How Long is Credit Recovery in High School?

how long is credit recovery in high school

Credit recovery is an educational option that allows students to retake a class or recover an academic credit from a course that they previously failed. The ultimate goal of this program is to help students stay on track for graduation. 

Credit recovery uses a different approach than traditional classes. From competency exams to independent projects, online courses, and after-school/summer school programs, you can take an alternative path to achieving a needed credit without it delaying the earning of your diploma. 

Credit recovery, in some cases, can also be used for adults who are looking to acquire a diploma or GED later in life without completing a full high school curriculum. 

If you are considering credit recovery as part of your academic journey, you might also be wondering how long the process takes to complete. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how long credit discovery is in high school as well as how to make the best out of your credit recovery experience.

Why Do Students Need Credit Recovery?

Failed Courses

If you failed any courses in high school, you can retake a class or recover a credit. This lets you stay on track for graduation even after receiving a failing grade. 


If you struggled with absences during your normal course of high school, you may have failed a class as a result. This is another instance where credit recovery is a good option to consider. 

Transferring Between Schools 

Sometimes when you transfer between schools in or outside of the United States, they have different credit systems and all of your earned credits don’t carry over. In this case, credit recovery is a great way to make sure you’re all caught up and on track to graduate. 

Earning a Diploma As An Adult

If it’s been a number of years since you originally attended high school and you’re looking to earn your diploma, chances are the educational materials and approaches have changed significantly. Credit recovery provides you with the assistance needed to stay on top of anything that might be new to you. 

How Does Credit Recovery Work?

Credit recovery starts by identifying the courses that students need to recover credit for. Once these are identified, the student enrolls in a credit recovery program to provide the necessary knowledge to complete the courses.

These courses are taught on a specific competency or skill and can be taught in-person, online, or in a hybrid learning format that merges the two.

Benefits of Credit Recovery

For each type of student, there are a number of different benefits you can get from credit recovery programs. These include:

  • Avoid delays in graduation
  • More flexible schedule and pacing
  • Targeted learning
  • Increased confidence for students
  • Increased chances of acceptance for college 

Factors Affecting the Duration of Credit Recovery

Every student’s story is different, so there’s no one set duration for completing credit recovery. However, there are some factors that can influence each student’s timeline such as:

  • Number of credits needed to be recovered
  • Individual student pace and ability
  • School policies (schools may only allow recovery for certain courses)
  • Availability and access to resources 

How to Effectively Recover Your Credits

While enrolling in a credit recovery program is a step in the right direction, the enrollment alone does not promise immediate success. Here are some methods to make the best out of your time in a credit recovery program: 

  • Understand your learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile, etc.)
  • Develop a study schedule
  • Seek help from teachers and tutors
  • Utilize online learning assistance resources and platforms 

What to Look for in the Right Online Credit Recovery Program

There are a number of online credit recovery programs available, so it’s important that you know what to look for so you can find the right program for you. Here are some points to consider when finding the right online credit recovery program:

  • Flexible pacing – can you study at your own pace? 
  • Teacher/tutor/guidance counselor availability – are educators available to assist you as needed? 
  • Supplemental resources for independent work – does the school empower you to study independently? 
  • Timely and responsive communication from staff – how long do you have to wait for a question to be answered? 
  • Proper Accreditation – are the credits legitimate and usable when applying for colleges? 

Start Recovering Your Credits with CHS

If you’re in need of credit recovery for any number of reasons, look no further than Citizens High School. Citizens High School offers a wide range of accredited credit recovery-eligible courses, backed by flexible pacing and a responsive faculty that wants you to succeed as much as you do. 

For more information, visit our admissions page or contact us anytime.

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