Dropout Recovery

Wrapping students with 360° of support in order to remove even the most substantial obstacles that stand in the way of a high school diploma.

Regret and a sense of missed opportunity1 are the feelings dropouts most commonly associate with having left high school early —  even when their departure may have been due to insurmountable life obstacles and not simple choice.  What’s more, individuals who never earned their high school diploma nearly always indicate a desire to “do things over”.


Driven by the need to cost-effectively increase graduation rates and a desire to provide a renewed opportunity to those who have left school without a diploma, state and local secondary partners across the nation have implemented Graduation Alliance’s comprehensive Dropout Recovery solution in order to engage and graduate this important at-risk population. The program provides the support of local mentors and the flexibility of online classes to create learning environments that meet the complex needs of students who have left school without a diploma.


But at Graduation Alliance, online learning is a system of curricular delivery — not an educational philosophy. Effective dropout recovery strategies require much more than a username, password and internet courses. That’s why Graduation Alliance’s research-based approach engages each student in an individualized, multi-layered program of academic and social supports.


10 Steps To Effective Dropout Recovery


  1. Graduation Alliance works with state and local secondary partners to deploy comprehensive, best-practice student re-engagement and recovery strategies. Districts provide the names of individuals who have left school without earning a diploma to a highly experienced re-engagement team, which tracks down former students, ensures their qualifications for re-enrollment and invites them to re-engage in their education. Graduation Alliance finds and re-engages former students, removing a resource-intensive burden from administrators and faculty.
  2. The transcript is received and, upon enrollment, each student is issued a wireless-enabled laptop provided by Graduation Alliance — and initially locked for study, assessments and planning only.
  3. Students take resiliency assessments to determine and address social obstacles that have previously prevented academic success.
  4. An integrated learning plan is crafted as part of the first course. The plan is focused on postsecondary planning and helps demonstrate to students the commitment of the team that has assembled to help them work toward their future success.
  5. Students complete coursework while highly qualified, state-licensed teachers provide instruction, grade assignments and offer prompt feedback. Tutors are available 24/7.
  6. Students show progress and are rewarded with increased access on their laptops.
  7. A tiered intervention program ensures students are moving toward graduation. Proactive mentors meet with students face-to-face, check in on a regular basis, and keep students motivated, providing social-emotional support and helping break down barriers to success.
  8. Career counselors help students explore and determine what to do after graduation — be it more education, a vocational program or entry into the workforce.
  9. Districts pay only for students who are making defined academic progress. Graduation Alliance bills for its services on a pro-rated basis down to the day a student completes his or her time in the program.
  10. When students complete their coursework and exams, they will earn a diploma from their home district, helping improve district graduation rates and set program participants on a renewed path to success.


Dropout Recovery

The majority of students who leave school do so for non-academic reasons. Learn the techniques and best practices around helping those students come back to school, and re-engage with their education.


  1. U.S. Department of Education (2014, March 28). Expansive Survey of America’s Public Schools Reveals Troubling Disparities. [Web article] Retrieved from URL: http://www2.ed.gov/news/press-releases/expansive-survey-americas-public-schools-reveals-troubling-racial-disparities


"I'm so proud to be a part of this group."

Graduation Alliance board member Marguerite Kondracke is committed to students.