When it comes to student dropouts, recovery is only the first step. Students who re-enroll are not guaranteed to stay engaged through graduation. Successful programs not only entice students with flexibility and support they also motivate students with an engaging curriculum. One way to increase engagement and retention is through a rewards program.
A rewards program offers tangible, desirable rewards as incentives for academic performance and progress. While there are a number of ways to design a rewards system, it is imperative that the rewards are desirable and that the required actions are achievable and aligned with a student’s academic goals. It is also helpful to reward actions that are quantifiable and can easily be tracked online.
Graduation Alliance’s dropout recovery strategy includes rewarding students with points for:
- Logging into classes;
- Submitting assignments (with a passing grade);
- Passing a final exam;
- Completing a quarter-credit class;
- Reaching the Honors pace (3 quarter-credit classes a month);
- Completing a monthly student response form;
- Attending a meetup with a Local Advocate.
Where permitted by law, these points can be redeemed for real-world merchandise, such as gift cards, cellphone credits, electronics, or a cap and gown for graduation day. In places where schools are not permitted to reward students in this way, a rewards system can include opportunities for scholarships and chances to help raise money for a local charity of a student’s choosing. Implementing these types of rewards programs can keep students motivated, involved, and striving for improvement all the way through graduation.
A rewards program is only one aspect of a successful student dropout recovery program.