Understanding the Role and Applicability of K-12 Online Learning to Support Student Dropout Recovery Efforts

Published on July 8, 2010

Modified on December 10, 2020

Written By: 

Richard E. Ferdig, Ph.D.Kent State University

Suggested Citation

Ferdig, Richard E. (2010). Understanding the Role and Applicability of K-12 Online Learning to Support Student Dropout Recovery Efforts. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual University. Retrieved from https://mvlri.org/research/publications/understanding-the-role-and-applicability-of-k-12-online-learning-to-support-student-dropout-recovery-efforts/

Recent, daunting reports suggest that the true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate, and that it has been declining for the last 40 years. These findings suggest that one third of all public high school students and nearly one-half of minority students fail to complete their high school experience. K-12 online learning, a method of delivering teaching and learning through electronic means, has been touted as a potential solution for reaching students who might be considered lost to the traditional education system. This report describes what we currently know about high school dropout and retention, what solutions have been proposed, and how online learning might impact the retention rate. Drawing on existing work from Michigan Virtual School, data are provided to discuss performance of credit recovery students and conditions under which such students succeed and struggle in online learning environments. Results suggest that online learning can impact retention and dropout recovery; however, simply replicating existing face-to-face environments often replicates the negative behavioral, affective, and cognitive outcomes of at-risk students.

Table of Contents

Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.