Credit recovery is challenging to schedule and manage and is frequently a significant expense for districts. State requirements for credit recovery vary, but one element they have in common is the need to provide quality instructional materials that meet the needs of the students.

Learning List has reviewed numerous credit recovery materials. We share the following 5 factors to consider when selecting instructional materials for credit recovery.

  1. Compliance with State and Local Policy–Do the instructional materials you are considering allow your district to meet state and/or local policies governing credit recovery? For example, some states prohibit students from taking an abbreviated course for credit recovery; other states do not regulate credit recovery at all.  When selecting materials, keep your state and/or district’s policies in mind. 
  2. Efficacy Research—Does the material you are considering have a proven track record of success for students in need of credit recovery? Has the publisher provided a list of independent research supporting the material’s effectiveness?
  3. Define the Audience — Will only students who have failed the course previously be allowed to take the credit recovery course, or does your district allow students to take credit recovery courses for original or accelerated credit, as well?  Ensure that students who have not had previous success with the content area will find the materials you are considering engaging. Consider whether or not the materials include the adaptions necessary for the students your course will serve. For example, if you know that the students enrolled in your credit recovery program are unlikely to read large quantities of text, perhaps you need a video-based program.
  4. Content—This factor has two considerations. First, do you need to purchase materials for all content areas? If so, is there a publisher that offers everything you need in a single package, or could you pair some of your existing materials with new materials to meet your needs? Second, are the materials you are considering aligned to all of the course standards? In some states, students in credit recovery are required to address all the standards. In other cases, students may be able to “test out” of standards they already know. In order for credit recovery to close the gaps for all students in your program, the material has to be aligned to all of the standards for the course.
  5. Format and Platform— Will students take the credit recovery course in-person, online, or in a blended model? If in-person, do the instructional materials you are considering provide the resources teachers will need to meet the varied needs of their students? How are these materials different from the materials you have? If students will take the course online or in a blended model, is the platform and content designed to enable students to function independently?

We hope you find these considerations useful. Planning ahead and considering instructional materials as a primary component in the overall design of your credit recovery program will help you best meet the needs of your students while saving your district thousands of dollars.