ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 2, 2021 — Ann Arbor Public Schools Dropout Recovery and Prevention Program graduated its 100th student this summer, providing an important credential to Michiganders who otherwise might have not achieved this important milestone. Since 2018, the program has continued to grow, with more graduates every month.
“This program has been incredibly effective for students – especially during the pandemic – by guiding those enrolled to the goal of earning a diploma,” said Paul DeAngelis, Ann Arbor’s Executive Director for High School Education. “We look forward to continued growth and success as we navigate the ever-shifting educational landscape. Programs like this with Graduation Alliance are important to our work of serving students through alternatives to the traditional high school setting.”
Dropout Recovery programs like the one in Ann Arbor provide an important complement to the traditional high school experience. While in-person instruction is always the goal, some students face roadblocks and barriers that make a regular school day impossible. These programs help students rise above these obstacles and still earn a high school diploma from their local district. Students enrolled in the program are provided with a wifi-enabled laptop computer to complete their coursework at any time and from anywhere. They also are given access to 24/7 tutoring resources, Academic Coaches for guidance, and Local Advocates who help navigate obstacles. Comprehensive layers of support are key, and students are paired with a dedicated one-on-one support staff to help stay engaged and on track with their studies.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1 million Michigan adults do not have a high school diploma. In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated, “High school graduates make an average of $9,200 more per year than people without a diploma.” This program has brought educational and economic opportunity to hard-working students who faced challenges finishing high school in a conventional manner.
As students make their way to school this fall, many will find the transition back to a traditional school day difficult and, in some cases, logistically impossible. For these students, an alternative path, like the one offered through the Ann Arbor Public Schools Dropout Recovery and Prevention Program, may be the best choice to continue their education.