Credit Flex at TRECA Digital Academy consists of two options for high school students: project-based proposals and testing to show mastery of a course. Both of these require an application and approval.
The project based option will enable a student to earn credit through non-traditional activities. The student will develop a project and work with the Credit Flex Coordinator, who will oversee the project and credit. All projects must be approved by the Credit Flex Committee. If you are planning a project for credit then you need to outline the learning goals, action plan, assessments and time line in a paragraph form. One example of an approved project was flying lessons (the demonstration of mastery was a successful flight)! Below are examples of projects with reflections from Mrs. Peterson, the Credit Flex Coordinator.
The second option is to test out of 1⁄2 credit of various high school classes. You can master out of a course entirely by passing both the Semester A Credit Flex and the Semester B Credit Flex (when both are available). This opportunity can help you reach your goal of graduation! This is NOT for credit recovery if you fail a class. The credit flex exam option is based on MASTERY of information. When you sign up for the credit flex exam(s), you are saying that without working through the class you feel you already have mastery of the material. One of the most important requirements to consider is that students must be actively working in their high school courses to be eligible to complete the test(s). In other words, students will need to be actively working in PLATO to test out of a class! If a student stops working prior to their test, it will be rescheduled until after they resume working on a regular basis. Here is a list of other considerations for the credit flex test option:
- This test, once you apply to take it and are approved, must be taken at one of our regional offices. You cannot take it at home. You can only take 1 test on a given day.
- The 1⁄2 credit test is about 2 and 1⁄2 hours of work. It is designed to represent 1⁄2 credit of work – so it shouldn’t be quick and easy!
- It’s free – you just have to complete the application, be approved, drive to the regional center, and then take the test. Once you complete the test, a TDA teacher will grade it within a week of your test date.
- You must earn an 80% on the test in order to pass it. The test cannot be returned to you, but you will be notified of the results once it has been graded.
- If you do not pass the test, you cannot take it again. You would have to complete the coursework to earn your credit for the course you tried to test out of.
- Testing may not occur every day of the week, so you will want to have a few dates in mind.
Because the credit flex options require approval and supervision, applications must be requested. The interested student would need to contact their school counselor to request the application. In your email, please indicate the program interest (project or test) and the student’s current phone number.
- Ms. Fitzpatrick–Kirk (Students with the last name starting with A- D): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Gove (Students with the last name starting with E-K): email@example.com
- Ms. Miller (Students with the last name starting with L-R): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Staggs (Students with the last name starting with S-Z): email@example.com
Questions about the program can be addressed to the credit flex coordinator, Ms. Michelle Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ODE’s explanation for Credit Flex: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/School-Choice/Credit-Flexibility-Plan
Examples of past projects:
- We had a student earn a full credit this year while she was working at Scott’s. We met every other week to check in on her learning goals, action plan and assessments. Her final project was a power point presentation that motivated all of us to want to buy Scott’s products. She also submitted pay stubs to reflect her hours. This student shared that the opportunity was beneficial for her to meet new friends as well as learn how to work with people.
- We had another student who wanted to be an early childhood teacher so she started working at a daycare. We would meet every other week in Elluminate and she could share her experiences. It was amazing to see her transformation as her confidence and knowledge grew. She would do an employee evaluation progress and evaluation checklist that she created and submitted every month. This allowed us to target work related goals for the beginning of the month and then evaluate how she progressed toward achieving the goals at the end of the month. I also had the supervisor/manager give me notes on her progress and efforts on achieving the monthly goals. The student and supervisor signed this document monthly. We also required her to submit pay stubs to keep track of her hours. This was a tool that was beneficial with the assessment piece.
- We had another student earn a half credit for Arabic. Once the application was approved, she had to submit her assignments graded every other week along with her midterm reports signed from her professor. Her professor would scan different reports throughout the process to me. This student paid for this class, but earned a half credit with us. We would meet every other week to check on her progress for hours so she would stay on target to earn the half credit by her due date.
- We had another student earn a credit while she was working as a veterinarian technician. She wrote an article for our newsletter based on her perspective and how this opportunity benefited her future. We would meet every other week and she would submit her experiences in writing along with pictures representing her in action. This student also had the veterinarian sign off on her hours monthly. She felt the experience was invaluable and prepared her more for college. The experience gave her focus as well as direction with her time.
- Other success stories included Sarah Gilliam and Ryan Clark giving opportunities to our students to earn credit for onsite field trips. This opportunity was to earn a History credit. Ryan worked with students in the NEO region and Sarah worked in the SWO region. Students attended a field trip every month and did an online assignment. Some of the places that they visited included: the WWII Museum in New Orleans via videoconferencing, The Underground Railroad in Cincinnati and the Dayton Air and Space Museum. The goal for next year is to extend the program to include all TRECA students in all regions.