Announcement of Ed.D. Proposal Defense Jason L. Richardson, LSW: “The Credit Recovery Experience at Hillman Prep High School: A Qualitative Case Study”

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

High school dropouts experience numerous adverse life outcomes compared to their diploma earning counterparts (Fan, 2014; Franco, 2012; Kent, 2010; Wilkins, 2015). Dropping out of school is not a decision made in a vacuum; it is a consequential response influenced by a number of push, pull, and fall-out factors (Bradley, 2011; Ritchotte, 2017). Credit Recovery programs are the most popular intervention used to diminish student dropout rates while increasing graduation rates (McCabe, 2012; USDOE, 2017; Watson, 2008). However, the evidence of program effectiveness is sparse. Moreover, there is scant research on the perception of credit recovery programs by the students they aim to support. This qualitative case study will utilize focus group interviews with approximately 30 students to examine the Hillman Preparatory High School (HPHS) credit recovery program. In addition, interview and documentary data will be gathered to create individual case portraits of 6-8 credit recovery students. This study aims to elicit descriptive information about the activities and interactions that students find beneficial and relevant to their academic success and how their overall experience within the program has influenced their desire to stay in school and graduate. The findings from this study will answer the following research questions:

1. What are students’ experiences and evaluations of the HPHS credit recovery program?

2. What did students say they learned from participating in the credit recovery program?

It is hoped that eliciting student perspectives will add to the limited literature on the effectiveness of credit recovery programs and uncover what learning opportunities students at risk of dropping out of school deem valuable. Furthermore, student perspectives will inform potential changes to the credit recovery program at HPHS and offer school leaders in other sites critical insight on developing engaging dropout prevention programming.

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