Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Kendall Hartley

Second Committee Member

Gene Hall

Third Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

Jane McCarthy

Number of Pages



Recent estimates show nearly 90% of school districts nationwide offer some form of online credit recovery. Additionally, credit recovery services have become one of the fastest growing areas of educational software. Despite the widespread adoption of these programs, there is a lack of scholarly research on the effectiveness, rigor, and suitability of online credit recovery. Given the popularity of online credit recovery and the mixed results that these programs have received, more study is imperative.

Currently there is a dearth of research surrounding the suitability of online credit recovery for students. Much of the research conducted on virtual schooling indicates that the ideal student for this platform is autonomous, socially and emotionally mature, in possession of solid time management skills, and commands a developed internal locus of control. However, these characteristics are not typically embodied by the at-risk students primarily enrolled in online credit recovery courses. Given the disparity between the ideal online student and the typical recovery student, research examining the characteristics of students who have demonstrated success in online credit recovery could prove exceptionally beneficial.

This study examined potential success factors of students enrolled in online credit recovery academic core discipline courses [English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies] within a school system in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The predictors of success in online credit recovery included student level variables: gender, race, grade-level, school discipline history, Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) status, Gifted & Talented (AIG) status, middle school state-standardized reading assessment results (reading EOG), middle school state-standardized mathematics assessment results (mathematics EOG), and middle school state-standardized science assessment results (science EOG). Student outcome (pass/fail) in the credit recovery course was the dependent variable. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and binary logistic regression analysis were performed. Findings revealed that grade-level, IEP status, and middle school EOG results influenced outcomes in online credit recovery courses. Ancillary analyses revealed that underclassmen were less likely to achieve positive outcomes in science and social studies credit recovery courses compared to upperclassmen, and that results on 6-8th grade reading, mathematics, and science EOGs could have an influence on performance in science recovery courses. Possible implications of these findings are discussed.


At Risk Student; Credit Recovery; Dropout Prevention; Graduation; High School; Virtual Learning



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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