Teacher Perceptions of Virtual Credit Recovery Program Equivalency

Teacher Perceptions of Virtual Credit Recovery Program Equivalency

Richard J. Vigilante Jr. (Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJVPLE.2019010102


This article examines the equivalency of virtual credit recovery (VCR) programs as a viable alternative to earning back failed credits needed to graduate on time. Utilization of interviews and questionnaires assisted with collecting perspective data of 10 teachers facilitating the VCR program. Artifact analysis provided a third source of numeric data and allowed for triangulation of results. Data underwent thematic analysis and pattern matching, which led to the development of five main themes: (1) knowledge of students, (2) instructional design procedures, (3) facilitator communication and support, (4) instructional assistance, and (5) outcomes. Data analysis revealed the existence of both positive and negative learning experiences, both of which affect the overall equivalency of the VCR program. Although learning experiences varied in value, results indicated VCR programs provide an equivalent and viable alternative to earning back failed credits needed to graduate on time.
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Virtual Credit Recovery (VCR) programs are an ever-growing alternative for students to earn back failed credits needed to graduate high school on time. During the 2014-15 school year, Iowa achieved the highest national graduation rate (91%), while New Mexico and the District of Columbia were lowest (69%) (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2017). The gap in success rate between states exemplifies the concern for on-time graduation. Utilizing VCR programs, schools hope to assist struggling students with earning back failed credits necessary to graduate on time. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) (2017a) published an annual state-level report on graduation and dropout rates for four-, five-, and six-year student cohorts who entered ninth grade together (Table 1). This provided further insight into the number of students dropping out of school in Virginia alone.

Table 1.
Virginia state cohort reports-graduation and dropout rates
Graduation YearGraduation Rate (%)Number of DropoutsDropout Rate (%)

Note: Adapted from Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Cohort Reports 2010-2017, Retrieved from: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/graduation_completion/cohort_reports/

Note: Updated and modified from original research, with permission from Vigilante (2016)

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