Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Terry Huffman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Scot Headley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gary Sehorn, Ed.D.


This qualitative study examined the perceptions and lived experiences of four successful online credit recovery students in a rural high school in northwestern Oregon. Each of the students had failed at least one high school course in a traditional face-to-face setting and subsequently enrolled in and passed at least one equivalent course in an online credit recovery environment. Personal interviews were utilized to document the students’ perspectives concerning their sense of community belongingness, motivation, and the effectiveness of their online credit recovery course design and delivery.

The analysis of the data identified five main themes: (a) an in-person teacher/facilitator is an important factor in online credit recovery, (b) graduation is a primary motivation to keep going in virtual credit recovery courses, (c) fewer distractions from peers in virtual credit recovery helped students’ course progression, (d) constant pace and progress visibility had an impact on academic motivation, and (e) the support of personal connections is important for online credit recovery students as they progress academically. This study suggests that the support of a variety of stakeholders, a caring and engaged course facilitator/teacher, healthy peer relationships, individually tailored pace and progress data, and a focus on graduation can be crucial components of the recipe for academic success in virtual credit recovery courses.

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