Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education and Organizational Leadership Development

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Daniella Hall Sutherland

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara J. Nesbitt

Committee Member

Dr. Kimberly M. Poole

Committee Member

Dr. Shanita N. Anderson

Committee Member

Dr. Noelle A. Paufler


During the spring of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forever changed the lives of Americans. Being an educator, I experienced the school shutdowns of March 2020 and felt the impacts on our educational system on a personal level. More students than ever failed courses needed to be promoted and to graduate high school. This led to more students at my school needing to take VirtualSC credit recovery courses. VirtualSC credit recovery courses are fully virtual and have no face-to-face interactions with teachers. Instead, they are self-paced courses that provide students with learning modules that they move through as they master each unit.

Given the social isolation that many students experienced during the school shutdowns, my experience as a school counselor led me to believe that our school needed to provide more social support and academic remediation for students who would continue to take fully virtual courses even after they returned to in-person learning. The purpose of this improvement science research study was to answer the research question: What impact does blended learning have on students taking virtual credit recovery? The Theoretical Framework that guided this study was Trauma-Informed practices due to the academic learning losses and the negative social-emotional toll that students experienced during the Covid-19 school shutdowns from Spring 2020 through the 2021 school years. This study involved providing blended learning to a class of 28 freshmen students taking a VirtualSC credit recovery course that they needed for graduation. Students were provided with a daily class period during the semester in which they had consistent internet access, an academically supportive classroom environment, and face-to-face certified teachers who could help them in real-time in their courses.

A mixed-method research design allowed for multiple modalities of data collection to be gathered and analyzed. Qualitative data provided an understanding of both students’ and teachers’ perceptions of how a lack of in-person teaching and social interactions led to an increased need for credit recovery courses as well as an increased need for social interactions among student peer groups and between students and teachers. Quantitative data provided evidence that there was a significant relationship between the blended learning interventions that were established and implemented in this study and credit recovery passage rates. The research findings supported using blended learning to help academically at-risk students pass their credit recovery courses and get back on track to graduation in four years.



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