At a Glance
To support students who might withdraw from a CTE program, Northern Westmoreland CTC (NWCTC) reimburses students for academic credit recovery during a summer school program if students successfully pass the course.
In 2011, NWCTC implemented a credit recovery reimbursement program to support students who might otherwise withdraw from a CTE program due to academic failure and/or an inability to pay for summer school. Through this program, NWCTC reimburses students for up to two summer school courses taken for academic credit recovery. Students are reimbursed after they submit documentation that they have successfully passed the course. (During the first year of implementation, NWCTC paid for the course in advance instead of reimbursing students after the course was successfully completed. For those students who either did not return to the CTC or failed the class, it proved a challenge for NWCTC to recoup the money.)
NWCTC implemented the credit recovery reimbursement program to offer an incentive to students who may have been forced to drop out of CTE programs and return to their sending schools due to a lack of sufficient credits to graduate and a lack of funds to finance summer school.
The credit recovery reimbursement is funded through a line item that is included in the general fund budget each year. Primarily, it is supported with funds from the four member school districts. Depending on where the students take the courses, the costs for the courses typically vary from about $50 to $150.
NWCTC Business Manager, Coleen Steim, indicates that one ongoing challenge is making sure parents and students understand that the reimbursement program is through NWCTC and not their home schools. At times, students have not qualified for reimbursement because they did not submit the appropriate paperwork to NWCTC and instead gave it to the home school or assumed that the home school would send NWCTC the necessary paperwork. Considering this challenge, NWCTC continues to focus on effective communication with parents and students so that they fully understand the expectations of the program.
NWCTC has received positive feedback from sending school principals. The principals are supportive of the program because it helps prevent economically disadvantaged students from losing the benefits of the CTE programs.
NWCTC indicates that there has been a significant increase in the number of students who complete the CTE program of study since the credit recovery program was implemented.
Over the last three years, a total of 35 students have benefited from the credit recovery reimbursement program.
Northern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center
Coleen S. Steim, M.Ed., Business Manager